Real Salt Lake Must Win Versus Cincinnati

Sep 16, 2022, 2:12 PM
Andrew Brody - versus- SKC...
Andrew Brody on the ball against SKC on July 17, 2022 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Photo courtesy: Laura Dearden of Real Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY – With just three games remaining in the 2022 MLS regular season Real Salt Lake finds itself in a must-win position to remain on the right side of the playoff line.

The Western Conference

The club, which previously enjoyed a large stretch of the season inside the top three of the Western Conference Standings, has fallen to the seventh position and just a game inside the playoff line.

However, the LA Galaxy, who sits eighth, has a game in hand and possesses a better goal differential. Furthermore, ninth-placed Seattle also has a game in hand on RSL, they sit four points shy of RSL.

Do Or Die For Real Salt Lake

Nevertheless, the upcoming clash against Cincinnati, which also happens to be the penultimate home game, is a must-win affair for Real Salt Lake.

A loss or a draw will likely conclude with RSL on the wrong side of the playoff line following the weekend and both LA and Seattle with a game in hand.

For Real Salt Lake, they must find a way to turn the tide. They are yet to score a goal in their previous three matches, despite finding themselves in goal-scoring positions. The final touch of passages of play has let the side down as of late.

Following the most recent 3-0 midweek loss to Austin FC, manager Pablo Mastroeni made post-game remarks suggesting changes to the starting XI are inevitable ahead of the Cincinnati clash.

Mastroeni also made mention that he was not happy with certain players that came off the bench against Austin, noting that the work effort was not up to standard following their arrival into the game.

Diego Luna, the 19-year-old prodigy, was prolific throughout the 71 minutes that he played against Austin. He was joined by the likes of Braian Ojeda, Bryan Oviedo, Anderson Julio, and Rubio Rubin who all started and impressed.

In Form Cincinnati

Cincinnati is a team in form and peaking at the right time. They are unbeaten in their previous nine fixtures and most recently beat San Jose 6-0. Interestingly, Cincinnati is led by manager Pat Noonan who was reported to be a finalist for the vacant RSL job last year before the club settled on then interim Mastroeni.

There are a lot of storylines entering the clash, none bigger than the simple fact that Real Salt Lake must pick up three points at home to keep their playoff ambitions alive.

One can assume that the 11 players Mastroeni trots out on Saturday evening for Real Salt Lake, those players will give everything following the criticism two days ago.

Match Info

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 and will be available to stream for free via the KSL Sports and KSL 5 TV apps or on KSL Sports dot com.

Including Saturday’s game, only three regular-season games remain for Real Salt Lake. The match against Cincinnati will mark the penultimate home game for RSL.

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