Desperate Real Salt Lake Hope To Dethrone St. Louis City SC

Mar 24, 2023, 5:43 PM

Pablo Mastroeni - Real Salt Lake...

Real Salt Lake manager Pablo Mastroeni seen giving instruction on the sideline during his team's 1-0 defeat at home against FC Dallas on July 23. Photo courtesy: Laura Deardon of Real Salt Lake.

SALT LAKE CITY Real Salt Lake remains in Utah this weekend as they prepare to host undefeated MLS newcomers St. Louis City SC at America First Field.

The fixture will mark the second consecutive game at America First Field in as many weeks following the club’s home opener loss to Austin FC a week ago. St. Louis City, on the other hand, is experiencing bliss following its perfect start to their MLS career.

Flying High In St. Louis

The newest member of Major League Soccer, St. Louis City SC, are yet to surrender a point throughout their opening four games of league play. The newcomers began their campaign with a 3-2 road win against Austin before dominating Charlotte 3-1 in their home opener. Portland were the next victim to fall before most recently taking down San Jose.

St. Louis reign supreme at the top of the Western Conference standings with a total of 12 points throughout their opening 4 games. They currently hold a five point lead over a group of teams stuck on seven points.

If Real Salt Lake is to end the cinderella St. Louis start, they will be tasked with doing so with a far from healthy roster.

Real Salt Lake manager Pablo Mastroeni has a condensed list of players available to his disposal due to injuries and the current international window.

Real Salt Lake Riddled With Issues

Zack Farnsworth, Axel Kei, and Bode Hidalgo are all unavailable due to injuries. Marcelo Silva, Erik Holt, Bryan Oviedo, Jefferson Savarino, Danny Musovski, and Jasper Löffelsend are all questionable due to injuries and/or illness. Rubio Rubin, Braian Ojeda, Diego Luna, and Gavin Beavers are all unavailable after being called into international duty.

Furthermore, to make matters worse for Real Salt Lake, the club enters the fixture coming off consecutive losses to Austin and Seattle despite starting their 2023 campaign with an impressive come from behind road win against Vancouver.

RSL announced today that first round pick Emeka Eneli has been signed to the first team roster ahead of this weekends clash. The announcement comes as no surprise given the current state of the roster.

However, it is not all doom and gloom for Real Salt Lake. Newly signed defender and Colombian international Brayan Vera is likely to make his debut for the Claret and Cobalt this weekend. The highly anticipated debut by the 24-year-old will hopefully bring a lift to the club after a tough two week stretch.

Real Salt Lake has struggled to start the 2023 season. Andrés Gómez, who the club spent a club record fee for, has looked promising. But the club still remains in need of more signings. Specifically, a holding midfielder and a striker. The Real Salt Lake midfield has struggled in transition thus far in 2023 which no dominant defensive minded player on the roster to aid the likes of Ojeda and Löffelsend. Rubio Rubin has also failed to suggest that he is capable of scoring double digit goals in MLS after a slow start to his season.

Rubin was touted prior to the year as the focal point at the top of the attack, but the 27-year-old has found life difficult throughout the opening three games to have an impact.

Real Salt Lake and St. Louis will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, and will be available to watch via MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. Locally, David James and Jay Nolly will host the radio call on The KSL Sports Zone (1280 AM and 97.5 FM).

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Desperate Real Salt Lake Hope To Dethrone St. Louis City SC