Real Salt Lake host the Houston Dynamo in their second meeting this season, the first going all Houston’s way. Here are three keys for RSL.
Real Salt Lake welcomes the Houston Dynamo to Rio Tinto Stadium for this weekend’s match. The last time these two teams met was one to forget for RSL, but the Claret and Cobalt have turned things around of late. They’ll look to build on their momentum and earn three points at home as they try to climb up the Western Conference standings. Here are three things to watch for.
Last week was the same old story for Real Salt Lake, as defensive mistakes cost the team a result against the Crew. They will definitely have their hands full this week with the high powered Houston attack. While RSL needs to overcome their mental lapses in general, Houston is a team that is especially unforgiving. Look no further than the 4-1 result from the last time these two teams met.
Youngster Danny Acosta will likely be tested often against the pacey Houston wingers who ran wild last May, but the entire backline will need to work together to shut down their free flowing attack. That type of direction will be the task of Marcelo Silva. Brought in to bring an end to the mistakes, Silva has yet to have a flawless game with RSL, and no better time to start than now.
It’s tough to break old habits, but this one especially rings true. Once again, RSL tested the Crew defense for 90 minutes but were only able to finish two chances, one of them a penalty. While the defensive lapses are frustrating (especially considering Columbus scored on their only shots on goal), RSL’s inability to finish only amplifies the mistakes.
The club has been better over the last few weeks, at least finishing a couple of their open looks, even racking up goals against Los Angeles and Portland, but against a vulnerable defense like the Dynamo, the RSL attack needs to simply put this one away.
The Three Headed Monster
Part of the finishing issue should be resolved by the midfield trio along with Luis Silva slicing up the midfield. With Houston’s willingness to sit back and wait for the counter, the RSL midfield will have to unlock a parked bus without getting torched by pushing too far forward.
This one should be a fun match, potentially offering multiple goals and some exciting sequences. Look for the winner to try and get ahead early, but both of these teams have the pieces to mount a late comeback before the 90 minutes are up.
Houston has struggled on the road this year, going 1-7-3, so taking advantage of their poor road form is a must. They currently sit in third place with 33 points, eight in front of RSL with a game in hand. These are the type of matches that will determine if Real deserves a spot in the post season or not, so make sure you tune in.