We’re all aware that now is the time to start putting a streak together and start climbing the ladder, but at the same time, you can’t worry about it too much. – RSL midfielder Luke Mulholland
SANDY — Real Salt Lake gave fans the first look at the 4-3-3 formation, with Joao Plata finally returning to the starting lineup and joining Alvaro Saborio and Sebastian Jaime at the top of the attack.
“I thought they did a good job,” said RSL manager Jeff Cassar who admitted the trio physically weren’t quite at 100 percent. “You can still see that they’re not quite 90 minutes fit and they’re having to go 90 minutes. That’s tough. But I thought the guys put forth a great effort and just came up short.”
Although Cassar has technically had the formation in effect since the start of the season, with Plata back fans can actually see the club taking the offensive front in search of the early goal.
Plata on multiple occasions sent dangerous crosses into the box, and with his speed was very lethal in the attacking third. Saborio kept Rapids ‘keeper Clint Irwin awake with a couple of headed balls on frame that would’ve sent the anxious crowd into a ruckus.
“I thought our offense clicked very well, and I thought we limited them to not too many opportunities,” said Cassar. “If we get that (goal) early on I think things will open up and we’ll get more.”
RSL might not be keen on dropping two points at home, but the opportunities were clearly there despite the 0-0 finish.
“It’s a result. Not the result we wanted, but we had chances,” said Nick Rimando. “We got a shutout, so that’s positive. It’s a long season and we have to start getting points somewhere.”
With six of the next eight matches at home, points are critical for RSL, who currently reside four points clear of Colorado as the bottom-feeders in the West.
“We’re all aware that now is the time to start putting a streak together and start climbing the ladder, but at the same time, you can’t worry about it too much,” said RSL midfielder Luke Mulholland. “We’re still playing good football at times and we just constantly need to eliminate the areas and weaknesses in the game and get closer and closer to a solid 90-minute performance. Fifteen games into the season now that’s done with, we can start a new clean sheet and win a game and go from there.”
INTERNATIONAL DUTY: A day removed from the Rocky Mountain tilt, RSL already has holes to fill.
Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica), Abdoulie Mansally (Gambia) and Elias Vasquez (Guatemala) all departed the team for international callups. Demar Phillips (Jamaica), Luis Gil (U-23) and Boyd Okwuonu (U-23) could also be plucked up as the days pass.
The list will only grow bigger with Kyle Beckerman still with the U.S. National team and Nick Rimando likely to join the USMNT for a June 10 clash against 2014 FIFA World Cup champion Germany on Wednesday.
with six of the next eight matches at home,
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