10:40 AM EDT, Thu March 30, 2017
RSL Soapbox Mar 18, 2017
How Real Salt Lake can beat LA Galaxy

How Real Salt Lake can beat LA Galaxy

It’s not all hopeless as Real Salt Lake host a winless LA Galaxy — is it? Absences LA: Gyasi Zardes (knee), Giovani dos Santos (hamstring), Robbie Rogers (ankle), Ashley Cole (calf strain), Jelle Van Damme (red card) RSL: Justen Glad (knee), Jordan Allen (quad strain), Joao Plata (hip contusion) Expected LA Galaxy Lineup LA: Rowe; Garcia, Steres, Romney, Smith; Lletget, Pedro, Husidic, Alessandrini; Boateng, McBean Don't forget to read the full preview from Ryan Sanders. The story so far LA Galaxy have gotten off to their worst start in 16 years this season which is something Real...
RSL Soapbox Mar 17, 2017
RSL going young in attack against LA, Cassar tells Trib

RSL going young in attack against LA, Cassar tells Trib

RSL coach Jeff Cassar says Lennon, Velazco and Saucedo could be getting minutes. It’s not clear how many. Real Salt Lake’s injury list has been in a miserable state of flux this season, with important players out in our first two matches — and that’s definitely going to continue. We wrote earlier this week about Jordan Allen and Joao Plata likely being out, and it seems pretty clear that’s going to lead to some young, talented players getting starts. Exactly who? That’s hard to say. The latest from Salt Lake Tribune scribe Chris Kamrani has RSL coach Jeff Cassar saying he’ll...
RSL Soapbox Mar 16, 2017
Five formations RSL could try in 2017

Five formations RSL could try in 2017

We’ve established that Real doesn’t have a firm identity. Let’s give it one. What’s in a formation? Does a Joao Plata in a 4-3-3 not dance as joyfully in a 4-4-2? Is an Albert Rusnak led counter attack any less ruthless in a 4-5-1? These are questions that soccer observers have pondered for centuries, and while the formation doesn’t determine everything in a match, it does provide context for everything. Despite continued affirmations of the 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 by Jeff Cassar and the front office, the formation has failed to take off, and has led to some fairly uninspiring football....
RSL Soapbox Mar 15, 2017
Without Plata, Allen out, RSL must dip into attacking depth

Without Plata, Allen out, RSL must dip into attacking depth

Who gets the start against LA Galaxy? RSL has options in depth. Real Salt Lake’s probably going to be missing two of its starters again this week, and this time, we’re looking toward the attack. Jordan Allen and Joao Plata haven’t trained this week, leaving them unlikely to start, at the very least. That’s even more likely after Jeff Cassar said he was looking for players to be 100 percent fit. “What we need to get back to, is when you step on the field, you’re 100 percent,” Cassar said. “Anything less isn’t good enough. We have to get these players back to optimal...
RSL Soapbox Mar 14, 2017
Cassar: Maund, Schuler back in training after injuries

Cassar: Maund, Schuler back in training after injuries

The two might not play this weekend against LA Galaxy, but it’s still a bit of good injury news for once. Real Salt Lake’s injury crisis isn’t necessarily easing, but it’s taken a positive turn with Aaron Maund and Chris Schuler returning to training today. In an interview with Bill Riley on ESPN 700, RSL coach Jeff Cassar said the two defenders were back in training, but was quick to note that neither player is fully up to speed. He also said that neither Joao Plata nor Jordan Allen were involved in full training. “What we need to get back to, is when you step on the field,...
RSL Soapbox Mar 10, 2017
RSL vs. Chicago Fire: Three lineup decisions RSL has to make

RSL vs. Chicago Fire: Three lineup decisions RSL has to make

RSL will be short-handed against Chicago Fire, and that’s going to force some decisions. Tomorrow’s match against Chicago Fire is one that will see RSL coach Jeff Cassar forced to make several decisions he might have not wanted to make — like who plays at center back, and can he replace Joao Plata? Let’s go over some of those decisions he’ll be making. Center back We talked about this one yesterday, and it’s hard to really get past this one. This is a big decision to be made. Aaron Maund is reportedly at “80 percent”, Justen Glad and Chris Schuler are out, and we’ve got...
RSL Soapbox Mar 10, 2017
Injury report: Plata listed as questionable, joining Maund, Glad, Schuler

Injury report: Plata listed as questionable, joining Maund, Glad, Schuler

Could RSL see forced rotation in the attack in only their second game of the season? News that might have eluded all of us yesterday is this particularly discouraging injury report: Joao Plata has been listed as questionable with a hip bruise. That’s according to the official match preview from Real Salt Lake, and frankly, it’s a little bit of a surprise this hasn’t come up sooner. It may just as well be a new development, but it’s still a bit of an issue. There is, of course, plenty of depth in the attack — but Plata has been heralded as one of Real Salt Lake’s most important...
Walking the Red Mar 7, 2017
Eriq Zavaleta a key part of Toronto FC’s clean sheet on Saturday

Eriq Zavaleta a key part of Toronto FC’s clean sheet on Saturday

No. 15 might have taken a step ahead of Nick Hagglund in the defensive pecking order. I won’t dive too deep into this because I have a feeling it’s going to become an ongoing talking point, but a rewatch of Saturday’s Toronto FC match at Real Salt Lake illustrated Eriq Zavaleta’s contribution towards the Reds’ clean sheet. In the first half in particular, Zavaleta did pretty much everything right in containing Joao Plata. He stepped out of the back line to make challenges at the right time: He’s also deceptively quick, especially over the first 10 yards or so, and had few...
Walking the Red Mar 4, 2017
Real Salt Lake 0-0 Toronto FC: Giovinco misses penalty as Reds draw opener

Real Salt Lake 0-0 Toronto FC: Giovinco misses penalty as Reds draw opener

Nick Rimando’s save from the Italian in the first half proved decisive in a goalless draw. For the first time in their MLS history, Toronto FC have opened the season with a draw. Nick Rimando saved a 0-0 tie for Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium by saving Sebastian Giovinco’s first-half penalty, which was low and well-struck but too close to the experienced goalkeeper. Chances were few and far between for the hosts, but Joao Plata had a golden opportunity to win it in the 78th minute only to lift a shot over the crossbar after being played through by Kyle Beckerman. Rimando, who...
RSL Soapbox Feb 28, 2017
Giants in the Land: Top 5 DP’s in MLS history

Giants in the Land: Top 5 DP’s in MLS history

Joao Plata’s contract extension has us thinking: Who are the best DPs this league has seen? Explained wonderfully here by our own Weston Jenson, the Designated Player rule is unlike anything else in professional sports. Due to salary cap constraints, getting designated players right is the biggest ticket to success in Major League Soccer while getting it wrong can set a club back for years. Whatever strategy is employed in the search for DP greatness, the end goal is to win games, which is why this list of the best puts a heavy emphasis on players that won trophies as well as why the...

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