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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting Real Salt Lake

FC Dallas looks to pull ahead in the Supporters’ Shield race.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Seattle Sounders FC Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas head to Salt Lake City after a 2-2 draw with SKC. Meanwhile RSL return home after a loss to Seattle.

Importance of Depth

As the season comes down this final stretch more games are going to come down to stamina. RSL have tailed out this month, with two losses and one win, sliding into 4th place in the West. They are still a good side, but their bench isn’t the deepest, and their recent form seems to indicate that. Dallas have a deep team, but tons of fixtures, which are keeping the team playing loads of games every month with little rest.

Potential Lineup

Emery Welshman, Aaron Maund, Jordan Allen and Sunday Stephen are unavailable this weekend due to injury.

GK: Nick Rimando; LB: Tony Beltran; CB: Justen Glad, Jamison Olave; RB: Demar Phillips; CM: Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Luke Mulholland; RW: Juan Manuel Martinez; LW: Joao Plata; FW: Olmes Garcia.

Key Matchup

Maxi Urruti vs Jamison Olave. Urruti is having an interesting season, doing pretty much everything right, but not scoring the easy goals. With Olave defending him, it is important Urruti keep the pressure up and support the team the way he has all season, but it is so important that he score easy chances. Olave needs to be wary. Urruti’s pressure has been known to cause massive mistakes.

Keys to Three Points

Smarter Defending.

Dallas have been good defensively, but a couple silly mistakes cost them last week. As good as that defense is, they are prone to a lapse in concentration, especially Harris and Zimmerman. Dallas need to stay switched on all night, RSL are a dangerous attacking side when given the opportunity.

Home Field Advantage.

RSL have not lost at home this year, but they are almost 50% draws. It will be tough, but there are definitely points up for grabs if Dallas can overcome the advantage RSL have being at home. For RSL it is crucial they stay solid defensively at home and not let Dallas in behind.

Time to Pull Away.

Dallas are just sitting ahead in the Shield race, but if they want to win the Shield they need to get points in difficult places. This is a stellar opportunity to pull 3 points off a challenger and move ahead in the standings. For RSL it is important they get 3 points and crawl farther up the western conference.


Dallas upset RSL at home and squeak out a win.

My Prediction: FC Dallas 2-1.