REAL SALT LAKE (5-6-1) VS. ATLANTA UNITED FC (6-5-3)
9 p.m. ET; Twitter, DAZN
Atlanta United will try to forget their most recent wasted opportunity when they visit a Real Salt Lake team that tries to play a similar possession-oriented style, albeit without the same star-studded lineup.
Atlanta (6-4-2, 20 points) were beaten 1-0 by the 10-man New York Red Bulls last Sunday at Red Bull Arena, seeing a five-match winning streak and shutout streak come to an end despite playing more than half of the match with a man advantage.
But the match also came at the end of a three-game, seven-day stretch that included two cross-continental flights. So goalkeeper Brad Guzan isn’t too concerned as his team prepares for another trip, this time on more regular rest.
“Listen, when you have the run that we did, at some point it’s going to come to an end. That’s happened today; not the end of the world,” he said. “The travel, it takes a lot out of you mentally. But you rest up and make sure that when we step on the field come Friday night, we are 100 percent at our best.”
Meanwhile, Real Salt Lake (5-6-1, 16 points) have won two in a row and four out of their last six to climb to seventh place in the Western Conference, just above the playoff line.
The Claret and Cobalt had six different goal scorers in their two most recent wins, scoring three times against Colorado and Toronto. One was Slovakian international Albert Rusnak, who now leads Salt Lake with five goals total in his 11 games.
Neither of those opponents like to keep quite as much of the possession as Atlanta. But while that might lead to a game with less chances, it’s not necessarily a reason for concern, says RSL defender Justen Glad.
“There were spurts last game where we were very good on the ball and we got out of some tight situations off of player movement and taking some quality touches,” Glad said. “And if we can do that again, we’ll be in good shape.”
–Field Level Media