Home > Match Preview > Match Preview: Union vs Real Salt Lake

Match Preview: Union vs Real Salt Lake

Saturday, 4pm, PPL Park, Chester, PA, ABC, 123, more commas,,,,,

Union are 2-0-1 in their last 3 matches, and RSL lost on Wednesday at Columbus.  I would like to say that these trends mean an easy Union win, but that would be short-sighted.  Salt Lake is another team with a great defense, much like Union, as they’ve given up only 6 goals in their 11 league matches.  Union are pourous by comparison, conceding 10 goals in their 12 league matches.  In other words, don’t expect a 6-goal outburst like what we saw in Toronto.

The positives for Union are that they’ve looked better offensively since Carlos Ruiz has not been on the field.  This spans that 3-match streak I mentioned above, and it’s far from coincidence.  Sure, Toronto FC is a sub-standard soccer club, and Union made them seem exactly that (aside from those moments of lunacy that led to 2 goals being scored against them, but I’ve tried to erase them from my memory…).  The real point is that the team has looked better in all phases of attacking soccer with no Fat Chooch in the lineup.  Something else to look forward to is Jack McInerney featuring alongside of Danny Mwanga (At least I hope).  Jack Mac looked in great form considering his lack of first-team playing time.  He almost finished a chance, and created a great chance for the stone-footed Sebastien Le Toux (I cried typing that phrase, but I’m slowly coming to grips with the fact that Seba is not Superman).  Union will need the offense to be effective if they plan on not being RSL’s 8th clean sheet.

I mentioned a couple of them before, but now for the negatives.  Sebastien Le Toux HAS TO, and I can’t emphasize that enough, HAS TO do better with his first touch so he doesn’t spoil great scoring chances.  The way he botched Jack Mac’s through ball was criminal, and it’s really starting to get on my nerves.  I understand that he had a great year last season, but his play this season is so disparitly awful that I’m thinking having him come off the bench may not be the worst idea.  Set piece defense has also become a black cloud over this Union side.  Their ability to stop similar plays during the run of play is what’s made them the Eastern Conference leaders.  Their inability to stop those same plays when their opponent initiates from a re-start has cost them points already.  It’s not a secret, so I have faith that the coaching staff is working with the team on straightening this deficiency out.

It seems as if their run in the CONCACAF Champions League has taken on toll on the SLC Punks (yes, I had to work in that reference).  More than half of their goals conceded have come since losing in that tournament’s final and they only have 1 win in their last 5 matches (1-2-2).  The hope for Union is that they’ve caught a normally very strong RSL side in a funk and can secure all 3 points while playing at home.  However, I see this match ending in a draw.  I’m pretty sure it’ll end 1-1, but would not be surprised to see our first completely scoreless match of the season.

Nick, the other .5 of Unholy Union

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  1. June 10, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    I thnk LeToux needs to sit in favor of a Farfan, or Daniel. Right now both have better touch and passing. The one thing we may miss is his work rate, no one one the team can harrass DM AND FB’s like him. He is like a bee buzzing i their ear. Look for either a Farfan or Torres to get a start this match.

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