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Tom’s Takes: Real Salt Lake struggle on the road, again.

Real Salt Lake entered the matchup with Vancouver with high hopes of getting their first victory on the road this season. Unfortunately, that was not the case as RSL fell to Vancouver 2-0 in a really disappointing display. The first half was as good a football as RSL have played on the road this season, dominating 69% possession but failing to put any scoreboard pressure on the home team. The second half, however, told a different story with Vancouver scoring two goals and ending Real Salt Lake’s hopes of notching their first win on the road this season.

Something needs to give:

Vancouver was without a number of starters including Kei Kamara yet dominated RSL in the second half. I was discouraged by the effort from Real Salt Lake in the second half with a number of players seemingly giving up the longer the match went on. Mental toughness is something I clearly think Mike Petke needs to work on with his players as they are yet to show much of it this season. Winning or even getting a point on the road in this league is incredibly difficult (as RSL are finding out), I wonder how long this goes on before drastic changes are made.

Has anyone seen a striker?

Real Salt Lake thought they found their #9 this offseason with the signing of Alfredo Ortuno, with many expecting Ortuno to beat out Luis Silva for the position. Sadly the #9 position for RSL this season has been deplorable. Corey Baird received the start at #9 against the Whitecaps and had an impressive first half, however, made way for Ricky Lopez-Espin to get his first taste of MLS in the 68th minute. Lopez-Espin came on and had no impact what so ever. Back to the drawing board for Mike Petke. FWIW: Ortuno did not make the trip due to groin tightness and Luis Silva suffered an ankle injury the week prior.

Next up for RSL is another away trip…

Orlando City is up next on Sunday May 6th. Orlando this season are currently sitting in 3rd spot in the Eastern Conference and playing a pretty brand of football. They are undefeated at home with wins coming against the Red Bulls, Portland and San Jose thus far this season. Real Salt Lake will have there work cut out for them as they hope to get their first victory on the road this season. Fortunately, a full eight days of rest will have the lads prepared for the tall task that awaits.

Follow me on Twitter @TomCantHackett for all the latest RSL updates


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