Tom’s Takes: RSL look shaky against the former champs

Real Salt Lake flew out to Toronto with the hopes of getting their second victory in BMO Field. Unfortunately, that plan did not go as expected, with RSL losing 3-1 and never really looking like they were going to win.

Here are my key takes from the matchup:

There was only one spark.

Corey Baird. He entered the contest in the 70th minute replacing Joao Plata on the left wing, and was sensational! He offered an immediate impact with his effort and was rewarded with RSL’s only goal of the match. I thought he was fantastic, he ran back to help out in defense and made devilish runs in and behind the back four of Toronto. Baird may well have played himself into some serious minutes, if not starting.

Time to push the panic button?

Not quite yet. However, the boys need to pick up the effort and movement out there. Too many times when RSL are attacking are players stagnant and not offering any runs, this needs to change and it is on Mike Petke to make that happen. What is our identity? I have asked this question a number of times over the last year and while I thought RSL found it towards the end of last season, they have seemed to have lost it again. Just about every attacking play goes down the flanks, and that is okay every now and again but either Luis Silva or Alfredo Ortuno needs to solidify themselves as the number 9 and give the midfielders an option down the guts.

What’s next?

Real Salt Lake will host the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night at 7:30 pm. The Whitecaps are currently sitting in 2nd place in the Western Conference, only behind Sporting KC on goal difference. The Whitecaps have 3 wins and a draw to their name and look to continue their strong start to the season over a struggling Real Salt Lake squad.

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