Despite Recent Results Real Salt Lake Remains Calm, For Now
Apr 6, 2023, 4:21 PM
SALT LAKE CITY – Despite recent poor results Real Salt Lake remains in a state of tranquility, according to manager Pablo Mastroeni.
That start to the 2023 MLS Season for Real Salt Lake has been far from ideal. The club, which is coming off yet another postseason appearance in 2022, has only managed to pick up three points throughout its opening five games. Furthermore, the club has endured consecutive 4-0 losses, a feat rarely experienced by those wearing and representing the Real Salt Lake brand.
Real Salt Lake Remains Poised
My conversation with Pablo Mastroeni today. A lot of talking points from this conversation, I hope all #RSL junkies enjoy.
— Tom Hackett (@TomCantHackett) April 6, 2023
Despite recent struggles, manager Pablo Mastroeni confirmed on Thursday that the playing group remains eager to amend the slow start.
While the fanbase voices concern over the playing style, shape, and lack of identity, Mastroeni refuses to give in to the narrative.
His focus remains solely on the psychology of his players.
“The human,” Mastroeni promptly said when asked what his focus has been on as it relates to the recent playing struggles of his team. “Unless the human is functioning at a high level, nothing else matters. It is like somebody that is in a really bad place in life and you are talking about his or her job, you’re like, I just want to feel good,” he added.
Yes, Real Salt Lake is struggling in all four basic principles of soccer. They are struggling in possession, struggling without the football, and struggling in both offensive and defensive transition.
Mastroeni admitted that he and his players work on all four principles throughout the week in training, but his biggest focus remains on the person under the Real Salt Lake jumper.
He is doing everything he can to instill as much confidence as he can into a dying locker room. He, like everyone at the club, is frustrated with how the season has started. But he, like everyone at the club, also understands that the season has only just begun and that time is on their side.
A Different Week Than Most For Real Salt Lake
Fortunately, Real Salt Lake hosts another struggling side this weekend at America First Field. Charlotte FC currently sits just one place above the bottom of the Eastern Conference on five points having managed one win, two draws, and three losses throughout its opening six games of the season.
The upcoming fixture presents a wonderful opportunity for Real Salt Lake to pick up its first points since the season opener on February 25th. In order for Real Salt Lake to pick up all three points, they must find a way to score goals. The club is goalless over its previous two fixtures and has only managed to score three goals thus far.
As the playing group grows in health, Mastroeni is likely to change the shape of the side ahead of the fixture against Charlotte. A healthy Marcelo Silva could sway Mastroeni into playing three across the back with Brayan Vera, Silva, and Justen Glad.
A change in shape could potentially trigger a change in attitude and confidence. That is the hope, at least, for Mastroeni and the playing group.
Real Salt Lake and Charlotte FC kicks off from America First Field at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 8.
The game will be broadcast via Apple TV and can be heard via The KSL Sports Zone on 97.5 FM and 1280 AM.