Vancouver’s Yordy Reyna, left, and Real Salt Lake’s Tony Beltran vie for the ball during the first half of their match Saturday in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
Scoreboard-watching is a given at this point in the season, with five regular-season matches left for Real Salt Lake.
“All the results went our way over the weekend, fortunately,” right back Tony Beltran said.
RSL’s 3-2 loss at Vancouver on Saturday could have proved costly for the team’s standing in the Western Conference, but Real Salt Lake got help from the rest of the league to maintain its spot in eighth place, just two points out of the last playoff spot.
RSL (10-14-5, 35 points) would have jumped the line if it had seized three points in Vancouver. At 38 points, Real Salt Lake would have knocked FC Dallas out of the last playoff spot and slid between Vancouver and Houston into fifth place after tiebreakers. However, RSL has played 29 games, tied for most in the Western Conference. Dallas and Houston both have played 27, while Vancouver has played 26.
“We have two completely opposite variables that they bring,” Petke said. “One [Wingert] is experienced, can read the game real well, and the other one [Acosta] is young, more athletic, quicker and rising with his talent. So depending on who we’re playing, that’s one of the positions that we tinker around with a little bit.”
“Obviously with Sunny in there, it’s more defensive, but with Luke in there it’s more of an offensive thing,” Petke said. “And don’t get me wrong — Kyle and Sunny playing together as two defensive guys, one of them is always going to be offensive. But with Luke in there, you know he’s the one that’s going, and Kyle or Sunny is holding.”