Sandy • Real Salt Lake center back Marcelo Silva was out of the lineup again Saturday with a hamstring injury, so coach Mike Petke stuck with the solution he found in Wednesday’s win.
David Horst took Silva’s place, and Danilo Acosta started at left back in RSL’s match with Colorado at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday. Justen Glad and Tony Beltran took their usual places at center back and right back, respectively.
The same back line shut out San Jose in RSL’s 4-0 victory Wednesday.
“David is an experienced guy, he reads the game well,” Petke said after Wednesday’s match. “I thought he did a great job tonight. He has been working hard, so he is next in the pecking order right now, so he jumps in. Danny, he jumps in because we needed pace, we needed fresh legs.
“[Left back] Chris Wingert has done everything we have asked him over the last handful of games, and it was a time right now that we knew they were going to attack us down the wing. We needed those fresh legs and that youthfulness out of Danny, and I thought Danny did really well tonight.”
Chris Schuler would be another option at center back — also balancing out Glad’s technical abilities with a physical presence — but has been working back from a hurt calf and is not completely healthy.
RSL’s adjustment to playing without Silva didn’t go smoothly at first.Horst subbed on for Silva in the sixth minute in Real Salt Lake’s 3-1 loss at Montreal last week when he injured his hamstring.
RSL’s back line had wavered under a strong Montreal attack even in the first six minutes, but with Silva out the Impact scored three goals before the match reached the 50th minute.
“You never want to see someone go down,” right back Tony Beltran said, “and that early makes it tough, especially on the guy coming in. But I thought Dave handled himself well in that game, and in particular in the last game he played very well. And he’s been training at a high level all year, and really we have great depth at center back, so some good options while Marcelo’s out.”
Wingert started at left back in the Montreal game, but on Wenesday Petke went with Acosta instead.
Wingert brought experience to the table at the beginning of the month with Demar Philips (hamstring) out, and RSL kept back-to-back clean sheets against Houston and D.C. with Wingert and Silva on the pitch.
Acosta’s speed, however, balanced out the back line better Wednesday with Horst at center back.
On Saturday, RSL also had to adjust in the midfield with Kyle Beckerman suspended for the match due to yellow card accumulation. Luke Mulholland and Sunday Stephen started as the team’s two defensive midfielders.