Piecing together quality performances at home is of utmost importance for Real Salt Lake, which begins the MLS season with just three of its first nine matches in Salt Lake City.
After settling for a draw on the road in its season opener, Real Salt Lake looks to dent the win column for the first time when it hosts the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.
Real Salt Lake midfielder Albert Rusnak admitted to feeling comfortable with the team's familiarity on offense right from the start of last Saturday's season-opening 1-1 draw with Houston. That comfort led to his goal off a through-ball from 2018 MLS Rookie of the Year Corey Baird in the 40th minute against the Dynamo.
"There was nobody new starting in the lineup, so I felt like we all knew each other," the 24-year-old Rusnak told the Salt Lake Tribune.
The familiarity allowed Jefferson Savarino to join Baird in providing pressure on the wings while Rusnak attacked the middle and Damir Kreilach made his presence felt in the traditional forward spot for Real Salt Lake.
"We got a lot of flexibility there," Baird told the newspaper of the attacking four. "Even with the guys that came off the bench, there's lots of guys that can play in different positions. So it gives us a lot of different looks, and it makes it hard for teams to scout us."
Vancouver, which split last season's two meetings with Real Salt Lake, hits the road for the first of two road trips on Saturday.
Defenders Erik Godoy and Doneil Henry scored in their respective Whitecaps debuts, though the team fell 3-2 at home against Minnesota United FC last Saturday.
All told, nine players made their debuts for new-look Vancouver in that match.
"There's always learning lessons anytime you play, whether you win, lose or draw," midfielder Andy Rose told the media. "You can always take things from the game. Certainly as a new group of players, learning a new style of play (and) continuing to try to understand each other. Obviously, there's a lot we can watch from the film and know we can be better at."