RSL will face off against FC Dallas on Saturday August 18th at 7:00 PM. Due to recent international duty, injuries and match congestion, Real Salt Lake’s coaching staff will face some difficult decisions concerning the starting 11 lineup they will field against FC Dallas on Saturday.
Real Salt Lake faces a schedule with 3 matches in the 7 days. Besides the match against Dallas, RSL will also face FC Tauro of Panama on Tuesday August 21st at 8:00 PM at the RioT. They then will fly to Philadelphia to face the Union on Friday the 24th at 5:30 PM.
RSL will be without usual starters Jamison Olave (hamstring injury) and Javier Morales (adductor injury) due to injuries. While Olave’s usual fill in, Center Back Chris Schuler, returned to practice this week after several months off due to a fractured bone in his foot, he is unlikely to be at full match fitness and see significant minutes for several weeks.
A quartet of RSL players were called up for international FIFA friendly matches by their respective countries for fixtures that took place on Wednesday August 15th.
The US Mans National Team called up RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman and Net Minder Nick Rimando.
Kyle started for Coach Jurgen Klinsmann and played a full 90 minutes in the USMNT historic first ever victory against Mexico in Mexico at the infamous Estadio Azteca. An event 75 years n the making! Beckerman would play a very instrumental role in the historic match through out the entire contest, but his adept and pinpoint precision passing to spring free FC Dallas’ Midfielder Brek Shea down the left flank would lead to the game winning goal in the final minutes of the match.
Goal Keeper Nick Rimando did not feature in the match due to an absolutely dominant performance by Everton’s Keeper, Tim Howard (to whom the USMNT owe much of the historic victory).
RSL Midfielder, Will Johnson, also played a full 90 minutes for Canada in Florida on Wednesday against Trinidad and Tobago. Johnson ended up notching a PK late in the match to ensure Canada’s 2 – 0 victory over T&T.
Alvaro Saborio, Real Salt Lake’s star forward, also featured for his homeland, Costa Rica, on Wednesday night in Costa Rica against Peru. Sabo also recorded a full 90 minutes, however his side fail 0 – 1 to the visiting Peruvians.
Given that these three usual starters all saw a full 90 minutes of match time after extensive travel, and given that each are returning with just a day to prepare for the FC Dallas match it is unlikely that any of them will feature in the starting 11 for RSL on Saturday.
RSL Coach Jason Kreis has already mentioned this week that it is unlikely that he will start these three due to their extensive international minutes and travel this week.
Despite his travel to and from Mexico, Nick Rimando is likely to start in between the posts for RSL as he did not see any match action.
Complicating the lineup situation even further is the element that it would appear that Dallas is finally beginning to find their form late in this MLS season. Dallas comes to SLC brimming with confidence, being the first team this season to topple Vancouver at home on Wednesday night.
FC Dallas Forward, David Ferreira, is on the mend after missing over a year due to injury he picked up early in the 2011 MLS season.
This however will be Dallas’s third match in a week with Travel to and from Canada in between, which is all likely to play some role in fatigue on the Texas side.
All of these factors seem to be creating the perfect storm in RSL’s contra for the upcoming week.
Given these circumstances I think we will see the below lineup feature against FC Dallas for kick off on Saturday.
GK Nick Rimando, DF Tony Beltran, DF Kwame Watson-Siriboe, DF Nat Borchers, DF Kenny Mansally, MF Yordany Alvarez, MF Sebastian Velasquez, MF Ned Grabavoy, MF Luis Gil, FW Justin Braun and FW Paulo (Araujo) Jr.
However the starting lineup plays out it will be quite different from what we are used to seeing for RSL. It is likely to take some time for this make shift lineup to find their mojo on the field together. If they can keep FC Dallas at bay while they work out the kinks I believe that they can prevail.
I don’t think it will be the prettiest of football games but I predict a 1 – 0 win for RSL who is in bad need of a win and three points to remain towards the top of the table.
Be sure to make it to the RioT or support the Claret and Cobalt by viewing the match on ABC 4. Remember be early, be loud, be proud, believe!
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