Real Salt Lake will face off against DC United at home on Saturday September 1 at 7:00PM. This will be the first and only meeting of the two sides during the regular season. As both teams fight to put an end to their respective slides and jostle for playoff seeding there is little doubt that both sides will be out for a full three points in this match. Given that factor the match promises to be a turbo charged, energy filled, high-octane-attacking affair.
A high-octane attack has been much a part of the DC United success this year as compared to the past several years in which they have struggled. The DC Attack is lead by the likes of forwards, midfielders and full backs such as Dwayne De Rosario, Lionard Pajoy, Chris Pontius, Nick Delon, Maicon Santos, and Andy Najar.
The synergy that DeRo and Pontius have formed this season is one of the most impressive and lethal attacking duos in the league and is likely to test our back line frequently.
In September of 2011 Mr. De Rosario rained on our parade, recording a hat trick in just 9 minutes, the fastest hat trick in MLS history, to lead United to a win of 4 – 1 over Real Salt Lake. DeRo scored his 100th MLS career goal on Wednesday night.
DC forward Maicon Santos, another dangerous threat around the goal, has been out due to a toe injury but is listed as probable by the club for tomorrow’s match. If Santos sees match action it will likely be as a substitute as this will be his first match back from injury.
Forward Lionard Pajoy was acquired by DC United from the Philadelphia Union earlier this month. With only a few weeks of experience with DC under his belt, I don’t personally consider he will be a huge factor in the match if he starts or plays as a substitute.
United’s Andy Najar recently returned to the club after playing with the Honduran national team in the London 2012 Olympics. Honduras performed much better than expected in the Olympics, even overcoming the favored Spain 1 – 0. Najar is a speedy and ever-present danger.
United’s attack has been quite successful this year; registering 43 goals on the season and currently in forth place in the league for goals scored. Real Salt Lake sits at 37 goals scored in this MLS campaign (8th place in the MLS).
RSL has not been the same lethal attacking team since the Javier Morales injury in early 2011. However, the Claret-and-Cobalt are finding ways to get the job done. I assert that to emerge victorious form this match, ReAL will need to find some incarnation of their former attacking selves. Being at home with a squad who is hungry for goals, points and better form, I think we will see just that happen.
Bill Hamid, United net minder, is also a player to watch. Over the last year, Hamid has earned the number 2 spot behind Everton’s Tim Howard on the US Man’s National Team roster under Jurgen Klinsmann. Having edged out our own Nick Rimando for the spot several times. Hamid is a young, talented, quick keeper that will not give up easy goals to our attacking core.
Another point of special interest for this match will be the first return of our former right back, Robbie Russell to Rio Tinto. Robbie was traded to DC United in the offseason at Robbie’s request as his wife lives and works in DC. Robbie has always been a class act and a solid defender. I look forward to his role in the match and how his return to face his former club will play out. Undoubtedly, Robbie will be well received as he is considered a friend by players and fans alike at RSL.
Possibly returning to match action for RSL this week, either as starters or substitutes, could be center backs Jamison Olave and Chris Schuler. However, I doubt we will see both return from injury in the same match.
The starting 11 for this weeks match could be very difficult to predict but I am going with the following:
GK Nick Rimando, DF Tony Beltran, DF Kwame Watson-Siriboe, DF Nat Borchers, DF Chris Wingert, MF Kyle Beckerman, MF Ned Grabavoy, MF, Will Johnson, MF Javier Morales, FW Alvaro Saborio, FW Fabian Espindola.
I like RSL for finding their form again in this match and believe they will win on Saturday 1 – 0.
See you all at the RioT tomorrow night! Give your 100% as a supporter tomorrow night as our boys are in need of a good home win to get back on track. Be early, be loud, be proud, believe.
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REAL SALT LAKE — OUT: GK Lalo Fernandez (R wrist fracture); DF Kenny
Mansally (L knee MCL sprain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Jamison Olave (L hamstring
strain); PROBABLE: FW Fabian Espindola (R groin tightness); DF
Chris Schuler (L foot bone bruise) … D.C. UNITED – OUT: MF Lance
Rozeboom (L knee ACL tear); DF Daniel Woolard (concussion-like symptoms);
PROBABLE: FW Maicon Santos (R toe soreness); DF Robbie Russell
(L plantar fasciitis)