1 - A quick look at a results chart shows your side in varying form. What danger does Sporting Kansas City pose to Real Salt Lake and their form?
With only Matt Besler called up to the Gold Cup roster, Sporting maintains an attack that has provided them with five goals in two games. Now, those two games were against Chicago and Toronto but the performances were certainly encouraging. If Sporting can maintain the attack they've had alongside Real Salt Lake's injuries and players gone on international duty, I would say that Sporting can be a real threat on Saturday.
2 - Collectively, we make up two of the three sides to have a positive goal difference on the road this year. Real Salt Lake has a rash of injuries at the back. Does this prove encouraging, or are they plenty of reasons to be doubtful about Saturday?
This proves encouraging for Sporting for the reasons I mentioned above. Because of this I wonder if Peter Vermes will put out the same lineup he did against Toronto, which featured two attacking midfielders and one holding as opposed to two holding and one attacking. In a game such as this where Sporting can make up a lot of ground in the Supporter's Shield race, I can see Vermes going all attack to simply outscore RSL. The lineup imbalances, while unfortunate for RSL, swing Sporting's way this weekend.
3 - The big, obvious pieces for Sporting Kansas City aside - Zusi, Bieler, Kamara - who might Jason Kreis be wary of?
A relatively new name to the Sporting attack is Soony Saad. Sporting has been searching for the perfect winger combination all year and I think they have finally found it with Kei Kamara and Soony Saad on the flanks. Saad has provided good service that Sapong really couldn't while being a threat to score as shown by his brace last week. Saad is starting to come into his own in the starting lineup and should be someone for RSL to watch during the match.
A bonus question, should Zusi leave for the U.S. national team camp as rumored. Bonus - Is the absence of Graham Zusi damning? How have you folks coped this year?
I'll go ahead and answer this anyways because I was thinking of this scenario all day before the announcement came out. Where Sporting has a serviceable backup at center back in Ike Opara, Sporting doesn't have anyone who can really come close to matching the production that Zusi puts out. Benny Feilhaber has been inconsistent and has struggled with his fitness, although he is getting better. Since only Matt Besler is leaving, this allows Sporting to maintain their attack and play making ability from Graham Zusi, whereas if he left the production in the midfield would've been a crapshoot.
Lineup and prediction
Nielsen, Myers, Opara, Collin, Sinovic, Rosell, Feilhaber, Zusi, Kamara, Bieler, Saad/
Score: 2-1 Sporting KC. Goals from Kamara, Bieler and Morales.