RSL Soapbox season preview, part three
In this, the third and final part of our RSL Soapbox season preview, we talk about what success looks like for Real Salt Lake in 2014 — and what risks we face.
The absence of Chris Schuler may be the most acutely felt, but there remains a possibility he could make the bench despite being doubtful with an ankle injury. If Schuler does make the bench, it's hard to imagine he'd play unless something terribly unfortunate happened with one of the center backs.
Carlos Salcedo is a lock to start in his stead, and he'll want to build on some of his stronger performances from last season. He will, however, want to forget about a particularly dreadful match against LA Galaxy, in which Robbie Keane made our back line as a whole look rather silly.
According to the most recent injury report, Velasquez is doubtful with a hamstring injury of some sort. He's not likely to be risked, but there's a certain desire as a supporter to see Velasquez play against the side he got his first MLS start against.
While he's not the biggest loss, he does offer a good impact off the bench that will likely be missed. Should he not make the bench, one of Jordan Allen or Luke Mulholland would seem the most likely off-the-bench options, although that largely depends on the shape of the game. Cole Grossman or John Stertzer might be more defensively oriented options in a more protective scenario.
The absences of Findley and Sandoval will lead to one of Olmes Garcia or Joao Plata to start alongside Alvaro Saborio. Saborio himself is in some goalscoring form already, having scored a magnificent goal for Costa Rica this week.