As Real Salt Lake's hunt for match fitness continues, so too does the hunt for a win in the Desert Diamond Cup.
Being winless isn't particularly a big issue, if we're to be honest with ourselves, but it's a bit of a point of frustration all the same. We can expect a side that's not designed to necessarily win tonight: It's not about results — at least not primarily.
We've seen a younger side go 60 minutes and a veteran side go 75 minutes, and given the relative quickness of these matches, I'd suspect we'd see a younger side again.
Players who might see some time include but are questionable are strikers Robbie Findley and Olmes Garcia. Findley's featured briefly in preseason action, as he's still not yet fit; Garcia has only just arrived for preseason and has yet to officially sign a contract (but will be joining, as confirmed last week.)
The look of the midfield will also prove an interesting point of discussion: The player at the top of the diamond essentially dictates the shape and relative flatness of the system; David Viana will certainly extend it forward, while Ned Grabavoy would flatten it a bit more.
Could Sebastian Velasquez see time there, too? I suspect he's being groomed for the outside spots in the diamond not because he's not rated as a playmaker, but because he'll get more time on the outside.
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Feb. 20, 5 p.m. MT v. New England Revolution
streamed live on mlssoccer.com; embedded on rslsoapbox.com
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(Woefully poorly) predicted Lineup
Attinella; Palmer, Schuler, Watson-Siriboe, Balchan; Martinez, Grossman, Stertzer, Viana; Plata, Sandoval
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Players to watch
John Stertzer: He'll be looking to show what he's capable of. I'm also still not sure what sort of midfielder he is, so I'd love to see more of him out there.
David Viana: Can the young attacking midfielder continue to impress with bits and pieces of skill?
Olmes Garcia: Will he get on the pitch?
Enzo Martinez: The kid looked impressive last match. Will he show enough to earn significant minutes this season?
Sebastian Velasquez: Will he play at the top of the diamond during preseason?