Well we are 1 hour to kick off, the lineup sheets have been turned in down in San Juan, Costa Rica. Here who will be on the pitch at the first whistle:
Saprissa: Bolivar, Cordero, Centeno, Wong, Phillip, Arrieta, Guzman, Alonso, Martinez, Duarte and Cordero.
Bench: Ale. Sequiera, Solis, Aleman, Gonzalez, Badilla, Phillips, Loaiza
Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell, Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Chirs Wingert; Kyle Beckerman, Andy Williams, Will Johnson, Javier Morales; Alvaro Saborio, Fabian Espindola
Bench: Kyle Reynish, Chris Schuler, Tony Beltran, Jean Alexandre, Arturo Alvarez, Ned Grabavoy, Paulo Jr
So it is the exact lineup I expect, the extra creative and possession flair in the midfield with Andy Williams and on the back line you get Robbie Russell who brings a big more size and physicality. Of course you know that Saprissa has to attack, and with two defenders missing due to yellow card suspension, their hand is forced even a bit more. The question that will be answered in the first 15 minutes is can RSL withstand the emotional start of the home team, and perhaps find a chance to counter attack and get an early goal?
RSL has found the back of the net quickly this year, 21st minute in the 2nd leg of the Crew quarterfinal match, the 9th minute in the first leg against Saprissa, and then the 2nd minute in the match against the LA Galaxy. Should they do so tonight it would put an incredible amount of pressure on the home team (who would need 4 goals to win). I expect that Jason Kreis will have the team prepared to try to control the ball early in the match but you know he would love that early goal.
OK, after looking at all the other feeds out there, I am going to head to the pub for a drink and let you folks enjoy the match on your own. A live chat is available at MLS Soccer , and there will be several live twitter updates from various sources. I am out of here.
OFF MY SOAPBOX