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Real Salt Lake vs. New England Revolution - 3 questions plus with New England Soccer Today

Well the 3 questions format is so popular that I am able to bring you two editions of it for this match, this morning I posted the version I did with "The Bent Musket", and now I am able to give you another look inside the mind of a Rev's blogger via Sean Donahue of New England Soccer Today.  So here are the questions I put to Sean:

1) For the Revolution the biggest question I see coming into 2011, is where will the goals come from?  Last year only 3 guys had more than 3 goals, and none more than 6, in 2009 you only had 3 guys with more than 2 goals but at least you had two with 8, so without Twellman or Ralston, where do the goals come from?

A) Heading into the season it seemed just about everyone was wondering where the goals were going to come from. For me Ilija Stolica is a very capable striker when he gets service. Marko Perovic often looks excellent as a withdrawn forward creating chances for himself and others. Second-year striker Zack Schilawski has shown significant improvement this year and looks a stronger, more confident option up top than he did last year. The announcement today that the Revs have signed Danish striker Rajko Lekic should provide more needed competition up top as the Revs try to find that forward that can get 10+ goals a season.

While none of these guys are likely to replace Twellman's or Ralston's contributions alone, I believe the biggest issue is where is the service going to come from? That was the biggest issue last year as well. The wing play this year has proven inadequate as passing in the final third continues to be subpar. Sainey Nyassi has tons of pass, but his crossing with his right foot is inconsistent at best. With his left foot? Nonexistent. Putting Nyassi on the left makes him far too predictable as he won't even attempt a left footed cross. Zak Boggs works hard on the right, but his final service is lacking as well.

The onus of creating chances falls squarely on the shoulders of Shalrie Joseph and Perovic. Unfortunately Perovic has missed the past two games with a hamstring strain, but he may return on Saturday. While Joseph has been in fantastic form this season, teams are putting more pressure on him and sometimes double teaming the Revs captain as he advances further up the field to aid the attack. Simply put, he needs help if the Revs are to be successful going forward and he hasn't gotten it lately. Ousmane Dabo could be a difference maker, but he's yet to see the field. Until Perovic returns, the Revs are too one-dimensional in the attack, particularly in their 4-3-2-1 system with Schilawski often isolated up top.

the rest of our question and answer session after the jump:

2) With so many new faces on the Revolution roster again this year, which new faces will claim a spot in the first XI, and who do you see starting on Saturday?

A) Rookies A.J. Soares and Stephen McCarthy instantly commanded places in the starting XI and have looked solid so far. Soares has grown more and more confident as the season progresses and has, at times, looked like a veteran on the back line. Unfortunately he's suspended for Saturday's match. McCarthy plays pretty safely in the midfield, rarely attempting to make an attack happen by taking a risk. He's proved a huge threat with his 6'4" frame on set pieces.

Among the international newcomers, French left back Didier Domi has proven a great addition so far. The veteran is solid in defense and has looked a threat getting forward. Argentinean center back Franco Coria was fantastic for the Revs and the MVP of the defense until a hamstring strain sidelined him as well. Coria could return against Salt Lake. Ryan Cochrane has been a solid replacement in Coria's absence. As mentioned, Dabo and Lekic have yet to take the field, but both are expected to start when healthy.

One player to note is rookie Ryan Kinne. Kinne saw several starts in preseason and looked good in them. He has yet to see significant minutes since the season started. If Boggs and Nyassi continue to struggle, look for Kinne to see more time.

Based on the latest injury report, I'd expect to see this line-up: Bobby Shuttleworth - Kevin Alston, Franco Coria, Ryan Cochrane, Didier Domi - Stephen McCarthy, Pat Phelan, Shalrie Joseph - Zak Boggs, Marco Perovic - Zack Schilawski

3) A lot of talk the last few months about the Krafts actually building a SSS for the Revolution, what is the latest on that front?

Well I do believe the Revs are actively looking to build a SSS, I don't see it happening quickly. The Revs COO Brian Bilello has given ballpark figures that the team expects to spend something like $100 million for a stadium, but that the cost of one is likely to be around $150 million, if I recall those figures correctly. Frankly in the current economy, finding $50 million in state funding for a soccer stadium doesn't appear very likely.

4) If you could pick a player from the RSL roster to bring over to the Revolution, who would it be and why?

This may be the obvious choice, but I'd have to go with Javier Morales. The Revs desperately need more creativity in the midfield and Morales would make a world of difference for the club. If I'm the Revolution, it's a Morales type playmaker I'm desperately searching for, not another striker. I fully expect Morales to be in the running for league MVP this season. 

Some great answers from Sean, if you want to see what questions he asked me and how I answered, just click here