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State of the Squad: After four matches, depth shows through


After four matches, we can finally start to evaluate how exactly our depth is faring thus far; given we just played a match in which we were missing approximately 1,374 players, it's been made even more relevant and/or possible.

Goalkeeper: Rimando, Saunders, Attinella, Fernandez. Nick Rimando is tried and true and will be our first-choice goalkeeper for the foreseeable future. Josh Saunders showed quite well but made a pretty crucial error on Saturday, but he's owned up to it and showed some real stability. We've yet to see much from the other two yet.

Central defense: Borchers, Schuler, Watson-Siriboe, Salcedo, Maund. Having Nat Borchers back in the side was incredible; his stabilizing influence and calming head are of a real tangible benefit to our back four (or five, if you count the goalkeeper.) Chris Schuler has continued his progress and looked strong on Saturday, Watson-Siriboe has looked a fantastic third-choice, and the remaining two — Carlos Salcedo and Aaron Maund — haven't made the pitch.

Full backs: Beltran, Wingert, Mansally, Palmer, Balchan. Tony Beltran's been his reliable self this season, and his call-up to the national team is no coincidence. Chris Wingert is still working his way back from an offseason injury, so we've yet to see him. Kenny Mansally has been a bit of a mixed bag, but overall a fantastic backup to have, while Lovel Palmer has been reliable if unspectacular. Rich Balchan is injured and has yet to see the pitch.

Defensive midfield: Beckerman, Alvarez, Martinez. Kyle Beckerman's been the immense captain he has been for so long, leading the team on the pitch. Even through the losses, Real Salt Lake has looked always capable of a strong, proactive response — that is, in part, down to his influence. Yordany Alvarez, despite his red card, has looked strong (if a bit of a firecracker,) while Enzo Martinez still hasn't seen the pitch.

Central midfield (sides of the diamond): Grabavoy, Velasquez, Stephenson, Grossman, Stertzer. Ned Grabavoy has looked fantastic since returning to the squad, showing exactly how valuable he is to Real Salt Lake. Sebastian Velasquez has shown himself to be a valuable attacking player in the diamond, but he's also shown a fantastic work rate, and that's sure to help him earn more minutes as the season trudges forward. Khari Stephenson has looked reliable if a little unspectacular, though his long shooting may come in handy. Cole Grossman showed well enough on Saturday but didn't present anything to separate himself from the crowd. John Stertzer has been trusted as a late substitute twice now, and that speaks volumes about his development and apparent potential.

Attacking midfield: Morales, Gil, Viana. Javier Morales has been out for the start of the season but should be working his way back to fitness — perhaps we'll see a bit of him this weekend? It's hard to say at this point. Luis Gil has looked alright but still lacks that vital demand for the ball in the position; if he's to succeed as a central attacker, he needs to assert himself on the game more. David Viana has been injured, and there's not much to say about him as yet anyhow.

Forwards: Saborio, Findley, Plata, Sandoval, Garcia. What is there to say about Alvaro Saborio that hasn't already been said? He's as tactically important to our approach as, say, Kyle Beckerman or Javier Morales. Robbie Findley hasn't yet hit full speed during his second stint at Real Salt Lake, though he's looked better every week. Joao Plata has been a real surprise, though his lack of 90-minute-fitness may be his downfall. Devon Sandoval has asserted himself on the side and, though he hasn't scored or assisted for a goal, he's not been entirely far off from that, and he hasn't looked at all like a rookie. Olmes Garcia saw his first cameo appearance and nearly scored immediately, but when service up high dropped off, he disappeared — naturally.