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Match Preview and Thread: Facing Toronto FC, RSL still looking for first win in Canada


Real Salt Lake heads to Toronto FC having never won in Canada — something that is certainly a little distressing, but not very much, as it really shouldn't be an issue. Toronto FC offers us a golden opportunity today.

We come into the match with our final opportunity to hand minutes to Kyle Beckerman, Tony Beltran and Nick Rimando before they hop off to the Gold Cup, and certainly those three will want that Canada win as badly as anyone on the team.

Lineup and thoughts

Rimando; Palmer, Borchers, Maund, Beltran; Beckerman, Alvarez, Morales; Plata, Sandoval, Garcia

Substitutes: Saunders, Salcedo, Mansally, Grabavoy, Stephenson, Velasquez

This is the first time in about a year that we've seen a tactical setup that departed from the 4-4-2; it's also the first time in some time that we've played three forwards. We did see something like this at the end of Wednesday's US Open Cup — Olmes Garcia was ostensibly a wing forward bursting from the right flank and getting back well.

This approach harnesses the speed of Plata and Garcia, as well as their work rates, and gives us a look at a different setup that might take best advantage of our deep forward line. It also lessens the necessary workload placed on Devon Sandoval, who will certainly work as one would expect but is no Saborio (who is?) in hold-up play.

It'll be particularly interesting to go back over this one and see how everybody fares — and whether this will be the one time a year Jason Kreis steps away from the diamond, or if this is him taking a look at another approach.