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Formation, width, opportunity: RSL's positional keys against Sporting KC


In goal: Jeff Attinella, our latest save-of-the-week winner. That was a good save, wasn't it? At any rate, for his league debut after coming on mid-match to make saves of that sort speaks kindly to his goalkeeping abilities, and perhaps we shouldn't be so worried about his shot-stopping ability. He is a bit more untested in set piece defense and distribution, and for me, those are bigger question marks.

In defense: Aaron Maund should be given a crack at the position, and all indications from Jason Kreis and company are that he'll be given just that opportunity. Brandon McDonald's entrance to the club, as such, will hopefully have to wait, as the conditions that would lead to him coming into the match - he's sure to be on the bench - would either be that Maund is terrible, or that Maund is injured. Neither of those is a great option. Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, and Lovel Palmer should surround him.

In midfield: The formation will be key here. Will Kreis prefer a three or five-man midfield to his usual four? Luis Gil could be key. Since returning from the U-20 World Cup for a home game against Philadelphia, Gil has found a goal and an assist, looking altogether an effective piece of the puzzle. He could use more involvement in the midfield still, but his ability to get involved in big, big plays is often unheralded.

Up front: Again, this is about formation, but Robbie Findley will almost certainly be involved from the outset. Having played the lone striker role against Dallas for the majority of the match, he showed an ability to win headers in the midfield, which was perhaps a little surprising. He is clearly no Alvaro Saborio, but he didn't need to be: Indeed, it was when he went into wide positions and stretched play in the middle that we looked most effective. That'll be essential against a very good Sporting KC midfield.