It's a match made in heaven. Or maybe hell, or maybe it's a mixture of the two. Regardless, Real Salt Lake takes on Chivas USA for a third time this season on Wednesday, and for a third time this season, they'll be trying to avoid a loss against their expansion-siblings.
It's some fate, isn't it? To be facing arguably the worst team in MLS over the last five years repeatedly, and to struggle against them so badly in 2014, and now to need to win in order to avoid a playoff play-in game? Well, you couldn't write a script like this. Or you could, and everyone would think it was kind of dreary and depressing and it would probably bomb at the box office.
We've got to play this match no matter how we feel, though, so let's at least have a few things to watch.
Motivation and concentration
I kid, I kid. Kind of. It's still a concern, but compared to last time we faced them, it's less of one. Maybe a better title for this question would be...
Have we learned our lesson yet?
We all hope the answer to this one is a resounding 'yes.' Will it be, though? It really depends on what said lesson actually is, though. And it's been a little bit since we were taught it. Was it about overconfidence? Underestimation of the opponent? Poor motivation? A lack of concentration?
The hope is that we've learned all of those lessons over the course of the season, and now is an excellent time to show that. Also, the playoffs are, too. So let's get in there and do it well.
Third or fourth?
The question of the day. We can find out what position we'll be in for a few days, but that's about it. With a win, we could jump back to third, but if FC Dallas continues apace, they'll zoom back ahead of us at the weekend. So that's not really something to watch in-depth, but we should at least keep an eye on it. Ending in third means a longer break; ending in fourth means we play in a week. It's actually alright either way, save for the fact that we'd play an extra game and have a short break afterward — but given we'll have a week or so, it's not awful.
How will we say goodbye?
This is the last time we'll see Chivas USA. They have one more match after this, but it's not against us. (Thankfully.) Let's give them something to remember us by that's not a weakly contested match, yeah?