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Breaking down RSL's starting and bench options for Saturday's match

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

We've talked a lot about the players that won't be playing on Saturday against San Jose Earthquakes, and while that list has changed by a single player (the magnanimous Carlos Salcedo returns), it's all rather done and dusted.

Instead, let's turn our attention toward players that could play Saturday, and while some positions will be sussed out without too much trouble (you're available, you play), our forward corps provides a little bit of competition. Let's discuss it.


Remaining at the club this weekend: Olmes Garcia, Robbie Findley, Sebastian Jaime, Devon Sandoval.

Best starting pair: Sebastian Jaime, Robbie Findley. It might be a controversial suggestion, but Robbie Findley has been performing well for a few weeks, and Sebastian Jaime has looked more and more integrated into the team, with the Chivas USA game being a notable exception — but one that applies for every player, not just Jaime.

Bench options: Olmes Garcia could get a shout in the match, but with his injury concerns recently, it seems hard to just slot him into a starting role. Should he make the bench,  Devon Sandoval is back from loan again, and maybe that leaves him with an opportunity to see minutes with RSL again — he's done well for his loan club, Carolina Railhawks, and it would be nice to see him do well for Real Salt Lake, both now and moving forward.


Remaining at the club this weekend (and not injured or suspended): Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland, Ned Grabavoy, Sebastian Velasquez, Cole Grossman.

Best starting four: The four we have available, less Cole Grossman. Which isn't to say he's bad, but Kyle Beckerman's better. Shocking.

Bench options: Cole Grossman. A defender or a forward playing out of position.

Editor's note: As the editor and the author of this article, I should inform that a past version of this story regrettably missed Cole Grossman in the list. The author has been chastised by himself.


Remaining at the club this weekend (and with intact faces): Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Carlos Salcedo, Chris Wingert, Abdoulie Mansally, Rich Balchan, Aaron Maund

Best starting four: Beltran, Borchers, Salcedo, Wingert. It's as close to business-as-usual as we can get. We might ask how well Borchers and Salcedo have played together, but let's just hope it's excellent this time, no matter how it was before.

Bench options: Aaron Maund in the middle, Abdoulie Mansally and Rich Balchan on the flanks. It's an error-susceptible bench, but you never really want to be forced to go to your bench for defenders. Like, ever.


Remaining at the club this weekend: Jeff Attinella, Lalo Fernandez.

Best starting one: Jeff Attinella.

Bench option: Lalo Fernandez. That'll do. I hope we don't see Lalo this game, but I'm confident he wouldn't do too badly if we did have to see him.


Typical formation: 4-4-2 with a narrow diamond in the midfield.

Formation options remaining: 4-3-3 with wide strikers, 4-3-3 with narrow strikers, 5-3-2/3-5-2 with wing backs, some other numbers in a sequence.