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Real Salt Lake faces Sporting KC in an inevitably foul-laden clash

George Frey

Real Salt Lake faces our old-time rivals, Sporting Kansas City-

Scratch that.

Real Salt Lake will try to reclaim a bit of pride from -

Scratch that, too.

Real Salt Lake faces Sporting Kansas City tonight. There's nothing at stake but standings in MLS in these early stages.

Sure, that. I don't remember anything happening in December that would a little bit of spark to this.

Watch the fouls

Sporting Kansas City are clearly a side whose matches involve a lot of fouls. It's interesting, though, because it's not just that they foul often - it's that they both foul often and provoke fouls.

This isn't likely to change at this point. It takes more than a month or two to change that sort of thing, and there's not a whole lot of evidence that Peter Vermes is interested in that sort of thing anyway.

If we try to avoid the provocation, and if we keep our fouls in safe positions, we're not likely to get burned by it.

Watch the long-throw

It's basically a once-per-match occurrence, and we better look after those opportunities. It's not exactly the most tactically nuanced approach, but it's always difficult to adjust to. We just have to attack the ball - it's that simple. Matt Besler will take one or two of these, and with some players capable with their head bursting into the box, it'll be tough.

Score a goal or three

It's that simple. If we just, you know, score a goal, or two, or three, or ... well, that's what it takes, isn't it? And not giving up goals.

Seriously though, if we get firing on all cylinders, there's plenty of opportunity for success. We've seen that Sporting KC are vulnerable in that way - Colorado scored three, Cruz Azul scored five (!) -

Predicted lineup

Expect Chris Wingert's absence to see Rich Balchan starting. This is the only big expected change - everything else is largely business as usual. Perhaps Olmes Garcia and Devon Sandoval will battle for a starting spot up front next to Alvaro Saborio, and maybe there's an element of tactical surprise to be had by Jeff Cassar.