Last match, we watched for...
Is Olmes Garcia going to come back to ground, or is his goalscoring going to proceed?
Oh, boy. He went to ground in spectacular fashion, and we're probably all a little mad about him for it.
Can the back line keep it together against the hottest striker in the league?
Yes, we can. His tendency to play through the center made it fairly easy for us to defend — Nat Borchers and Chris Schuler are quite good, after all.
Can the defense keep Thierry Henry's assist-loving feet at bay?
Well, we did keep his assists at bay, so ... that's something.
This match, let's watch for ...
Can we best a team that we aren't only rivals with, but who are three points behind us?
That's right. If we lose this game, we're level on points with Colorado Rapids. Ponder that for a second. This match, as silly as it sounds with so many weeks left in the season, could factor heavily in the playoff run. It's not even that we're doing particularly worse than last season where standings are concerned — we're on pace for 53 points, three behind our 2013 finish.
Who starts at forward, and how many times are we going to ask this?
It's been a rough-and-tumble season without Alvaro Saborio, and we've hardly found a steady partner for Joao Plata. This has had the effect of us asking the same question over and over, which we know isn't particularly fun, but it is an important one, isn't it?
Just think, though. In 2011, we started Luis Gil and Jean Alexandre together at forward. Would you rather struggle with finding the right partner for an in-form player, or start two midfielders up top? Yeah, I thought so. (Of course, Jean Alexandre won player of the week after a magnificent goal, so maybe there was something to that.)
How many times do we have to find ourselves scuppered before we rethink our approach?
I'm not really advocating a changed approach — not wholly, at least — but our struggles in putting more than one or two goals past an opponent have been particularly problematic. I'm not entirely sure what the solution is, but part of me wonders if we'd be better off scoring and not giving up goals. You know, the game opens up more that way for us.
That's entirely obvious, but executing that is a task that requires a little bit of magic. Here's hoping.