Real Salt Lake looks dead-set for their seventh consecutive playoff appearance, which is all rather fantastic considering we've been around for, what, ten years?
With a single point against Vancouver, or a point against any of the teams following that match, we'll be in the playoffs. Cool. But a single point is not even close to what we're looking for.
What will it take for a win, then? It's hard to settle for anything less these days. But we're facing one of the best young teams in the country (they dominated the 24 Under 24, it turns out) and we'll have to be on our feet. Jeff Cassar has apparently hinted at some lineup changes without going so far as to say what they are (obviously.)
So let's take a stab at some of the potential changes and the rationale behind them.
Carlos Salcedo for Chris Schuler. This is a pretty straightforward one — it would see Nat Borchers return to the lineup after his red card. Chris Schuler has been suffering from a slight muscle problem (something about his leg, I think — nothing worrying, really) and might be given a break on Vancouver's turf. Salcedo looked good in the last match, and it wouldn't be shocking to see him again.
Alvaro Saborio for Joao Plata. Plata's been playing out of his mind and a rest going into the playoffs may not hurt. Saborio, by the same token, needs time on the pitch if he's to be ready. We might get a chance to see him paired with Sebastian Jaime.
Luis Gil for Ned Grabavoy or Luke Mulholland. Gil's lacked playing time, and these two have been swimming in it. In an effort to get some rest in the midfield, maybe Gil starts this match.
There could certainly be other changes, but those three seem the most probable. More than three changes and Cassar's playing with fire — and I think he knows that.