Last week, we watched for ...
How early will RSL score this time?
Javier Morales scored a penalty in the 36th minute. Cool, but not super early.
Will Sebastian Jaime see minutes, and will they be significant?
He did not see minutes. Sigh. At least it gives us a chance to see him with a home debut, right?
Will we again try this three-at-the-back thing?
We did not, actually, but that's sort of a moot point right now. We didn't have much reason to.
This week, let's watch for ...
Who's that striker?
It's the burning question that everyone's been asking for the past, what, three weeks? Or maybe that's just me. Regardless, hey, we don't know who will start at striker. Joao Plata's gone (on international duty), but Alvaro Saborio is training more or less fully (!!!) and Sebastian Jaime has a good full week of training under his belt now.
We don't start the two together, I'm sure — Saborio probably gets 30 minutes if anything, and starting Jaime does present some question marks. But I'm inclined to think those question marks are better presented earlier in the match than later in the match — the unproven quantity off the bench if we need a goal is a less than desirable time to introduce the newcomer.
Does FC Dallas squeeze us out on the flanks again, and how does that affect our play?
Playing against FC Dallas two weeks, we struggled to create anything from the flanks. San Jose tried the same strategy This is normally somewhere we actually succeed, despite our lack of "natural" width — and we could go in-depth here, and we could look at stats, but there's something intuitive about it. Our wide midfielders and our fullbacks interchange with startling frequency. When most people have plugged up the middle against us, it's the way we've learned to cope. It allows us to get in behind the midfield to a spot where we'll be more dangerous.
But Dallas and San Jose operated in similar ways in preventing those opportunities. We should turn back toward the center a bit more and focus there when we're afforded the opportunity. It's not always so simple, but if they've figured us out a bit more, we've got to adjust. I'm sure we'll do just that.
How much is revenge on the cards?
The team has been talking about FC Dallas since we lost to them. Rightly so, because the loss there stung. It took us out of any significant contention for the Supporters Shield and all indications seem to be that we're ready to get back into it — if only slightly. The odds that we win that thing, by the way, are incredibly slim, but it's far from impossible, too.
This is the sort of match where revenge actually plays into it, but it's weird — it's like Jeff Cassar and company have some connection to FC Dallas somehow... who'd have thought it would be important to him to win against them? (Please pretend this song is not about getting ready for the love we'll be bringing. Make it, I don't know, pain. Or something like that. Thanks.)
Bonus question: Is Nick Rimando ready to go?
He's training today. So, really, yes, inevitably so. But maybe this question was an excuse to use this song, because Nick Rimando truly does make plenty of... well, you'll get the picture.