We've talked a lot about Real Salt Lake's 4-3-3 ambitions in 2014, but as preseason's progressed, we've seen the first signs of life in the theory.
We obviously can't speak to how it's played out tactically — not without having watched the matches, which weren't streamed — but we can talk a little about who's played where.
Our midfield remains relatively unchanged so far, with Kyle Beckerman anchoring most of the time, and Pecka spelling him. Javier Morales is still the point player, and we've rotated between John Stertzer, Lucas Baldin, and Luke Mulholland for the remaining spots, depending on how we want to shape the midfield, it appears. Luis Gil, who has been away on national team duty, obviously hasn't appeared in any matches, but it will be interesting to see where he plays.
The forward set is where things get a bit more interesting. We've seen a rotating cast there, with Olmes Garcia, Sebastian Jaime, Jordan Allen, Ricardo Velazco, and Emery Welshman playing in the wide positions. Alvaro Saborio and Devon Sandoval have played in the central positions. All of these are out-and-out forwards except Allen, which may not indicate a distinct and measurable approach, but it at least gives us something to go by.
We'll break down how it plays out in the coming weeks as the Tucson matches are streamed live for our pleasure, but for now, this is sort of an update on how we've been playing.
RSL v. Orange County Blues: Attinella; Beltran, Olave, Schuler, Phillips; Beckerman (c), Mulholland, Morales; Garcia, Saborio, Allen
RSL v. UC Irvine (second half): Attinella; Phillips, Vasquez, Maund, Okwuonu; Stertzer, Baldin, Morales; Welshman, Jaime, Saborio
(first half): Attinella; Beltran, Olave, Schuler, Mansally; Beckerman, Pecka, Mulholland; Velasco, Sandoval, Garcia
RSL v. New England (second half): Attinella; Phillips, Schuler, Maund, Beltran; Beckerman, Stertzer, Mulholland; Garcia, Jaime, Sandoval
(first half): Hawes; Mansally, Murrell, Kavita, Okwuonu; Ovalle, Pecka, Baldin; Allen, Tavares, Navarro