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Three things to watch in RSL's preseason outing against Sporting Kansas City

With Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City squaring off once again, we're looking at three things to watch against a soon-to-be conference rival.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

1. Coping with high pressure systems

Neither New England Revolution nor FC Tucson played in a particularly high-pressure system. It is, however, something we might rightly expect from Sporting Kansas City. How will Real Salt Lake manage that sort of pressure? Can they avoid the pitfalls of playing against high pressure? It's something we could answer when we played in our diamond midfield — there were always plenty of release valve options available — but how will it function now?

2. Who is Kyle Beckerman's backup?

As much as we love Kyle Beckerman, he can neither be in two places at once, nor can he be particularly helpful if he picks up a major injury. With Pecka and now John Stertzer both out with injury — Pecka's being less of a concern, hopefully — who is Beckerman's understudy? Maybe we can look at someone like Fito Ovalle as an option in that role.

3. Will there be blood?

Yeah, I know — the movie title is a bit switched around and it's not a question. Also, we don't have any milkshakes for you to drink up. Still — it's something to watch. Will Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City be gripped in the throes of battle? It's one of those difficult questions to answer until you see the slide tackles come flying in. After all, with Roger Espinoza back in Kansas City, and with him the apparent catalyst in the big ol' brawl of the 2011 preseason — well, it'll be an experience.