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Three things to watch as Real Salt Lake faces Colorado Rapids in Desert Diamond Cup final

Real Salt Lake and Colorado Rapids, facing off for the first time in 2014 (making it at least four times we're face our vaunted rival) in the final of the Desert Diamond Cup. What should we be watching for?

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

1. Who starts up top?

Do we start with Olmes Garcia, Alvaro Saborio, and Sebastian Jaime once again? It's probably a fair bet, but you shouldn't be surprised to see someone like Jordan Allen, who's been impressive this preseason, on the left or the right. Allen on the left — playing as an inverted winger like we're some kind of fancy European team — could be a chance for him to stake a claim to start the season. But Garcia, who hasn't looked bad himself, provides more of an outright spark than a build-up option.

2. Can we avoid being caught on the counter?

We're going to play a high line again, no doubt, but can we avoid being caught on the counter? Obviously any defensive line with Jamison Olave in it will be effective in this way, but it's not a guarantee. We'll play with the typical amount of risk, but the Rapids are almost built to work around that. How's that going to play out?

3. Who comes off the bench?

With Jeff Cassar treating this more like a regular season match (excepting, of course, that any injury concerns will be treated very cautiously with more substitutes available), we can finally start wondering which players will come off the bench. We're almost certain to see three, but who will they be, what position will they be in, and what will it mean for the formation of the team?