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Three things to watch as Real Salt Lake opens home campaign against Philadelphia Union

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Real Salt Lake faces Philadelphia Union today, and we've picked out three things we'll be looking for in the home opener.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

With Real Salt Lake taking on Philadelphia Union — a team against which they've never lost (spoiler alert if you're taking our quiz — or maybe a chance to just get an answer right) — and trying to get their formation and strategy right, what can we expect to see, and what sorts of things should we be looking for? We've pinpointed three things to keep an eye on.

Where does Javier Morales play?

When Javier Morales gets stuck in deeper positions where he's forced to do more defending, he's hardly as virile an attacking player as he would otherwise be. Watch to see where he plays — is he operating as a playmaker from deep positions, or is he getting into more advanced areas to ply his trade?

What's the role the fullbacks play?

Obviously enough, Jeff Cassar and company have emphasized (and re-emphasized) the importance of fullbacks in the new system. Where do we see Tony Beltran in attack? Does he push further forward than he would have last season? How does he combine with the wide forward on his side? Do we get to see Demar Phillips, and does he make those underlapping runs we've heard so much about?

How does Alvaro Saborio fit into the picture?

Against Portland, we saw Saborio sort of squeeze out space in the attacking midfield zone — or at least where you'd normally see Morales operating. That's as much down to gamestates as it is anything else, but it should give us pause for thought: Do we need Saborio getting further forward into more advanced positions, or is he better off as a deeper player with the two wing-forwards making diagonal runs in front of him?