So the Claret-and-Cobalt are on friendly soil once again. As the first home match of the season expect head coach Jeff Cassar to continue to give players that started in Portland the majority of minutes. Demar Phillips is likely to make his first appearance for Real Salt Lake as he has been fully training with the squad for the last two weeks. Therefore, do not expect many, if any reserve players to get the start for RSL. After a disappointing start in Portland, expect the RSL squad to be more driven for a result in Rio Tinto. In any case, we are going to give it a try and explain our reasoning.
Ok so the 4-3-3 was rather disappointing in Portland. As such, there has been a clamor by some fans and pundits on whether Cassar would go back to the more comfortable diamond 4-4-2. We do not think that RSL will though, as Cassar is trying to redefine and repurpose the squad to create a team all his own while staying true to the club's mantra - and 91% of fans agree with us.
RSL Soapbox Correct Percentage - 10/11 = 90.9% / Fan Correct Percentage 10/11 = 90.9%
RSL Soapbox and Fan Predicted Lineup:
Rimando; Beltran, Olave, Schuler, Phillips; Morales, Beckerman, Gil; Jaime, Saborio, Garcia.
Goalkeeper - Nick Rimando
After an awe inspiring performance at Providence Park, the veteran backstop will find himself between the posts once again. We all expect another Save of the Week performance from the league leading shutout record holder.
Right Back - Tony Beltran
Beltran played an important role in Portland that lead the squad to their first shutout of the year. Expect the veteran to get the start on the RSL back line to play a more defensive role this match.
Center Back Pairing- Jamison Olave and Chris Schuler
The players of the match against Portland are a no brainer to start in front of the Wall of the Wasatch. Olave and Schuler will have their hands full this match, however, dealing with the physical nature of the Philadelphia Union.
Left Back - Demar Phillips
Ok so we were wrong about him getting his first start last week, but Phillips looks to be prepared to get his first start of the year in front of the home crowd this week. Furthermore, after a shaky performance by Abdoulie Mansally last week, Cassar will almost certainly have to get the Jamaican International a start to calm the back line.
Holding Midfielder - Kyle Beckerman
RSL's newest confirmed DP and the ever steady skipper will take up his usual role in the midfield. Expect Beckerman to be as much a treat off the ball as he is on the ball against a Union team with new pieces trying to find their feet.
Box-to-Box Midfielder - Luis Gil
After a good, but not great, performance last week, Gil will retain his starting XI spot in this squad. Expect Gil to be an important piece in the midfield as RSL looks to pull apart the Union back line using the Y tactic.
Attacking Midfielder - Javier Morales
Once again the Argentine maestro will play a veteran role for the club. While no longer a DP, Morales will once again be given the keys to the RSL attack as Luis Gil further acclimates to his new role at the club.
Right Winger - Sebastian Jaime
Jaime was rather quiet during his first 2015 showing with the Claret-and-Cobalt. After doing a lot of defending and falling back to possess the ball. Expect this match to be Jaime's offensive debut against an opponent that has new pieces on the backline.
Center Forward - Alvaro Saborio
RSL's go to number nine will obviously get the start for the Claret-and-Cobalt after a solid performance in Portland.
Left Winger - Olmes Garcia
Garcia both created and scuffed the biggest chances for RSL in Portland. Nevertheless, the young Colombian will once again find himself in the starting XI.
Predicted Bench and Substitutions: RSL Soapbox Correct Percentage - 3/3 = 100%
* Jordan Allen
* Luke Mulholland
* Devon Sandoval
* designates predicted substitutes barring injuries or going down a man.