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What to watch as Real Salt Lake hosts Vancouver Whitecaps

With Real Salt Lake looking to stay unbeaten tonight against Vancouver Whitecaps, there should be plenty of intrigue on display. What should we be watching for?

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

If Javi doesn't start, does Gil prove himself?

This could be a match for the purported heir apparent to Javier MoralesLuis Gil — to get another start and, for once, to play in the position that everyone says is his best. While I'm not convinced that it's necessarily his best position (I don't think we have the evidence necessary to suggest that), it's a chance for him to prove that he's capable there.

Given the public doubt circling over Luis Gil, an opportunity like this will be a positive one. It's not because he needs the public opinion to slant in his favor, but because as fans, we need a chance to understand what value he brings to the side.

Other options in Javi's spot include Luke Mulholland (although I tend to think Gil and Mulholland will share the role somewhat), Sebastian Saucedo, or playing a reformulated midfield with more conservative players.

Could a more conservative midfield help the forwards?

As we look toward the forwards' struggles, we're still trying to figure out what exactly they've been struggling with. It's one of those situations where you just don't really have the full view of things you need to make distinctive claims about the forwards struggling — but you're tempted to anyway.

So here goes nothing: What if a more conservative midfield would help the forwards get going? It's not a motivation thing I'm thinking about but a tactical thing — what if the forwards just need to play a little more central and a little deeper to pick up possession? What if we're struggling because we can't build possession between the midfield and the forward line already, and forcing the forwards back farther is the ticket? I don't know that it's the case, but maybe — just maybe.

Who gets an opportunity?

Jeff Cassar has seemed big on giving players opportunities — he's already played Jordan Allen in every match this season, he's given Sebastian Saucedo his debut, and he's already played 19 players in his 28-man squad. While we're thinking Jordan Allen probably gets the start, who else gets a chance to play?