RSL Soapbox Predicted Lineup: Season Correct Percentage - 58/66 = 87.9%
(4-3-3) Rimando; Beltran, Maund, Vásquez, Phillips; Stertzer, Beckerman, Mulholland; Gil, Saborio, Garcia.
Ed. note: My journey through parts unknown and conflicting injury statements led me to several changes throughout the editorial process that caused previous errors. After talking with other RSL Soapbox writers we have made the new predicted lineup above.
Fan Predicted Lineup: Season Correct Percentage - 60/66 = 90.9%
(4-3-3) Rimando; Beltran, Maund, Vásquez, Phillips; Gil, Beckerman, Mulholland; Allen, Saborio, Garcia.
Predicted Bench and Substitutions: Season Correct Percentage - 12/18 = 66.6%
Attinella, Kavita, *Jaime, Ovalle, Pecka, *Sandoval, *Stertzer
* designates predicted substitutes barring injuries or going down a man.
Players to Watch:
The top-tier RSL defenders are out leaving an opening for the third year RSL defender. His role in the past has been providing defensive depth so it will be interesting to see how match fitness takes its toll on the 24 year old. In his six appearances last year RSL went 4-1-1 so he did not perform too bad despite not really having any decisive moves either. The average defender has been putting in average performances with the club so could his return home be the ignition switch to get his form going - especially with the short-term absence of Chris Schuler.
Maund provided more defensive depth for RSL in 2014, making five starts and six appearances in his second season with the club. He started the opening two matches of the season then saw spot appearances throughout the season. In his six matches, Salt Lake went 4-1-1.
The first of Cassar's men continues to impress for the Claret-and-Cobalt. His quick thinking and defensive attitude has already proven their worth for RSL and will need to rely on them once again. Mulholland will be key in shutting down New England's dangerous midfield. With Kyle Beckerman keeping Lee Nguyen busy, Mulholland will be vital in shutting down the rest of the opposing midfield. If Luke can high press the opposition into giving away the ball cheaply, RSL may be able to use the Revs' tactics against them.
Garcia has been a mixed bag of nuts so far this season. As he earns applause for his defensive moves and supporting runs, his offensive production has left much to be desired. The young Colombian will need to open his account soon if he is to even get a look after Joao Plata returns from injury. With Chris Tierney possibly sitting this one out - if only for part of the match - Garcia could exploit the back line. With the engine of this kid undeniable, Garcia will just need to add the final piece to the puzzle - scoring. If he can score in this match it might open the flood gates that RSL desperately need opened.
The other cog in the midfield for this match will show his worth. With a depleted midfield, Stertzer will get his chance to influence this match - whether it be for 15 minutes or the entire 90. This youngster will look to keep his name in the running as the competition for three midfield spots become more tightly contested. Stertzer may not be judged on his offensive production - if does or doesn't score - but the coaching staff will be looking at him to help retain possession and keep the ball away from the speedy Revs wingers. Expect Stertzer to deal with the physical nature of the match well, but watch to see if he can make high percentage passes with the high pressure of New England.
Bonus - Abdoulie Mansally:
If he makes an appearance Mansally could definitely be a difference maker. Emotions are always high when returning to your previous club but they can be used to either excel or freeze. If Mansally makes an appearance, he could not only provide a difference defensive look but he could also help RSL press for a goal. The dual nature of Mansally could be something to keep an eye on as the coaching staff prepares to get three points.
We'd like to know what you think. Do you think we got the starting lineup right? Did we overlook players who you think deserve a start? Did we miss players on the bench? What do you think Cassar has up his sleeves for this match? Can RSL get back to winning ways? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.