The second nationally televised match for Real Salt Lake has arrived and with it the return of players from international duty. International veterans will return to their starting roles for the Claret-and-Cobalt but injuries will open up more starting positions. Therefore, Jeff Cassar and his staff will have decisions to make about who takes to the pitch.
The 4-3-3, of course, and 96.7% of fans agree with us. Cassar will stay true to the 4-3-3 with the return of Joao Plata becoming ever so nearer.
RSL Soapbox Predicted Lineup:
Rimando; Beltran, Olave, Schuler, Mansally; Morales, Beckerman, Mulholland; Gil, Saborio, Garcia.
Season Correct Percentage - 32/33 = 97%
Fan Predicted Lineup:
Rimando; Beltran, Olave, Schuler, Mansally; Morales, Beckerman, Mulholland; Gil, Sandoval, Garcia.
Season Correct Percentage - 32/33 = 97%
Goalkeeper - Nick Rimando
The veteran net-minder is back and he is ready to resume his starting role for the club. After two overall successful showings for Rimando for the U.S. Men's National Team, he will be important as RSL will look to continue their unbeaten streak against San Jose alive.
Right Back - Tony Beltran
The myth, the man, the legend that is Tony Beltran has locked his position down. With improved performances from each match this season, the RSL original will remain a veteran presence on the back line.
Center Back Pairing- Jamison Olave and Chris Schuler
This pairing looked a lot better against Toronto FC than the Philadelphia Union and RSL will hope that trajectory continues. Olave and Schuler have locked down the starting roles for the club and expect their partnership to get stronger with every passing match.
Left Back - Abdoulie Mansally
As Demar Phillips continues to recover from a nagging hamstring injury, Mansally will remain Cassar's go to left back. Mansally, however, has not been too impressive in either match he has appeared in this season, so expect the training staff to have had him focus on defensive drills this last week. Hopefully RSL will benefit from an improved defensive performance from the veteran.
Holding Midfielder - Kyle Beckerman
The Claret-and-Cobalt's skipper will continue to have a starting role locked down barring an unmentionable injury or suspension. It will be Beckerman's presence that will spell either success or failure for the 4-3-3 experiment.
Box-to-Box Midfielder - Luke Mulholland
With Sebastian Jaime out with an injury and Luis Gil likely to slot in on the right wing, Mulholland will jump at the opportunity to get the start in the midfield. After a successful showing last Sunday, the English midfielder will hope to continue his good run of form which suits the club just fine.
Attacking Midfielder - Javier Morales
RSL's Player of the Month for March continues to bring success to the Claret-and-Cobalt. As a result, the Argentine maestro will get the start and hope to snag a couple more goals or assists for the record books.
Right Winger - Luis Gil
As aforementioned mentioned, Jamie is out with an injury so the returning Luis Gil is the presumed starter on the right wing. Gil will provide tactical variety that may benefit the 4-3-3 formation. Expect the U.S. youth international to play the trequartista role for RSL.
Center Forward - Alvaro Saborio
After scoring for his native Costa Rica, Saborio returns to Salt Lake hungry to continue finding the back of the net. Expect RSL's go to number nine to get the start and harass the back line of San Jose.
Left Winger - Olmes Garcia
The young Colombian will likely retain his starting position after being the biggest offensive threat on the pitch against both Portland and Philadelphia. Ironically, the young player has often shown a greater understanding of the 4-3-3 than some of his older peers on the squad.
Predicted Bench and Substitutions:
Season Correct Percentage - 8/9 = 88.9%
* Jordan Allen
* Devon Sandoval
* Sebastian Saucedo
* designates predicted substitutes barring injuries or going down a man.
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? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.