RSL Soapbox Predicted Lineup: Season Correct Percentage - 68/77 = 88.3%
(4-3-3) Rimando; Beltran, Olave, Vásquez, Phillips; Gil, Beckerman, Morales; Allen, Saborio, Garcia.
Fan Predicted Lineup: Season Correct Percentage - 69/77 = 89.6%
(4-3-3) Rimando; Beltran, Olave, Vásquez, Phillips; Mulholland, Beckerman, Morales; Gil (beating out Allen with 64%), Saborio, Garcia.
Predicted Bench and Substitutions: Season Correct Percentage - 14/21 = 66.6%
Attinella, Mansally, Maund, *Mulholland, Pecka, *Sandoval, *Saucedo
* designates predicted substitutes barring injuries or going down a man.
Players to Watch:
The rookie performances have been a bit of a roller coaster since first appearing for the Claret-and-Cobalt. In his first two matches he excelled, over shadowing even the veteran prowess of Jamison Olave. His third match, however, left much to be desired as he was lost in the fray of the 4-0 defeat. Vasquez has already shown promise - both with his national team as well as his club. What Vasquez needs is to find that consistency to really become a difference maker while Chris Schuler is in recovery.
Although San Jose Earthquakes will be a test for the young defender, expect Vasquez to give it all he has as he looks to rebound from last week. He will likely be pushed physically but he has already shown he can deal with the physicality of the league against such opponents as the Vancouver Whitecaps and Sporting Kansas City. For all of his strengths, Vasquez will need to improve his numbers in tackling (43 percent success rate) this week in order to continue to be RSL's go-to-third man in center defense with a pretty strong defensive core in the system.
He's back! The maestro has returned and will look to continue his tear atop the RSL stats table. The midfielder leads the squad with 13 chances created so far and will likely boost those numbers against the Quakes. At 35 years young, Morales has yet to lose a step and it will be interesting to watch to see if the focal point of the RSL offense can continue his impressive run of form after a couple of matches off.
This is the week that the veteran Costa Rican needs to open his account from open play. Nearly a fourth of the way through the season, Saborio has struggled to get shots on target, led alone in the back of the net. Saborio is coming up the rear of RSL's starting attackers with a 40 percent shot accuracy. The big number nine will need to start producing or he could find himself sitting a match or two out as others get their chances.
The youngster will likely be given the nod to start with Sebastian Jaime still dealing with nagging pain. After another impressive showing with the U.S. young national side, Allen will look to get a repeat - or close to it - of his match winning goal against Toronto FC. The youngster is by far one of the most versatile players on the squad and the coaches will hope to exploit this versatility against a rough-and-tumble side.
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 a much needed three points on home turf? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.