That's given some heartburn — not least of which is Benny Feilhaber, who called Real Salt Lake "snobby."
That quote from April, via MLS: "I just think they're – snobby, almost. They think they're something special, when they're not. So, that's pretty much it."
And to be fair, he might have something — but it's probably actually about the narrative surrounding the teams than anything else. You saw that in 2013 with the MLS Cup final, and you'll see it again. And while RSL-2015 hasn't been as solid as past years, it's probably still a narrative that will be repeated.
Who: Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting Kansas City
When: 8 p.m. Mountain; 10 p.m. Eastern
Where: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
TV details: Fox Sports 1 (English), Fox Deportes (Spanish)
Live stream: Fox Sports Go in both English and Spanish (with cable/satellite service)
Real Salt Lake is set for some absences — but surprises could be in store, too.
Defense: Chris Schuler has been listed as 'out', but he's also been reported as a potential option, too. Jamison Olave is probably out as well with a hip strain. Elias Vasquez is apparently still in Guatemala, owing to severe technical problems with the U.S. Department of State's computer systems for visas — but it's possible he was able to return by now, too. Justen Glad is listed as having "dizziness" but no concussion, so again — we're a little confused here. That leaves us with Aaron Maund and Phanuel Kavita available as center backs.
Other than that, there's not really any team news. So, you know, not much at all.
Rimando; Beltran, Kavita, Maund, Mansally; Beckerman, Mulholland, Morales; Plata, Saborio, Jaime
What to watch
What happens if a center back goes down and none is on the bench?
If RSL was forced into a position where one of Vasquez and Kavita were unable to play, it would be a tough position. If those are the only two available center backs, Boyd Okwuonu would certainly be on the bench, and he was a center back in college. Expect that as a substitution. Otherwise, maybe you see Kyle Beckerman drop back, given he's a solid defensive player. It clearly, though, would be non-optimal. Or, hey, maybe Tony Beltran?
Can RSL continue creative play?
Since Javier Morales returned, RSL has created chances — yes, chances! — and that's something that just has to continue. Can it? And who supports Morales in that effort? Is it once again a Javi-Plata show? And can RSL maintain possession long enough to do something meaningful with it?
What role will the referee play?
This isn't supposed to be a question that prompts a diatribe against MLS-quality referees. No, it's much more about how many opportunities both sides will give the referee to take demonstrative action. Will it be one of those no-holds-barred cage matches, or are we bound for something more tame and considered with official intervention?