Everyone's going to be watching Juan Manuel Martinez (er, Burrito) tonight as Real Salt Lake takes on Santa Tecla in CONCACAF Champions League.
And rightly so, because it turns out, he's really good — but there's more to the match than him. Here are three players I'll be watching tonight.
Want to watch? The match is on Fox Soccer Plus — which is not widely available. Check out the official @RealSaltLake twitter account for details, but there's a watch party at 50 West, and there's apparently something going on at Beer Bar. Know other places? Give a shout.
I didn't expect to be saying this at this point in the season, but John Stertzer just might be breathing down Mulholland's neck a little bit when it comes to a spot. Obviously, one very good performance doesn't change the pecking order, because Mulholland's been pretty good lately, too.
But that one performance should make Mulholland perk up a little bit. If he wants to keep his spot, he'll have to perform. Can he? Yes. Will he? That's what I'll be watching for.
At this point, Vasquez has made his way to a bench spot — behind Jamison Olave and Aaron Maund — but this match, with Olave being rested for the run-in, could be a perfect opportunity for Vasquez to reassert himself on the field.
It's no secret that some of RSL's worst matches came with Maund and Vasquez as the central pairing, and honestly, two young center backs alongside each other is always going to provoke that possibility. This isn't to blame either of them. But out of that, Olave very quickly won his spot back, and RSL has improved since.
Will Vasquez step up and show what he can do against a side we don't know much about?
There's a great opportunity waiting here for Saucedo against Santa Tecla. He's a bright, exciting player, but he's also raw and relatively untested. This could provide him an opportunity to ply his trade on a radically different playing field than RSL is used to, and that might just suit him well. He's a proactive player (as opposed to a reactive one) and that could make a big difference.
Watch for him to assert himself on the game if he comes in, and if the defense is at all wobbly, look for him to take advantage of the opportunity.