With Real Salt Lake's preseason coming to an unceremonious halt after a 1-1 draw with Columbus Crew on Saturday, we're left with an extremely limited view of the team heading into the 2016 season.
But in those limited minutes of available action — 270 minutes plus some highlights — we were able to check out something from everyone, and it was enough to get a good sense of where the team sits, even if it's from a shortened set of evidence.
With that in mind, here are three players we learned something about during this preseason.
It took a while, but we did actually get to see Jordan Allen in his new position. Our initial thoughts? He looked good — not like a world-beater, but good. The biggest challenge Allen faced was in his positioning, but that's not to say that his was bad or anything. Rather, it's to point out that when we saw him, he was in front of John Stertzer and Danilo Acosta, and flanked by Emery Welshman and Olmes Garcia. This is hardly a first-team lineup, and as a result, Allen struggled to get on the ball as much as he'd have liked.
The big question is what this looks like when he's slotted in for Javier Morales. If he continues to struggle to have much possession, we will know there's a learning curve he's still adjusting to. If he doesn't struggle, then we'll get to see what he can do with the ball at his feet. We already know he's going to play the position differently than Morales, as he's said as much, but how exactly that looks is still a mystery.
At any rate, he scored a nice goal on Saturday. Bravo.
Stephen "Sunny" Sunday
New to the team this year, Sunny was a surprisingly quick study in adapting to the team, and given he's likely to start against Tigres, that couldn't have come soon enough. He's not afraid to go into a challenge (see Portland match and ensuing scuffle), he's quick to press when he needs to, and he seems to fit well into the new-look 4-2-1-3.
If he continues to form a good partnership with Kyle Beckerman, don't be surprised if he unseats Luke Mulholland for a starting spot in the lineup. As of this point, I'd expect a rotation, though.
In his second-string minutes he's picked up since returning to Real Salt Lake, Wingert has shown that he still offers something to this team, even in this new-for-him formation. On Saturday, it was clear to see that Wingert was playing an important role in communication. He was constantly chattering at Olmes Garcia in front of him, directing him around, but he was also communicating issues in the midfield and central defense.
He may not be the fastest, and he's not likely to see minutes, but having a vocal defender on the back line when we need it is important. He's not going to be our center back, but until RSL finds that "cerebral" signing they're looking for, he's easily the most defensively experienced player on the team. That could come in handy.