Real Salt Lake faces Orlando City SC on Sunday, and Michael Citro from SB Nation's Orlando blog, The Mane Land, took some time to fill us in on the latest from one of MLS's newest teams.
READ: We respond to The Mane Land's questions
1. Will there be a recurrence of bad blood between Kaka and Javier Morales on Sunday, or do you think that's a one-off thing? Is there any sense that Orlando are looking for revenge?
No, and I don't think there ever was really bad blood between them. Sure, Kaká intended to foul Morales, you could see that. But I honestly think the step was unintentional. There's nothing really in the Brazilian's past that shows much in the way of dirty play at all. I think Orlando City will be out for three points but not for any kind of revenge.
2. Is there any worry about playing a team that's hot off of CONCACAF Champions League play? Do you think you're properly prepared?
There could be a disadvantage to playing a team that has two competitive matches under its belt already. That might be mitigated a bit by the fact that RSL is playing for the second time this week in what should be a fairly warm and humid midday match in Orlando on the artificial turf in front of what could be another crowd in excess of 60,000. I'll call it a wash and say ordinarily it might give Real Salt Lake an advantage but it will be canceled by those other factors.
3. Tactically, how do you envisage Orlando playing against Salt Lake?
It's difficult to say. Adrian Heath worked this preseason on a shift to a 4-3-2-1 formation in anticipation of getting Antonio Nocerino into the lineup. Nocerino's paperwork took a bit longer than expected and now he's probably in doubt for Sunday, having only arrived in Orlando Friday morning. Another factor is that earlier this week both David Mateos and Carlos Rivas were injured in training. Heath could go back to the safe old 4-2-3-1 he's known for, but I expect him to stick with a 4-3-2-1. I think the team looks more dangerous in attack with three central midfielders feeding balls forward for Kaká, Kevin Molino and Cyle Larin.
Lineup and scoreline prediction
Joe Bendik; Brek Shea, Seb Hines, Tommy Redding (but possibly Aurelien Collin), Rafael Ramos; Pedro Ribeiro, Servando Carrasco, Darwin Ceren; Kaká, Kevin Molino; Cyle Larin.
I see this as a potential 2-1 win for Orlando City, getting a late goal to break a deadlock in front of a huge, raucous Citrus Bowl crowd. I think not playing this week will help City be fresher down the stretch and possibly they can nick a late winner off a set piece, which they've been drilling heavily this preseason, to great success.