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Who will be RSL's X-factor against Sporting KC?

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Between suspensions and injuries, RSL will be missing nine players in Kansas City. Five of those players were unlikely to see minutes with or without the suspensions, so Real Salt Lake is missing four key players from its preferred starting XI to this point in the season and those four players go right up the spine of the team. For that reason, Luke Mulholland will be the X-factor in this one.

Luke only has 48 MLS minutes thus far while featuring in two of the three games so he should be fresh but may or may not be a little rusty. He did play the full match with the Real Monarchs last Saturday, so fitness should not be a big issue. He will have a big job trying to be the guy that breaks up plays and creates going forward to some degree. Luckily, he won't be along as odds are that Sunny Obayan will be with him. Still, Mulholland will likely be starting for the first time against the only other undefeated team in MLS in a tough atmosphere.

We have reason to be optimstic as Luke seems to have lost his starting position if we can confidently say that after three games, so this will be a huge opportunity to show why he deserves more minutes. If he takes the opportunity seriously, we should be just fine in the midfield and we'll see how the defense and forward corps hold up. If he slips us and makes an unlucky mistake, it could cost us some points on the road.