1) What's the deal in Kansas City? After a strong start to the season, you suffered five losses in seven matches. Has there been corrective action since?
Peter Vermes did everything under the sun during the stretch. He turned up the intensity in training after a couple bad games. When it continued he switched up the formation. And when it got really bad he was benching his under performers and challenging his players to be better.
The winless streak reach 7 matches and the scoreless streak reached 317 minutes. Sporting KC ended both of those last week against Orlando as they set a franchise record with 34 shots. They actually only truly looked like a BAD team in a couple of those matches. In many of them, they were controlling the game and getting off shots, but unable to score. Last week was a dominant performance all around and they looked like the incredibly dangerous team we saw at the beginning of the season.
2) What's the biggest thing Real Salt Lake fans can look forward to about facing SKC? Are they stronger or weaker than when we last squared off?
Hopefully, there isn't much for them to look forward to! But these teams love kicking each other and all the usual suspects will be out there.
Last time around, both Ike Opara and Matt Besler were unavailable at CB. That, quite unfortunately, meant Kevin Ellis got the start there. So the defense should upgraded from the last meeting. Roger Espinoza was also out and Jordi Quintilla was playing in the midfield. Espinoza had probably his best of the season last week, and if plays like that this team will be FAR better than what RSL saw in April.
3) Kyle Beckerman recently referred to one of your players as a "bozo" while also citing his friendship with some others. We're certain that's Benny Feilhaber — how does he respond to being targeted like that? Will it backfire for RSL?
I read the article in the Salt Lake Tribune about that. First of all, I think it's stupid he was being asked to respond to comments from last year. He responded to them last year, and it is old news anyway. Also, his comments were filled with irony. He felt what Benny said 'petty' and questioned why he didn't say it to them in stead of media in KC. But then he responded with petty name calling... to the media in Salt Lake.
Benny is definitely the kind of player who can feed off of things like that, although he probably doesn't need any extra motivation to play RSL. Honestly, he hasn't been near the same player as last season. He got off to a bad start with some poor giveaways and that amazing passing ability hasn't been on display. That is, until last week. He did look like his old self and it would be very nice to see him carry that performance into this week.
(4-3-3) Tim Melia, Saad Abdul-Salaam, Nuno Coelho, Matt Besler, Jimmy Medranda, Soni Mustivar, Roger Espinoza, Benny Feilhaber, Brad Davis, Dom Dwyer, Graham Zusi