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What RSL’s lineup against Sacramento means and what it definitely doesn’t mean

An 18 we expected to be different that had more than a few surprises.

MLS: Toronto FC at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake released the roster for tonight’s match against Sacramento Republic FC, and as was expected, to an extent, the line up for this one is a bit different.

Throughout the week the club had stated that a handful of Monarchs players would be involved in this match, with a particular emphasis put on the two players who were “too old” to play in this one. With that as a basis of conversation there were many discussion about who would feature in this match — both starting and bench players. It’s probably fair to assume that it would be a mix of Monarchs players and veterans from the senior team, but this mix was a bit unexpected.

While being excited about the players that are getting some first team minutes it’s probably a good idea to also temper thoughts about what these decisions may mean for the future.

Young players and Monarchs players were bound to play in this match. It’s mid-week with a very important league match on the weekend which, let’s just be honest, is much more important. Seeing players like Joao Plata or Yura Movsisyan not even in the 18 should not be taken as if they are on the outs or anything of the sort. In that same light, Monarchs players getting starts should not be seen as their over-taking the current RSL starter in that position.

This match should be looked at as a great opportunity for a few players who are coming back from injury, have not seen a lot of first team minutes, or have proven themselves at the Monarchs level to get competitive minutes in a meaningful tournament (not that USL isn’t meaningful).

All that said, definitely be excited about this line up. It’s going to be exciting to watch some players that haven’t had opportunities yet this season — think Jordan Allen, Ricardo Velazco, Lalo Fernandez, Omar Holness, and Jose Hernandez — as well as some who maybe haven’t had the best appearances — think Reagan Dunk — get some minutes in a match that we all hope we dominate.

*prays to the old gods and the new*