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Winning Eleven: RSL vs. San Jose

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I’m probably wrong on a lot of these, but let’s take a look at the potential lineup tonight.

Los Angeles FC v Real Salt Lake
Play the kid.
Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

Winning Eleven is a series looking at a potential lineup for the upcoming match and making some wild, ridiculous and not-very-good predictions.

Goalkeeper

  • Likely pick: Andrew Putna — I think he’ll continue in his starting role.
  • My pick: David Ochoa

Defense

  • Likely picks: Aaron Herrera, Nedum Onuoha, Justen Glad, Donny Toia
  • My picks: See “Defense, Likely Picks”

So, I got this one very wrong last time. Glad was sat on the bench, and Marcelo Silva started. Well, this time, I expect we’ll see Glad instead of Silva. I could very well wrong. Maybe Erik Holt will play alongside him. This team is unpredictable.

Also, don’t be shocked if Alvin Jones makes the XI. I mean, he’s got to be rusty, but these players could use a break now and again. I just hope it doesn’t come at the expense of Aaron Herrera, who has been unmistakably fantastic.

Midfield

  • Likely picks: Pablo Ruiz, Kyle Beckerman, Albert Rusnak
  • My Picks: Pablo Ruiz, Everton Luiz, Albert Rusnak

I don’t know if Everton Luiz is close to fitness, because the club’s actively trying to not volunteer information like that pre-match, and because nobody can get out to training these days. So this is a wild guess on my part.

If Luiz is fit, I think he starts, though. So I’ve put him as my pick. We do know he’s on the plane, so he’s at least somewhat close to fitness.

I also wouldn’t mind seeing Kyle Beckerman out there. I just kind of miss him, that’s all.

Attack

  • Likely picks: Justin Meram, Damir Kreilach, Corey Baird
  • My picks: Jeizon Ramirez, Damir Kreilach, Corey Baird

We have one player who can put the ball in the back of the net with any consistency, and it’s Damir Kreilach. I know he is a midfielder. I want him in the midfield. But you know what/ We have three games left, and if we don’t manage to score some goals, we’re done for.

I also suspect Maikel Chang won’t start for reasons of fixture congestion.

Substitutes

Halftime, if we’re leading or drawing

  • Likely picks: None
  • My picks: None, unless we look really bad or there’s an injury

60th minute, if we’re leading or drawing

  • Likely picks: None
  • My picks:
    Jeizon Ramirez for Corey Baird — this is assuming that Ramirez will not start, because let’s be honest: We know he won’t. It makes me
    Maikel Chang for Justin Meram — let’s turn the match on its head and unleash some energy. Chang has been one of RSL’s best players this year, but he also needs a break now and again, evidently.

60th minute, if we’re losing

  • Likely picks: None
  • My picks: Douglas Martinez for a winger — let’s get some speed in the mix and stretch the lines late. It doesn’t always work out for us, but it’s better than nothing.

Late (75-plus), if we’re leading

  • Likely picks: Jeizon Ramirez for Justin Meram
  • My picks: Nick Besler for a winger — let’s change our shape radically if we’re ahead here. Crowd the midfield, force the play wide. I don’t know. It’s probably a bad idea. It’s also copied and pasted from last time around, because I still think it’s a good idea. But do I think there’s a chance we are leading in the 75th minute? Ah, I don’t know.

Late (75-plus), if we’re losing or drawing

  • Likely picks: Jeizon Ramirez for Corey Baird
  • My picks: Marcelo Silva for Donny Toia — go purely three at the back, push Aaron Herrera forward, and keep a center back forward at all times possible