Seven RSL players featured in the 2009 MLS Cup Final that are likely to start today -- let's talk about what impact they could have on proceedings.
Nick Rimando: It's easy to spot the effect Nick Rimando has on matches, given his role -- spectacular, camera-ready saves are certainly not strangers to him. If this goes to penalties, having a renowned penalty stopper in your side could be the difference-maker -- especially if it forces the opposition to rethink their approach. After all, he did it in 2009.
Nat Borchers: The impact Nat Borchers has depends in part on his partner. With Chris Schuler's patience bearing fruit during the last month, Borchers' play has been elevated. His impact today could be at its highest if we're forced to defend a barrage of crosses into the box.
Chris Wingert: If Wingert does play today, he'll need to ensure that some attack flows down the left flank, as usual -- but he'll also be tasked with squaring up against the likes of Graham Zusi on his side. All indications are that he will indeed start today, but one can never be too sure.
Kyle Beckerman: The captain is the sort of player who will need to control the pacing and approach of the game if we're to be successful. Beckerman responds well to high-pressure outlets, given his accurate passing in safe areas, and his ability to slow the game down when needed.
Ned Grabavoy: The first time out -- back in 2009, I mean -- Grabavoy entered in the 46th minute and was involved in setting up the game-tying goal from Robbie Findley. (You know, in case we forgot that he's actually been good for some time). His ability to retain possession in difficult situations will play well against KC -- indeed, we saw that in July.
Javier Morales: The most heartrending part of the 2009 MLS Cup Final was the early exit of Javier Morales. His 22-minute contribution -- cut short by a reckless David Beckham -- saw the game without one of the highlights. Morales will be itching for a chance to show his quality. As our chief chance-creator, he should have plenty of opportunities to do just that.
Robbie Findley: The speedster scrapped his way toward the solitary goal in 2009 -- he's one for the big games. We need him to retain that today. Not too complicated, right? If only it were so. But Findley has worked incredibly hard to get us to this point, and one wouldn't be mistaken to call him a key to our recent victories. We need him to continue that momentum.