SANDY, UT - OCTOBER 29: Nick Rimando #18, Kyle Beckerman #5 and Andy Williams #77 of Real Salt Lake celebrate their win over the Seattle Sounders during the second half of an MLS play-off 1st leg soccer game October 29, 2011 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Real Salt Lake won the game taking a 3-0 lead into the second game. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
The Montreal Impact are taking on MLS royalty in Salt Lake City: Real Salt Lake . One of the top teams , if not the best, in Major League Soccer, Real Salt Lake will be a difficult game for any team, especially an expansion team.
We asked 3 questions to our friends and SBNation brothers RSL Soap Box and they ask us 3 questions in return that we answered here. It's a great way for fans of both teams to get to know the opponent.
Mount Royal Soccer asks RSL Soap Box
1) With Real Salt Lake being the top of Wild Wild Western conference, how would you present the team at 3-1-0 on what it can do on the field? and is Saborío the most under-rated DP in MLS right now?
A. I think RSL's success is based off of the fact that the guys from top to bottom of the roster want to play a positive style, they love to possess the ball, connect quality passes, and create chances. If you look at our matches we usually have over 50% of the possession, we tend to complete more than 80% of our passes, and only the New York Red Bulls have scored more goals than RSL's 8, it is interesting that all of those thing come as a result of that understanding how to play with the "team is the star" mentality. That has resulted in 6 players with goals, and 5 players with assists in just 4 matches.
B. I think Saborio is probably under-appreciated by RSL fans more than the rest of MLS, to be honest, but I don't know if he is the most under-rated or not, I think he flies under the radar of the league and national media, but it is clear that opposing teams take him very seriously.
More after the jump...
2) What would be the biggest weakness in RSL's game and how has the coaching staff worked to minimize that risk?
A.I think like most teams one big area of concern is finishing, especially early in the year. I think we saw against LA and Portland that RSL has guys who can score goals, but then we see some of the missed chances in the 1-0 loss against Chivas USA. So I think the consistency in finishing will be something that RSL suffered with last year, and now at the start of this season as well, I think the cure is knowing that we have a number of guys who can score goals from almost any position. I do think that our depth up top with 3 guys who we can rotate in and out at that position will keep each of them doing their best to really stay sharp.
3) With both the Montreal Impact and Real Salt Lake travelling to play in Salt Lake City, do you expect a big squad rotation? Also, with the team's current success, is this the result of the unit coming in together and stepping it up or an early peak of form as per expectations?
A. I do think you will see RSL rotate 3-4 guys from the lineup that started at Portland, with another match coming up on Saturday it is only natural that if a team has the depth that you try to use it. With a number of players getting healthy and match fit over the last week, that the ability to bring Nat Borchers, Javier Morales, and Alvaro Saborio back into our staring lineup was huge, it allowed us to rest Chris Schuler who had played every minute of our first 3 matches, rest a young Sebastian Velasquez who is still adjusting to the busy MLS schedule. Plus we have Will Johnson getting back to full fitness and a our new Japanese player Terukazu Tanaka, who recently had a battle with a bad case of the flu.
B. I think the level of expectations of the RSL staff on our guys coming into camp was extremely high, and with the team being dedicated to finishing better than last year it was easy to motivate them to up the level of fitness and that made the rest of the things easier. I do think the adjustment to 8 new players this year has forced the guys to both adjust to them as well to help them adjust to what RSL does that has made us one of the more successful teams over the last couple years. I think losing the supporters' shield in 2010 by just a couple of points made our guys realize that every match, every point matters big time.
What is your prediction for the game between Real Salt Lake and the Montreal Impact?
Win (11 votes)
Loss (36 votes)
Tie (3 votes)
50 total votes