Monday, May 4, 2009

RSL's lineup on Wednesday

With the announcement of a 1-game suspension for Jamison Olave meaning that he'll miss the Galaxy matchup on Wednesday, and with Olave's red card suspension and Rimando's injury - Real Salt Lake will be forced to employ a few different faces out on the pitch at Rio Tinto. So what does coach Kreis do? Who fills in those spots? And does the change in personnel force a slightly different style of game?

First, the easy one - Rimando's replacement. Two choices, Seitz and Reynish. Reynish is actually highly thought of in this organization and although he gave up a goal on Saturday, it wasn't one that you'd expect a keeper to stop. However, Seitz is clearly the air apparant and the one that other teams have had their eye on wondering how they could pry him away from RSL. Besides Kreis has already indicated that he'll be the starter.

Next, Olave. Really only two choices here, Russell and Horst. The decision really comes down to which 2nd year player Kreis has more confidence in - Horst or Beltran. I think Beltran, and you should expect to see Russell slide into a central role with Beltran filling in at wingback.

Finally, the tough one - Morales. I think there are 3 options here, Williams, Grabavoy or Mathis. The problem with Mathis is that he's played so well out wide, and you'd still have to backfill at that position if you move him into the middle. One could argue that Grabavoy would be a better fit for the style that RSL plays, with lots of movement and quick passing, but I'm not sure that he's really gelled with his teammates on the field. Bomma brings a different style, holding the ball getting into position just outside the box, using his footwork. Both are attacking players, but Andy is more of a goal scoring threat, whereas Grabavoy will likely do more of the dirty work. I'd guess that it'll be Andy, but I wouldn't be surprised either way.

Numerous other options exist - flat midfield with either Mathis or Alexander in holding roles, a 4-5-1 to try to ensure a possession game, even Espy in the starting lineup wouldn't shock me. However, with 3 key players out, I assume that Kreis will try to keep as much the same as he can.

What are your thougths?