I'm not big on previews, given that they require a level of attention to detail, and my brain thinks details kind of suck. And that's especially true today, when my beloved Equipe de France is also playing.
(Don't ask, because I have no idea; true love is frequently inexplicable.)
So instead I'll just link you to the post-match awards I gave after RSL lost to the Red Bulls in the Western Conference, which actually do give a bit of a feel for how Salt Lake plays. (And you can always check out Rocky at our RSL blog for more fun and information.)
RSL has the potential to be a dark horse contender in the Western Conference this year. All of the pieces are there; they just need to complete the puzzle. They've only been around since 2004, and the results haven't always been pretty, but under coach Jason Kreis things seem to be taking shape.
(I just typed, "shaking tape." I definitely need more caffeine this morning.)
From the Salt Lake Tribune:
Yet, while many of its opponents have focused on getting better by shaking up their rosters and seeking new talent, RSL believes it has improved by doing precisely the opposite -- keeping the core of the team together and allowing the players who achieved the best season in team history to grow even more familiar with one another, after going 10-10-10 last season and unexpectedly surging to within one victory of reaching the MLS Cup championship game.
"I said at the beginning of last year that the thing that was going to hold us back was time together," coach Jason Kreis said. "And now we have time together, and that's why I think we're a much better team."
I didn't watch a lot of RSL games last year, buy my memory is saying they're prone to a fast, attacking game. Couple that with the way Seattle played last week and this could be lots of fun. And I don't think we're going to see the Seattle cakewalk we saw last week against Red Bulls.
As far as players to watch, from a completely biased this is just who I like perspective: Kyle Beckerman (look for the hair), Robbie Findley, and Javier Morales. And Yura Movsisyan is always a scoring threat, although I don't think any blogger should be required to type his name on a Saturday before at least 2:00 p.m..
For Seattle, Sigi has implied that he won't be making changes to the starting lineup, except that I think that Steve Zakuani will replace Sanna Nyassi due to injury. (In a reversal, Sanna has one this game, Steve doesn't. Although Sanna is listed as "probable" and could be on the bench.) And expect Freddie (the underwear guy, not the Colombian) to make an appearance at some point.
I'd give you an expected RSL starting lineup, except that my internet connection has decided that neither you nor I really need to see it. So never mind.
If you're going to the game, be sure to bring you rain gear if you have it, as this looks like it could be ugly. And don't forget your scarves!!