Ahead of tonight's match up between the New York Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake, Once a Metro caught up with RSL Soapbox Editor Randall Serr, and talked about the only regular season match between the two sides this year.
Once a Metro (OaM): Real Salt Lake is near the bottom of the Western Conference for the first time in years. Has the Kreis magic worn off?
RSL Soapbox (RSL): Maybe I'm a homer, but I really think that RSL's biggest issue so far has been injuries to multiple players, including but not limited to, Javier Morales, Joao Plata, Jamison Olave, Chris Schuler, Sebastian Jaime, and Demar Phillips. Now that they have their key offensive players back, they look better. It will only help when we aren't using our 4th and 5th preferred defenders (although they have filled in admirably).
OaM: How does one go about stopping Javier Morales and Alvaro Saborio?
RSL: I don't know if there is a way to stop Javier Morales outside of double or triple-teaming him. The other option that has frustrated Morales and RSL in the past is when the opposing teams park the bus in front of their goal, which I don't expect to happen at all in this match. Morales is simply a fantastic player that truly seems to be getting better every year. One way to stop Alvaro Saborio is to get him frustrated through a couple of misses. You won't have to worry about him since he will not be with the team in this one. There is an ongoing investigation into why he had an extended absence after being permitted to leave the team for a day then proceeded to miss the game against Sporting KC for "personal reasons", whatever that means.
OaM: The RSL defense has had injury issues lately. Is this a prime time for Bradley Wright-Phillip to get out of his scoring funk?
RSL: It very well could be, although I though that Justen Glad and Aaron Maund did really well against the firepower of Dom Dwyer, Graham Zusi, and Krisztian Nemeth. Like I mentioned before, they are not the typical starters but they have played well together thus far and done much better than anyone expected, myself included. Justen Glad is only 18 years old and has loads of promise going forward with how good he is on the ball and how sound he is fundamentally. Aaron Maund has done decently well over the past few years as a backup and is somewhat experienced in this role. The problem is that BWP is a fantastic finisher and only needs a sniff to score, so I wouldn't be surprised if he has at least a goal.
You can read our side of the conversation on their website. The Red Bulls & Real Salt Lake play tonight at 7:30 PM Eastern.