Many thanks to Denzel Eslinger, who is the lead author of RSL Soapbox, the SB Nation blog for Real Salt Lake. He took the time to answer a few questions about Real Salt Lake, Sporting Kansas City, and his thoughts on the keys to the game this Saturday.
1. Real Salt Lake seem to be hitting their stride at the right moment as teams make their final push for a playoff spot. What do you think has been the difference as of late?
A. Well it is about finally getting a group of guys on the pitch who have played more than a handful of matches together, between injuries, national team call ups, and the never ending string of bizarre red cards it has been hard to get the same players on the pitch. I think was was really clear in our midfield, first we lose Javier Morales and while the team was looking for a way to attempt to fill that void by using a number of different players, Andy Williams, Collen Warner, Nelson Gonzalez, Arturo Alvarez, and Luis Gil in a number of different combinations with what had become our regular starters of Kyle Beckerman, Will Johnson, and Ned Grabavoy, the injuries and call ups kept hitting us. Finally it was Luis Gil, a 17 yr old who started to distinguish himself from the pack as a creative player strong enough to claim that top spot in the diamond. Of course then Ned went out with an injury and Will had some big call ups for the Canadian National Team, but when RSL has been able to go with a midfield of Andy Williams, Kyle Beckerman, Luis Gil, and Will Johnson the results have been fairly good.