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Behind Enemy Lines: Three Questions with RSL Soapbox

We talked with Matt Montgomery of RSL Soapbox about the upcoming match between Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake.

Jamie Squire

1) What kind of impact, both immediate and long term, do you see Brandon McDonald making?

McDonald will certainly have to fight for minutes, and that's probably the first immediate impact he'll have: Guys like Carlos Salcedo and Aaron Maund, both young and a bit untested, will have an experienced player behind them pushing for a space. It'll invoke a big test for these players. But immediately, I don't see too much changing: Aaron Maund will likely start on Saturday unless he shows poorly in training. Long-term really depends on our ability to negotiate McDonald's contract in 2014, as he's a bit expensive right now.

2) RSL did more than OK against Dallas without multiple players on Gold Cup duty, will that trend continue this weekend?

I sure hope so. As ever, it'll get worse before it really gets better, and missing four key players is never preferable. The trend of doing well in spite of this fact relies on the squad depth we've been cultivating all year, and that's still very much there - when we switch a player out either by choice or necessity, his replacement understands the tactical role that must be filled. This is key, and it hasn't changed. I see no reason why the trend can't continue. That said, we're on our third-choice goalkeeper and fifth-choice center back, so that's not exactly the best way to go into this match.

3) RSL hasn't lost since May 11th, what's been the biggest reason why?

Heart. Spirit. Determination. Or, you know, simply being very good. It's not about luck - most of these matches have seen us win matches cleanly - but about tactical understanding and flexibility. It's evidenced in the deep goalscorers list: We've escaped the trappings of having one or two players who contribute most goals. When a player is having a poor match, we know this season that it's not the player scoring all of our goals. That shouldn't be underestimated.