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RSL hosts Revs, looks for a little Fourth of July spark

Posted on 01 July 2010 by kali

If Real Salt Lake could select a theme for Friday’s match against the New England Revolution, it would certainly be that of fireworks.

Not only will the club host a pre-Fourth of July fireworks show after the match, but the team will be looking to set off a few pyrotechnics during the game as well.  After a 0-0 draw last weekend against the San Jose Earthquakes, RSL seeks to return to the high-scoring ways that sparked its eight-game unbeaten streak.  However, at the same time, the Revs will be looking to exact a little revenge from their last visit to Rio Tinto Stadium in April 2009, which resulted in a 6-0 RSL win.

On paper, the two teams couldn’t look much different.  Real has accumulated a 7-3-3 record in 2010, building on last season’s MLS Cup-winning effort with a consistent core roster and key additions such as Alvaro Saborio.  Meanwhile, the Revs have struggled throughout the season and are just 3-8-2 while battling with both injuries and consistency.

Even the two sides’ injury lists look vastly different.  Although Real’s Kyle Beckerman, who has missed several weeks with an injured foot, had hoped to return to the lineup on Friday, he has experienced some pain in training this week and his status for the match is unclear.  Nelson Gonzalez trained with the team this week, despite his loan deal expiring on Wednesday; club officials are hoping to work something out in order to keep the young midfielder in Salt Lake.  However, with Robbie Findley back in Salt Lake after returning from World Cup duty, RSL will have an additional option up front, although he is likely to be limited to a substitute role.

Meanwhile, New England have six players out with long-term injuries:  strikers Taylor Twellman, Edgaras Jankauskas, and Zak Boggs; midfielders Steve Ralston and Khano Smith; and goalkeeper Preston Burpo.  Defender Darrius Barnes is also listed as questionable with an ankle/foot sprain.

Given the Revs’ injuries and consistency issues, Steve Nicol’s side might be expected to come into Rio Tinto Stadium and employ the same midfield-clogging tactics that several opponents have used this season.  To that end, RSL coach Jason Kreis has emphasized finishing in training this week, hoping to avoid another scoreless result.

At the same time, Real must be careful not to overlook the Revs.  Shalrie Joseph will pose a threat in the midfield, while Zack Schilawski has five goals and Kheli Dube four assists this season.  In addition, goalkeeper Matt Reis has returned to action after recovering from off-season surgery.

The match will kick off at 8 pm MT and can be seen on MLS Direct Kick.

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  1. Behind the Shield » RSL Newsstand – July 2, 2010 Says:

    […] American Soccer News: RSL hosts Revs, looks for a little Fourth of July spark […]

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