This being rivalry week #1 for the Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake, denz from RSL Soapbox and I decided to throw down a little Q&A about our favorite teams. You can see the questions that he asked me along with my probably horrible answers on RSL Soapbox now. You can see denz's answers to my questions after the jump!
1. Obviously the Rapids getting rid of Mehdi Ballouchy has finished the driving home of the point that trading Kyle Beckerman to RSL was one of the biggest mistakes in the history of the franchise. Has Kyle been on form for RSL as highly as he always was at his old home in the time he's played in Utah?
1. You know Kyle has been great lately, he had a foot injury back in June and missed a number of matches this summer but he has been back for almost two months and is right back on form. I have never understood the trade, but it is clear that the potential of Medhi Ballouchy never developed in Colorado the way Kyle's leadership has for RSL. That trade might not work out too bad for the Rapids if Kandji ever develops into the player that myself and others think he is capable of being. I laugh all the time when I think of how much hatred most RSL fans had for Kyle when he was the midfield bulldog for Colorado, and how much most of them love him now that he is our bulldog (or sheepdog if you judge by hair styles).
2. Is the prospect of fatigue come playoff time a worry for RSL considering the cup competitions, CCL etc. as well as the 30 game season?
2. After a longer than expected season in 2009, RSL was the last team to start their preseason camps and training in 2010 and it was just that factor 30 games in league play, ? in Open Cup, and at least 6 matches in CCL. Fatigue has been a factor but some wise moves on lineups and better than expected depth have really helped. Jason believes that we have 20 guys on our roster who can play at first team level in MLS, and most of them love being here and fighting for those first team minutes. The match Saturday will be the 4th of 5 matches RSL plays in 13 days, including trips to Panama and Canada, but on Wednesday, RSL left Nat Borcher, Chris Wingert, Javier Morales, Andy Williams, and Paulo Junior all at home either for minor injuries or to rest. I would expect the same thing might happen when RSL leaves for Toronto on Sunday. For RSL it really has come down to the quality of our next 8 players after the starting 11, and they have done more than most would have expected.
3. If by some manner of wizardry the Rapids somehow win tomorrow or Salt Lake drop another couple games in the next few, do you expect RSL to play more conservatively to prepare for the playoff race with their Supporters Shield hopes dashed?
3. First, I don't think Colorado will be able to pull off an upset win at "El Castillo" on Saturday, but I think with the form RSL has been playing over the last 20 matches that no matter the result of any of the league or Champions League matches that the tactics or style of play will change much. People got a great look at what RSL is all about when we headed to Mexico City and lost a thriller 5-4 to Cruz Azul , the fact that we went there to play our style of footy and almost became the first MLS team to win in Mexico was huge. I give Toronto a lot of credit for going there and getting a hard fought 0-0 draw, but it wasn't exactly a fun match to watch. I don't think Jason likes to play conservatively every, but he has learned that sometimes protecting a lead is an important thing to be able to do. I just don't see it happening this year.