With the first leg of the Rocky Mountain Cup derby coming up on Wednesday, Denz from RSLSoapbox and I got together and did the usual "3 Questions" gambit with a bonus question tacked onto the end of it. You can see the answers that I gave to his questions about Colorado over on his blog, while his answers to me about his team can be found below.
1. Obviously the team can slot in their back-up players as they like since collectively they're better than the New England Revolution, are there any of those younger guys we might see sneak into the starting XI against the Rapids due to rest, injury or otherwise?
Denz - I think RSL will play their normal starters to get them a match before heading into the Champions League next week, the schedule was adjusted to move this match to a midweek match to allow RSL the extra time to prepare and travel for the Champions League. It may seem a bit cocky that RSL did that but I think being prepared for the possibility is much better than having to react to circumstances. I don't know of any real injury issues that would impact the RSL lineup so I expect: Rimando, Russell, Olave, Borchers, Wingert, Williams, Beckerman, Morales, Grabavoy, Espindola and Saborio. Of course Grabavoy will fill in for Will Johnson who got a second yellow last weekend and is out for this match. Don't be surprised if you see Paulo Jr. or Collen Warner get some minutes, both were very good against New England.
2. Do you think that the league ruining the old - well, as old as it could be - tradition of having RSL/Colorado play on the final day of the season has made the Rocky Mountain Cup somehow less fun, or is the general fire between the fanbases enough to keep it just as hot as usual?
A) I think the rivalry will survive, I would have loved to see the rivalry get to stay on the final weekend, but I have heard rumors that there may be another event at Dick's on the final weekend. That could be what impacted the second leg being moved up a week, but the upside is that it will be on national TV and so it will be a chance for both teams and their fans to share the passion that has made this the best rivalry in MLS with the entire world. I actually think that with RSL winning the Cup in 2009 and Colorado winning it last year, takes this rivalry to a whole new level. This is now champion vs. champion, so clearly the RMC takes on a whole new level of significance as it now represents the best of the best in MLS. I expect that both teams will be able to bring in decent sized crowds for the matches, even if the day of the week and for this leg the weather aren't ideal.
3. Disregarding #TheQuad, which would you rather, win the CCL or do a Supporters Shield/MLS Cup double?
A) That is a great question, I have to say the CCL. The chance to advance to the World Club Cup is simply too big to of an opportunity for the team to not hope that happens, first because of what it would mean to the players, staff and fans of RSL, second because it would show the improvements that have been made over the last couple years by the league. But trust the early season hype of everyone isn't what made me start thinking that this team could make a huge amount of history this year, or #TheQuad, it was the depth that everyone got to see last weekend. Pundits around the league mention depth but spending time watching this team closely over the last year, I know that there are honestly 20 guys on this team who could challenge for starting minutes on any team in the league. Then there are a few guys that nobody is talking about like Cody Arnoux, Luis Gil, Donny Toja and Conor Chinn who people will be talking about before this year is over.
Bonus Question!: Which Rapids player would you be most likely to take and swap into the Salt Lake lineup?
Marvell Wynne, I have been a huge fan since he joined the league in 2006 and I had hoped that RSL would have him available in the draft. I think he would be the perfect addition to the RSL rotation at outside back, his speed and ability to create offensively would be a great addition to our roster.