During today’s two-hour training session at Xango Field (the first of two scheduled practices today) coach Jason Kreis worked the team extremely hard. They started with small-sided 6 v 6 groups, broke up into 11 v 11 and then finished with 8 v 8. From the standpoint of potential line-ups this weekend, the 11 v 11 was the most telling, and early indications are that Nate Sturgis will be in the starting 11.
In the first of the two 15-minute games, Sturgis got the starting nod at holding midfield, with Javier Morales in front of him and Kyle Beckerman and Dema Kovalenko on the wings. The starting backline was the same as last weekend, while Kenny Deuchar and Fabian Espindola were the starting strikers. With several days remaining until the D.C. United match, it would appear this is the direction Kreis is leaning. With that said, in the second 15-minute game Kreis mixed things up quite significantly replacing Deuchar, Espindola, Sturgis, Chris Wingert, Matias Mantilla and Nick Rimando with Yura Movsisyan, Robbie Findley, Carey Talley, Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave and Chris Seitz.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Kreis veers a bit from his tentative line-up from today, but Sturgis seems like a good bet to get the starting nod at holding mid after Talley’s rough performance at Chivas USA.
For those of you driving home from work today along I-15, be sure to glance toward RSL’s future home in Sandy. Construction crews began putting the canvas covering over the steel framing of the stadium overhang. As I was driving to Lehi for RSL’s morning practice they were just beginning to put the first piece on, and as I returned the second piece was being placed. I’m not sure if the canvas will be painted white to match the steel, but you can really get a sense of what the finished product will look like now.
Predictions for Wednesday’s various games
MLS league game: Kansas City 2, New England 0
Record to date: Correct 7, Incorrect 6.
Note: I’m counting draws in my record, therefore picking a draw that results in a winner is considered incorrect.
Houston 2, Saprissa 0, Houston advances on aggregate 2-0
Pachuca 1, D.C. United 1, Pachuca advances no aggregate 3-1
What are your thoughts on tonight’s CONCACAF games, as well as Kreis’ apparent decision to go with Nate Sturgis at holding mid.