Tonight’s a big night for Real Salt Lake. Not only is first place in the West on the line, but it’s a Rocky Mountain Cup match as well. Looking ahead to next Saturday’s (May 24) at FC Dallas, coach Jason Kreis could have a tough decision to make and I want to get the fans input about what might transpire.
When May 24 roles around, Tony Beltran will be in France participating in a pre-Olympic tournament whereas Ian Joy’s status for the next few weeks is still very much up in the air because of his ankle problems. That leave Chris Wingert as the only proven, healthy option at outside back. What is coach Jason Kreis going to do at the other outside back?
Here are some viable options:
RSL could come out in a 3-5-2 like it did against Dallas last weekend. That would push Wingert to the midfield, and Nat Borchers, Matias Mantilla and Jamison Olave would make up the three-man backline.
If Nate Sturgis is healthy, he could play left back. That’s where he was used in his most recent appearance with the Under-23 U.S. National Team. Sturgis hasn’t proven himself in the past year to be a fast healer, and he might still be out with his hamstring strain even next week.
Here’s perhaps the most interest possibility — Nikolas Besagno. It’s probably highly unlikely, but Besagno has started at right back in the past two reserve games and played pretty well. His 90-minute fitness is an issue coming off offseason knee surgery, but it’s an interesting scenario involving RSL’s No. 1 overall pick in 2005.
Lastly, Dustin Kirby has been playing a lot of outside back in reserve games this year, and has been pretty impressive as well. If RSL plays a 4-4-2 and Joy isn’t healthy at Dallas next week, Kirby’s presence comes with the fewest question marks and might just happen.
What do readers think of these options, and what are some other options as well?