Well it is match day and that means it is time to take a look at what I think will be the players and match ups that will be the key factors in the match. It has been interesting this week to hear what the players, fans, and coaches have had to say about RSL vs Seattle and if this is a rivalry in the making or something different.
I think it comes down to what you consider a rivalry, for me it probably more about the intensity of the matches both being played and in the stands. I don’t believe I have to hate a team or their fans for them to be a rival, but some do. I think the intensity of matches as well as the importance of the matches between RSL and Seattle have created a rivalry but one that if probably focused more on respect than hate. I consider that both are teams that joined MLS well into the history of the league, each side has taken a very different path to success both on and off the pitch, one is building their history day by day and one has laid claim to a history built in other leagues. More on the rivalry aspect later;
Javier Morales – While I don’t expect Javi to start the match, you never know, but I do think that with several road matches in front of RSL in coming weeks that they will try to get Javi into the match at some point to get him further on his road to full match fitness. This could be a very good thing for RSL, or a very bad thing. Javi has never scored a goal or provided an assist against Seattle in the 6 regular season matches he has played against them, and has often been victimized by a “hack-a-Javi” style of defense. Still it should be interesting to see how he does on Saturday.