I'm stepping in for Brian this week for this edition of the 3 Questions with RSL Soapbox.
Big D Soccer) Have the fans forgotten Jason Kreis and what he brought to this team yet or does Jeff Cassar have some work left to do here this season?
RSL Soapbox) With Jeff Cassar's success thus far in the season, I don't hear many if any fans wishing that Kreis was still around. That said, what he did for Real Salt Lake was immense. He took a club from the bottom or the barrel and made them among the cream of the crop. In fact, among some of the RSL faithful you even hear them saying now and then how much they already hate New York City FC. Some of them feel like Kreis has abandoned his "Team is the Star" mentality. My opinion is that that mantra works perfectly for a small market like RSL and that a good coach should be able to adapt to his environment. I hold no resentment towards Kreis at all nor do most fans. If Cassar is able to win a champtionship, the Kreis departure would be all but forgotten.
Big D Soccer) Both teams should be heading towards the playoffs this season and should likely be battling it out for that 3rd automatic spot in the West, if RSL ends up fourth, what team do you not want to see in that wildcard game (keep in mind RSL would be at home in this scenario)?
RSL Soapbox) If RSL ends up fourth, which is a legitimate possibility, I would not be very excited about facing the Vancouver Whitecaps. They have somehow managed to tie both times at Salt Lake City this season and they are a young, exciting, sometimes unpredictable team that is capable of beating any club on any given day. I also think Pedro Morales is one of the best midfielders in the league and he makes them that much more dangerous.
Big D Soccer) I've long said that Kyle Beckerman is the main reason for RSL's success over the years, what does his play on the field and off the field do for this club? In your opinion, is he the main reasons for the success or is there someone that is more important?
RSL Soapbox) I don't know if Kyle Beckerman is the main reason for RSL's success necessarily, but he is one of the main reasons, definitely. He has a unique skillset of being able to lock down on defense, win the ball in the back of the diamond, and distribute forward with precision. His leadership in the locker room is priceless as well. He brought a winning mentality to RSL when he arrived here and has maintained that mentality for years. When him and Rimando and Saborio were away for the World Cup, RSL went through a bit of a slump. When Beckerman and Rimando returned, things got back to normal. That isn't a coincidence.
Bonus: score prediction
RSL 2 FC Dallas 2
And now for our responses to their questions.
1) Real Salt Lake was embarrassed after losing the game in Dallas despite being a man up which gives them extra motivation for this match. Does that concern the FC Dallas fans at all or is it nothing to worry about?
Absolutely. Going into this match that is probably the one fear FCD fans have is the revenge factor. FCD had that earlier this year with San Jose were we lost two straight games to them in May, in the third and final meeting we put a beating on them in their place 5-0, so we know all well how the revenge game works.
2) Tell me about Blas Perez and what seems to be mind games that he plays with the opposing team. Is that something he normally does or was what we saw against Real Salt Lake an anomoly?
This is just how Perez plays to be honest. He is arguably the hardest working player on the field for FCD in that he never stop running and working on getting a goal. That is just his personality to be a torn in the side of the opposing team. Because of that he has earn this reputation that we all know too well and saw in the last meeting. I would say it will go away because of the last meeting but I highly doubt it. The old saying goes, you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Well, it would be the case with Perez, at this point in his career, he isn't going to change that aspect of his game anytime soon.
3) FC Dallas has had a lot of success against Real Salt Lake over their history of playing each other. Why is that?
Most of the success really comes in Texas where RSL has been dreadful over the years up until this past year really. Going to Utah is always a challenge for this club but over the last few seasons it has been one that they put up on the wall and work towards getting a good result. Plus, these two teams just match up well against one another for a game to always be close. Both teams have a good mix of young and veteran players that compliment how close these two teams really are on the field.