Key Players Missing
RSL will once again be missing Javi, Nat, and Wingert through injury. Grabavoy also expected to miss with a lingering family issue (RR sends its best to him!). For DCU, DeRosario will miss the game through suspension
The K in RFK is for Kurse
RSL has played 7 games at RFK since coming into the league in 2005 (the REAL RSL 1.0). How many have they won? ZERO. Four losses, three ties. While a tie will retain the Cup for RSL for another year, we don't want to do it that way. But to win the trophy properly, they'll have to figure out the "kurse" of RFK.
This game will be the home opener for DCU which, when combined with their loss last weekend against Houston, should provide the home side a spark. If RSL can find an early break through (or even just weather the early momentum), they should be in a good position to steal at least a point and the Cup!
While Ben Olsen straight up admitted he is not near 100% fitness and will not start, I would expect the Fish, Carlos Ruiz to find his way to the bench. If DCU needs a late spark, he could be a huge one, even at less than optimal fitness.
While I thought Robbie Findley showed some flashes last week, something did seem a bit off. I mark it down to confidence issues. I think getting little game time while being continually shuffled between managers, teams, and leagues would do that to a person. If he can grab a goal, look for his play to blossom.
While we're playing the big Ben Cup match, RR just wants to give a shout out to DCU's Robbie Russell. Thanks for MLS Cup!
Having looked at both rosters on this great game guide produced by the league (although it is missing all the injuries), I like how RSL matches up here. With the exception of maybe Chris Pontius, no one in that starting 11 scares me. The loss of DeRo is a big one for this United squad. Does this mean that I think RSL will just walk all over them? Quite the opposite. There is still quite a bit of talent on that roster and RSL will be playing its second road game in as many weeks (and on the opposite coast). To be honest, while DCU is no San Jose, RSL was second-best for the first 65 minutes of that game last week and was lucky that poor finishing kept the Earthquakes off the board. If RSL's back line shows up that shaky again this week, it could get ugly. That being said, RSL is the better team and should squeak one out to get their first win at RFK. Better yet, the Ben Cup stays in Sandy!
YE OLDE ROYAL PREDICTION: RSL 2 - DCU 1 (goals to Sabo and DJ Robbie F*)
*I have no idea why I called him that, but you must admit it is awesome!
On a side note, in other DC sports news, LET'S GO ORANGE! Take down those GTown bastards!