MLS Cup 2013’s lineups are surprise free, which is good news for Western Conference Champions Real Salt Lake. With both Chris Wingert and Álvaro Saborío in Jason Kreis’s starting XI, RSL’s two injury doubts have been alleviated. The veteran left back, who missed the conference final’s second leg against Portland, and the Costa Rican international, three games on the sideline, are ready to make their returns.
The only surprise for the visitors: the absence of Devon Sandoval, who started both games of the Western Conference finals. According to Real Salt Lake, Sandoval’s “[exacerbated] the fractured [bone] in his right foot, on which he has played the last month,” keeping him for dressing for today’s game.
For Kansas City, the only mild surprise comes on the bench, but when you’re talking about the difference between Lawrence Olum and Soony Saad, there are only so many jaws that are going to drop. Now healthy after an early postseason injury, Olum returns to the 18, adding depth to midfield. With three other forwards dressing (Jacob Peterson, Teal Bunbury, Claudio Bieler), Saad was deemed redundant, even if the former Michigan attacker offers something slightly different than Peter Vermes’ other forwards.
Sporting’s starting lineup’s the same as we’ve seen through most of the playoffs, with the XI that clinched Kansas City’s return to the title game given a chance to bring home the team’s first title since 2000.
Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen; Chance Myers, Aurélien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic; Oriol Rosell, Paulo Nagamura, Benny Feilhaber; Graham Zusi, Dom Dwyer, C.J. Sapong.
Substitutes: Eric Kronberg, Ike Opara, Federico Bessone, Jacob Peterson, Claudio Bieler, Teal Bunbury, Lawrence Olum
Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Chris Schuler, Chris Wingert; Luis Gil, Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy; Javier Morales; Robbie Findley, Álvaro Saborío.
Substitutes: Jeff Attinella, Lovel Palmer, João Plata, Sebastian Velasquez, Olmes Garcia, Cole Grossman, Brandon McDonald