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Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake Preview Interview

We check back in with Matt Montgomery and RSL Soapbox to see which line up changes matter most in this the third Portland-Salt Lake match in three weeks.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Twice already this month we've gotten explanations on what to expect from Real Salt Lake from SB Nation's Salt Lake blog, RSL Soapbox. On both occasions, Matt Montgomery has filled us in on the latest news and answered some questions of ours. This time, we know you know what RSL brings to the table, so we're just taking a quick look at which injuries or suspensions have taken place since the last game and briefly how that will impact Friday night's encounter.

Who is injured or suspended from the last game (August 21)?

As a reminder, last time we met, we were without a few key players: Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando, Alvaro Saborio. This time, we could be missing Lovel Palmer and Olmes Garcia, with Palmer taking a hard hit to the head during training this week (he was only very, very lightly involved in training today) and Garcia suffering from what seems to be a muscular issue. Garcia also trained very lightly today, so it's hard to imagine he plays. We're also out current-second-choice goalkeeper Jeff Attinella, who is struggling with injury, leaving yet-to-debut Lalo Fernandez on the bench.

Who is returning from injury or suspension?

As above, we'll have Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando both certainly back in contention, so there's that. Alvaro Saborio could return, and Jason Kreis has said as much today: "I think he's feeling a lot better ... still have to converse with him about what his role can be, but I do think he's available tomorrow."

What is the effect of these changes on Real Salt Lake?

Having your captain and veteran goalkeeper back never hurts a side, and certainly Beckerman had a very good game last weekend after returning. Nick Rimando's presence is a steadying one, so there is little controversy there. Alvaro Saborio, should he play, would change the dynamic of our side - he is very much at the center of the way we play up front. He distributes from that top position to wide spots, which allows us to cut back inside and stretch play, so having him in there would be vital. Lovel Palmer wasn't likely to play, but he could have been a fine backup option. Losing Olmes Garcia hurts a bit, as he's been very important in changing the dynamic of matches in later stages.