KANSAS CITY, Kansas — Real Salt Lake will roll out a surprising line-up in tonight’s MLS Cup rematch against Sporting Kansas City.
Nick Rimando (knee) and Tony Beltran (ankle) didn’t travel with the team because of injuries picked up during Wednesday’s U.S. National Team match against Mexico. Neither is expected to miss more than a week or two.
Rimando’s absence opens the door for back-up keeper Jeff Attinella to make his first start of the 2014 season after starting four matches a year ago.
The bigger concern is with RSL’s backline. With Chris Wingert already ruled out after picking up a groin injury against Toronto FC last week, Beltran’s sprained ankle means Rich Balchan and Abdoulie Mansally will start opposite each other at outside back between Nat Borchers and Chris Schuler.
Balchan hasn’t started a game since the 2011 season when he was with the Columbus Crew. Mansally brings a bit more experience to the table after making nine starts for RSL last season, but he’s proven to be pretty inconsistent during his time in Utah.
There are no surprises with RSL’s other six starters. Kyle Beckerman, Luis Gil, Ned Grabavoy and Javier Morales will start at midfield, with Alvaro Saborio and Olmes Garcia getting the nod up top.