MONTERREY, Mexico — Real Salt Lake are about to meet their match, quite literally.
The MLSers are in Mexico preparing to face Monterrey in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final, which kicks off on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; Fox Soccer). Ahead of the match, RSL head coach Jason Kreis noted that los Rayados play a style of soccer his players should be more than familiar with — after all, they see it every day in practice.
“They play a very similar style to what we do,” Kreis said. “I didn’t know that until I watched three or four of their games.”
The RSL coach also indicated that although the Mexican team's formation may slightly change on Wednesday giving it a different look, its approach should be very similar to that of his side.
“They play with four backs,” Kreis said. “They play with four midfielders that interchange positions a ton.”
[inline_node:333133]The interchanging in the midfield is a hallmark of Kreis' team, and something that sets them apart from other MLS clubs.
“Sometimes they play with one forward, and sometimes they play with two,” he added. “It doesn’t really affect their tactics much. Their wide backs go forward like crazy.”
However, the RSL players themselves have not seen too much of their opponents yet, though many have watched their recent Champions League campaign.
“They play pretty good soccer," RSL captain Kyle Beckerman said. "They keep the ball on the ground, and they’re really dangerous. They’ve got some really good players.”
“But we’re good too, so they’re going to have to deal with us,” Beckerman added.
Midfielder Andy Williams noted that Monterrey are not only fast but also a "technical, gifted team.” However, RSL will have a couple of days to pore over video in order to get to know their opponents better.
“They’re a fantastic team,” Kreis said. “I’m really looking forward to the challenge. I’m expecting a fantastic game on Wednesday.”