MLS Cup 2013: Keys to Final Match for Sporting and Royals

Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City will compete for the same 2013 MLS Cup Trophy on Saturday, Dec. 7, but they won’t compete with the same strategy. Each football club has a different key that will swing the match its way if accomplished. Here are those keys.   Real Salt Lake: Push the Tempo Only one team scored more goals in the regular season this year than the Royals. Their offensive is explosive, and their best chance to claim the MLS Cup crown is to take advantage of that explosiveness by pushing the tempo. Leading this lethal scoring attack will be the top goal scorer and assist man in the contest. Alvaro Saborio scored 12 goals this season, finishing tied for seventh in MLS. Javier Morales, who scored eight goals himself, also notched 10 assists, fourth most in the league. Sitting back and playing it safe takes the game out of the hands of Saborio and Morales. Pushing the tempo allows Real Salt Lake’s offensive stars to shine.   Sporting Kansas City: Take Smart Shots Kansas City scored 10 fewer goals than Real Salt Lake this season, despite attempting 52 more shots. And despite attempting 52 more shots, Sporting finished with 13 fewer shots on goal than the ...
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MLS Cup 2013: Most Exciting Sporting and Royals Players to Watch in Title

Kansas City and Real Salt Lake wouldn't be facing off on Dec. 7 for the 2013 MLS Cup title without several explosive offensive talents. Here are the most exciting Sporting and Royals players to keep an eye out for in the championship. They'll likely decide the contest's outcome.   4. Graham Zusi, Kansas City The versatile 27-year-old midfielder's play this season earned him a roster spot on the MLS All-Stars this season. Zusi didn't score a goal in November, but he'll still enter the championship ranked third on the club with six goals this season. Even more valuable than his scoring, though, is Zusi's ability to create offense for his teammates. He leads Sporting with seven assists, his latest coming in a 3-1 victory over New England.   3. Alvaro Saborío, Real Salt Lake No goal scorer in the MLS Cup final has accomplished more than Saborío this season. He's racked up 12 goals in 2013, tying him for seventh in the league in scoring.  The 31-year-old Costa Rican's most recent highlight came when he converted a penalty kick against Chivas USA on Oct. 23, creating a lead that the Royals would hold on to for the 2-1 triumph. He, like Zusi, will be itching to put a dent ...
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