Out of all the teams in MLS, the Chicago Fire is the most closely related to Real Salt Lake. Andy Williams, D.J. Countess, and Dispsy Selolwane all played for Chicago before joining RSL this season.
The Fire make their first trip to Rice-Eccles Stadium to face RSL this Saturday. Chicago is coming off of a strong victory at home against Colorado last week and bring many weapons to Salt Lake. Andy Williams is familiar with these weapons, but he's confident that he and his teammates will be able to hold their own.
"They have a strong midfield with Chris (Armas) and Jesse (Marsch)," said Williams. "Those are their 10-year veterans so they are going to be tough to break down in the middle.
"[With] me, Clint [Mathis], and [Brian] Kam(ler), and being at home, I think we have the advantage," said Williams, "the upper hand."
"Andy Herron is a great player, he's very dangerous," said Countess. "Justin Mapp, he has a tremendous amount of speed. That's a guy that can get in behind the defense very well. He's someone that can whip a good ball in, and he's got an amazing left foot."
All that familiarity should work well for RSL against the second best team in the Eastern Conference. But at the end of the day, it's another game. Whether playing against old buddies or complete strangers what is important is getting the win for RSL, especially in front of the home fans.
"It's another game," said Countess. "It's another chance for our team to get three points."
Williams agrees with his teammate.
"Just another home game," said Williams, "trying to get a home win."
Scott McAllister is a contibutor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.