Is Real Salt Lake missing a golden opportunity? | MLS Hot Takes

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BORG: RSL should play their starters vs. Manchester United

The Gary Linekers of the world may not have noticed, but it was obvious even to Jose Mourinho that the LA Galaxy “didn’t play to win” on Saturday night, as Manchester United ran out 5-2 winners in an exhibition that saw the Galaxy start their reserve side. And the Galaxy didn't have an MLS league match for another four days.

But I'd argue Mike Petke and Real Salt Lake should do the exact opposite on Monday night against Manchester United (10 pm ET on ESPN2), even with a league match against the Portland Timbers looming on Wednesday night (10:30 pm ET on MLS LIVE).

They say these friendlies – win or lose – are meaningless. And I generally agree with the strategy of fielding understrength sides for these. But when it's Manchester United in front of a sellout crowd on national TV, the stakes rise to a level where fielding a starting lineup is not so farfetched. Why not give both Manchester United and your supporters a night they'll never forget?

The latter is unlikely to happen: Real Salt Lake have already made it clear that they're fielding a reserve side against the Red Devils. But keep in mind that if RSL don't make the MLS Cup playoffs this year, it's probably safe to say that it won't be because of a result in Portland, where they've won just once in eight all-time regular season visits (in 2012).

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