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MLS Cup 2013: Most Exciting Sporting and Royals Players to Watch in Title

SANDY, UT - JUNE 9: Javier Morales #11 of Real Salt Lake celebrates his game winning goal against the Los Angels Galaxy during the second half of an MLS soccer game June 9, 2010 in Sandy, Utah. Real beat the Galaxy 1-0. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
George Frey/Getty Images
David DanielsSenior Writer IDecember 2, 2013

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

KANSAS CITY, KS - OCTOBER 11: Graham Zusi #19 of the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team fends off Lloyd Doyley #3 of the Jamaica late in the second half at Sporting Park on October 11, 2013 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

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

SANTA CLARA, CA - MARCH 03:  Chris Wondolowski #8 of the San Jose Earthquakes battles for control of the ball with Alvaro Saborio #15 of Real Salt Lake during their MLS Soccer game at Buck Shaw Stadium on March 3, 2013 in Santa Clara, California. Real Sal
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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 in the scoreboard after also going goalless in November.

 

2. Claudio Bieler, Kansas City

FOXBORO, MA - MARCH 23:  Matt Reis #1 of New England Revolution makes a save on kick by Claudio Bieler #16 of Sporting KC in the second half at Gillette Stadium on March 23, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Bieler may not play many minutes in the 2013 MLS Cup final. He was an unused substitute in two out of Kansas City's last four matches. He also came off the bench only in the 83rd and 90th minute of the other two. However, limited minutes don't take away from the fact that Bieler is one of the most thrilling offensive talents when he's on the field.

Despite being in the doghouse much of the year, he still led Sporting in scoring with 11 goals, tying him for 10th in the MLS. He's also third on the club with four assists.

The 29-year-old forward has proven that he doesn't need to start to impact the outcome of a game. He took advantage of his one shot attempt against New England on Nov. 6, scoring a goal after entering the match 83 minutes in.

 

1. Javier Morales, Real Salt Lake

SANDY, UT - JULY 07: Javier Morales #11 of Real Salt Lake kicks the ball down field during a game against the Portland Timbers during the first half of an MLS soccer game July 7, 2012 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Real Salt Lake beat the Portland T
George Frey/Getty Images

The 33-year-old midfielder is just one of many exciting footballers in this matchup, but he's been the most consistent out of all of them. He's second on the team with nine goals and tied for second in the MLS with nine assists, which also leads the Royals.

While his play has been exceptional all season, he's saved his best for the playoffs. Morales has recorded a goal and two assists in Salt Lake's last three matches. No goal-producing talent on either club has been hotter, and that's why he's the most exciting footballer to watch.

 

David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.

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