RSL Soapbox) RSL can relate with CONCACAF Champions League woes as well as the energy that comes with a championship game (60,000 fans is a lot, by the way.) How is Montreal's mentality and play on the field after the loss in the final game?
Mount Royal Soccer) The mentality is ok I think. They have some defensive problem right now. They are in the final of the Canadian Championship but they lost 3-2 against TFC Wednesday. The away goal rule saved the Impact once again. They really need their first MLS win to put some points on the standing because right now it is like 2014. Last week they played a good 1st hald but the defense struggled a lot in the 2nd half. The freekick and corners are a real problem for Montreal and on both sides. On offense they can't managed to score some goal even if the free kick is a threat and on defense they can't keep the ball outside the net. With a guy like Beckerman who is a real threat on freekick the Impact must be ready because if they are not they will be in a lot of trouble.
RSL Soapbox) It seems like Dominic Oduro has been a great fit at Montreal. What is your suspicion as to why he has bounced around the league so much?
Mount Royal Soccer) Oduro has been good so far. He seems to put the ball in the net lately. In CCL he was the only one in front and was running a lot without getting the benefit of it. He score the goal that give the Impact the edge in the semis against Toronto this wednesday. The reason I think why he bounced so much around the league is because he is not a primary striker. You can't rely on Dominic Oduro as your first striker and be a playoff contender. Don't get me wrong here I really like him and what he brings to the field. He is very fast and is able to score but he will never be in the top 10 in scoring at the end of the season. If the Impact can get a top striker or if Jack McInerney become the striker I think he is able to be, Oduro will be a perfect fit as a second forward.
RSL Soapbox) Just how good is Ignacio Piatti and is he the best player on the club?
Mount Royal Soccer) Ignacio is the best player on the club. Period ! He his one of the top in the league and when I mean top I'm saying top 10 ! When he is on his A game the defense must be ready because he control the ball like nobody. Can he be better this year ? For sure. I think he keep the ball to much this year and if he pass it a bit more the Impact will be more dangerous. Last year he had a good chemistry with Marco Di Vaio and it was amazing. If you looked at the game against America you have surely noticed that in the 1st half he was a giant on the field ! Piatti is good but he need support !And that's the impact failed to give him this year so far.
*Questions from Mount Royal Soccer to RSL Soapbox*
Mount Royal Soccer) How would you rate and describe the RSL season so far ? What the fans are expecting in 2015 ?
RSL Soapbox)I would describe the season to this point as a slow start. RSL fans are used to a high-octane offense with plenty of possession. This has not been the case thus far with a formation change and quite a bit of personnel change. RSL has only lost a couple of games but is tying more than usual. The defense, except for one game, has been pretty stingy but the scoring opportunities have been lacking to say the least. They seem to have turned a corner in the past game with better play and better chances but RSL fans have come to expect a team that typically wins at home and makes a playoff push every year. Anything less is unacceptable at this point. You could say that Salt Lake fans have been spoiled.
Mount Royal Soccer) Kyle Beckerman is one of my favorite player to watch in MLS. But you guys have also Plata, Jaime, Saborio, Morales and maybe the best GK in the league in Rimando. Who is the Key player in the club ? And who is the odd man out ?
RSL Soapbox) For me, the key player is Kyle Beckerman. He is the heart, soul, and face of the franchise. When he came to Salt Lake, the franchise turned around very quickly. He demands the best of himself and his teammates and is a ferocious leader. You could make a solid argument that Javier Morales has just as big of an impact, but in my opinion Beckerman is irreplaceable as evidenced by RSL's dip in form when he leaves for national team duty. The player that is overlooked has to be Nick Rimando. Many would say that he is the best goalkeeper ever in MLS as you alluded to, yet he has never won Goalkeeper of the Year. You could make a solid argument that it was because of Nick Rimando that RSL has a championship. His play in the 2009 MLS Playoffs was incredible and he made multiple PK saves to carry Real Salt Lake through to the end.
Mount Royal Soccer) RSL are right now just out of a playoff spot but the season is still young. After a final lost in 2013 against Sporting KC and a lost against LA Galaxy who eventually won the cup in 2014, What RSL need to do better to won the cup in 2015 ? In what area the team need to improve to be a Cup winner this year ?
RSL Soapbox) Every fan will tell you something different as far as which players are to blame or which formation works and which one doesn't. Head coach Jeff Cassar and the management of the team apparently feel that RSL needs to be much more difficult to prepare for. I actually sympathize with their argument since many teams figured out that the way to kill the diamond formation is to sit back and defend for the majority of the game. The best teams in the league had more intricate approaches that seemed to work as well. For me, RSL simply needs to stay healthy and have a little bit better finishing touch in the biggest games. RSL was extremely close to winning a few more trophies over the years but could not score the goals in the biggest games when they mattered most. Close is not good enough in those moments.