This was one of those games that leaves you frustrated with what could have been. If RSL had a few games under their belt, if they would have finished their chances they had, and if they were not so fatigued, maybe things would have turned out differently.
You have to take into account the odd scheduling for CONCACAF Champions League that puts MLS at a disadvantage right off the bat. It is undeniable that this makes things difficult for all of the MLS sides. RSL lacked the sharpness they needed and are clearly not a cohesive unit, at least not for a full game. Ideas were there, but the full package was not.
Over the first sixty minutes of the game, RSL looked every bit as good as one could hope, especially against the 2015 Liga MX champions. RSL had some good possession play and created some very good scoring opportunities that they were unfortunately unable to finish. What's most frustrating about this is that before the season started, Yura said he only needs one chance to score. By my count, he had two clear chances and another half chance. I'm not saying it's doomsday, in fact, I still think Movsisyan will have a great season. But his salary and his own words did set expectations for the fans and last night he didn't live up to it. But, you have to feel optimistic about how well they fared in Mexico until things broke down in the last half hour. Salt Lake really was going toe to toe with Tigres up until the set piece defending let them down.
The team is still not 90 minutes fit. And to be fair, you can't really blame them. The only way to get in soccer shape is to get a few games under your belt. The longer the game went on, the heavier RSL's legs got. Heavy legs lead to a lack of focus and a lack of focus typically leads to punishment, especially on the road in Mexico and especially in Olave's case.
At the end of the day, there is reason to be both optimistic and critical. On the downside, it is unclear why Jeff Cassar would not use all three substitutions when the team was clearly in need of some energy. RSL had a favorable result for much of the match and asinine mistakes led to an unfavorable result. The finishing simply wasn't good enough. The set piece defending looks like it might be a problem going forward.
On the upside, RSL created plenty of chances against the Mexican champs. That is nothing to sneeze at. RSL gave TIgres more than they expected over the course of the first half. That is a good sign.
It's difficult to feel good about the result, but it's also difficult to be upset considering the circumstances.