Did you see what I did there? If you did, then you also saw the complete performance by Real Salt Lake against their Western Conference foe Sporting KC. One of the best rivalries was a gold mine of excitement. There was great defensive positioning by the defense to get so many off sides called and great combination plays in the final third that lead to goals by Luke Mullholland and Justen Glad. It was great to see how well RSL responded without so many core players. The one player that stood out the most was Justen Glad.
With the some of the worst officiating and inconsistent calls from the referee, RSL was able to hand SKC their first loss of the season and earn the full 3 points on the road. There were so many players that played well so this decision was hard to make. Plata with his great free kick and Mullholand's one time shot goal from 30 yards out. But, Glad played great from the beginning of the the game. He was able to close out the gap between he and Dom Dwyer. His positioning was outstanding, he was able to cut out so many balls crossed into the box and he was able to finally open his account by scoring a a header assisted from a free kick taken by Joao Plata in the 28th minute. What was most impressive was his confidence going up against the front three of SKC. He was able cut out pass to the front three and was able to make his presence know and win a lot of balls in the air.
Glad has a bright future and could become one of the best center backs in the league. He definitely has earned the right to be up for the starting position. He helped solidify a defense that has been in question since the start of this season. His pairing with Aaron Maund made the center backs look complete. Also, his understanding with left back Chris Wingert, before he was taken out of the game, was top notch. They knew where they other one was at all times and they were able to create frustration for SKC. This kind of understanding of the game is quite rare, especially from a 19 year old player. Glad can, and will, start to make a name for himself not only within the organization but in the league for his confidence and his ability to his presence known.
Real Salt Lake will carry this momentum back to RioT to take on their Rocky Mountain rival the Colorado Rapids. With everyone contributing at full strength, RSL is starting to look like they are ready to take on the league.