The Jeff Cassar of yesteryear is no more — Real Salt Lake’s coach was famously hesitant to criticize his team in 2015, and that hasn’t been the trend this year.
Take, for instance, his statements after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Montreal Impact. He wasn’t shy about saying the team started poorly.
I haven't thought we started slow in the past two games. Tonight was very poor - without a doubt, disappointing. Good response in the second half - better movement, more urgency. I still think that we can create the chances that we want from more simple passing than relying on individual moves, because a lot of times that puts you in bad situations for counterattacks. We need to improve on the way we start; I do like the response that we had in the second half. — Jeff Cassar via RSL Communications)
And this one, about the chemistry of the team lacking.
We need to look at the combination of players. We had to pull Jamison [Olave] out right before the game and that throws a monkey wrench in there. I thought Omar [Holness] worked extremely hard, but the chemistry just wasn't there, which is to be a little bit expected. I told the guys at halftime - in all honesty - I could sub 12 players. I could sub myself; I could sub every single one of them, but we made one change to get the chemistry back that we had, and I thought that happened in the second half - especially at the beginning. We started to play better, with more confidence moving the ball. But that start was rough. It was rough from everyone. We'll move on - we have to.
It’s clear that Cassar has been changing his tune significantly in the last few months. Real Salt Lake has been — at times — dismally poor. At other times, they’ve been most excellent. It’s hard to really get a read on this side, which, well,