It is said, maybe too often and it’s all too much a cliche, that some draws feel like a win. Anyone else feel like that after this one?
What a night. What a game.
(I feel like there should be dubious question marks after each of those statements)
On center back pairings
Here’s the thing. I’ve been pretty critical of Jamison Olave and I still believe that serious thought needs to be given about his future at Real Salt Lake. That said, he’s been critical in this recent run for our boys and I’ll be the first to eat crow about it. There’s two things I think we need to be aware of with Olave and his, at this point, notorious gaffes.
He requires a cerebral and vocal partner to be at his best.
He’s better when on the field with someone he’s familiar with.
I could go into those to great detail but the point I’m trying to make is that without someone to guide, and most times rein in, Jamison we are just bound to end up with 1-2 big mistakes a match and we have to hope that those mistakes don’t end up costing us 3 points. Last night they nearly did and I knew we were in for an interesting roller-coaster-of-a-ride type game one minute in when Chris Wingert was awarded a “you did something dumb” card for a ridiculous tackle at midfield.
Putting a player like Chris into the mix at center back for last nights game makes some sense, but not a lot of it — especially when we have seen time and again that Olave’s form takes a dip for a few games when introduced to a new CB partner.
It was a rough one for both those guys but I think we’ll see the return to form we all desire from Olave when Justen gets back.
Or Maund’s foot will heal miraculously and all our problems will be solved. (?)
On MLS officiating - The Chris Penso edition.
GOOD GRACIOUS THAT MAN IS A TERRIBLE OFFICIAL.
I could just leave it at that and be completely happy. Inconsistency plagued the night, with calls and cards coming out of thin air for both teams. Just another bad night for the image of MLS and PRO Officials. They have to get better, and they won’t.
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest....
Ref’s have a really hard job and we should be understanding. CHYEAH. NOT.
The hottest of takes -
That game will pay dividends for the rest of the season. It really will. We’ve been on an upswing lately and losing that game to freaking LA 3-1 or something of the like might have been a crushing defeat. It’s been talked about a lot already but the fight that the group showed to stay in the game mentally is HUGE. LA, and many other teams, play a really defensive brand of soccer and we’ve struggled against teams that like to put 10-11 guys behind the ball and then counter when the opportunity arises. Think back to games where we’ve gone down early and then spent the next 2⁄3 of a match trying to crack a defense for a lucky goal and haven’t been able to do it.
Finding a way last night is huge, especially with the playoffs looming.
(sidebar: did anyone else feel like RSL was playing World Cup for the last 10 min of the match?)
Really good teams find a way to not lose games. Really good teams figure out how to break down a team that is bunkering with all 11 players. Really good teams don’t quit when they go down early and get a few more scored on them early in the second half. Really good teams are mentally strong — and I think RSL are well on their way to being a really good team.