Real Salt Lake’s preseason is, as expected, soldiering on, and we’ll be waiting anxiously to see if our beloved team can avoid the seemingly inevitable and not draw another preparatory match.
If it is inevitable, though, I ask just one thing: Give us another 3-3 one, universe. To say that’s been fun is an understatement. We’ve seen goals on goals on goals, and I say, keep them coming. If we’re not going to be great defensively, let’s kill it offensively. In the process, that will probably kill my nerves, too, and that’s not too bad, right?
These two teams squaring off in preseason is probably not going to be quite as heated as some of our other preseason matches have been, though. LA Galaxy seem like they’re fun at parties and all that. There’s probably less of the existential angst that plagues Portland Timbers and Sporting Kansas City, neither of whom are particularly fun to play against, I think. I like a good competitive match, but the petulant child in me hates other petulant children, and that’s what we always get when we face those two.
Sure, maybe we need that in our lives or something, but this one could be different in a nice way. Maybe it’s because over the last few years, the Galaxy showed why exactly they’re better than us each season (come on, try denying it). Maybe it’s just because we usually get mad at them and call them a rival because they’re better than us. My heart hurts just thinking about it. Please don’t make me remember last year’s playoffs. Or 2014. And definitely don’t make me think about how we made it to that Outside the Playoffs spot in 2015. Anything but that.
Thankfully, none of this is about history. Our history with LA Galaxy always seems inward-facing, except for the times it isn’t. You know, like the angry shouting with David Beckham. Or the angry pointing. Or the head-to-head with Jason Kreis. You get it.
Don’t be bad in the middle
If Real Salt Lake want to win this game — and I’m sure they do, although their reasons for wanting to win are probably different than mine — they’ll have to correct one thing they’ve made a startling habit of.
They can’t be awful in the middle of the field.
This is serious. Half of our goals (or so, I haven’t counted) have come because somebody has given up possession weakly in the middle of the field. I won’t blame anyone in particular Luke, but Mulholland somebody has to be Aaron held accountable Maund now and again. If I have to watch one more tame backpass from 40 yards out, or a player dribble forward and give the ball away without even being prompted, I’ll probably be even more passive aggressively including players names in sentences. And nobody needs that; it makes it hard to read.
Be more positive, Matt
You know, sometimes I’m accused of being too positive about Real Salt Lake. I don’t think that’s true. I think the problem is more that I’m sometimes decidedly non-negative. I don’t want to get into the “considered opinions blah blah blah” nonsense, because 1) it’s boring, and 2) you don’t care. That’s fair. I don’t blame you.
Anyway, yeah, that last section above? I’m not feeling super excited about our midfield right now, and that’s probably not necessarily accurate. (There I go again.) I’m excited about some parts, though. Omar Holness? He’s showing up in games and making a difference. Luke Mulholland? Well, he’s probably not as bad as I thought. Sunny? He’s probably still taking his preseason nap, because he’s been on the not-good side of things. Kyle Beckerman? I’m sure the injury’s nothing.
So what do I want? I just want to see a midfield that’s cohesive. If we see Luis Silva in the middle, I want to see him next to a Sunny or a Beckerman. You know the person: somebody who understands defending and won’t make me sad when he passes the ball to the opponent for a perfect accidental assist. But also somebody defensively minded. Especially that.
So, yeah. That midfield’s not going to be as bad as I’m fearing now, mostly because there’s no way they can be. Or, rather, there are lots of ways they could be, but I don’t think any of them are likely to happen.
So, maybe we get our act together. That sounds nice, if not essential.
Rather than organize my thoughts into “sentences” and “paragraphs,” I thought I’d just leave you with a random assortment of things I want to see in this game.
- Luke Mulholland, please don’t do that backpass thing again. Thanks!
- Omar Holness in the midfield alongside a more creative player: That would be nice to see, just because I want to see what he’s like in a more defensive role. IT doesn’t even have to be his position permanently. Let’s just see it.
- I want a center back partnership that has the potential to upset the Justen Glad-Aaron Maund deal. Or Justen Glad-Chris Schuler. Really, I just want to see someone usurp Justen Glad’s starting spot for a few weeks. That’s not because I don’t think Justen Glad is the man, but because that would mean we’ve got somebody performing at an extremely high level.
- David Beckham emerging from the crowd wearing an RSL kit, true heel-turn style. “If Landon won’t,” he screams, “I will.”
- I’d like for just one day to never type “Beckerham” ever again.
- Beat LA, yada yada yada.