When I thought about this game, there was a little bit of fear in the back of my mind. I knew this was a must win match if RSL were to continue heading in the right direction In 2017 and beyond. What I expected was what we got, an ugly affair where the soccer suffered because of Colorado’s style of play and our continued evolution into a Mike Petke team.
The hot take after this one is more of a reality check than anything else, and I hope that all of us are on board for what the next 5-8 weeks of this season could be like. It's gonna be ugly, it's going to be full of games that we may have to grind out, and it's going to test all of our patience. This will be a process and that should be exciting As we figure out the answers to a few outstanding questions.
Who is our best 11
I asked this last night on twitter but phrased it “"is this our best 11” and I got a bit of flack. I know it's not, but I'm a bit surprised at how well Bofo, Acosta, and Brooks have played and seemingly how difficult they will make team selection when Plata, Jordan, and Tony get healthy again. There's an argument to be made that none of the returning players should simply be given back their starting spot. Earn it or take it if the other guy has a bad game or two.
Wingert is a good example of this. Schmidt, though a lot of us want him out there in the starting 11 hasnt been able to steal that from Wingert in training and based on his play earlier this year. But what will his opportunities look like in a few weeks when Glad is back or Maund gets healthy?
Having all that competition will, everyone hopes, force the better player to rise to the top at every position.
Locking in a style of play
Last night we saw a return, in more moments than I would like, to the long ball when we didn't feel like we had another option. Booting the ball long has not served us well....ummm.....ever. It needs to not be our ejector seat when we don't feel like we have a pass. should it be part of the tool box? Absolutely. But we have to get better at reckognizing when that pass is viable and when it's just a “"I dont want the ball right now” move.
This is something that I know Petke and Co are focusing on every training session, but in the first 45 min we were back to our old ways. Positionally a bit lost and sitting all too deep. This will be a work in progress as the back 4 rotates and Kyle/Luke figure out where they play in front of that changing cast of character. Getting that line higher and defending from the front helped us to a win in Snowmaggeden 2017. Hopefully that will become more consistent as we have more and more time working on it.
I guess in a way the hot take this week is that we still have no idea who this team is, but we're getting results and that's a step in the right direction. A friend put it really well last night when he said, “It feels amazing when you need work, but you still get he win.” I couldn't have put it any better.