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Water Cooler Talk: Petke’s press conference offers relief

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Mike Petke is a breath of fresh air at Real Salt Lake.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Coworker: Hey, CJ! How about that game, huh?

CJ: Hey, fellow co-worker and Jazz fan! How ‘bout them Jazz?!

There are a number of things that can be said about RSL’s most recent loss, but be sure to lead into the Jazz stuff first when the haters come calling. But I digress, this isn’t a week for hating louder than someone else—I like the Jazz and didn’t want them to get swept. In my conversations with the now one or two people around the office, I try to hit on two big things that I saw this week: Petke’s press conference and our new signing. I will finish off by stating how they will each play a huge role in our match against the New England Revolution.

I’ll be honest with you all, I don’t know where we are at this point, and it doesn’t sound as though coach Petke does either; at the very least, he knows that we are where he doesn’t want to be, and that seems to be the foundation we will now start to build off of… Almost a third into the season. In his post-game press conference, Petke states, “I am very frustrated right now, I am very angry right now, I am disgusted right now…” and also “We don’t have a formation right now. I literally continued the formation that has been played. I was literally continuing the formation that was before me and which I have played before. That is not my preferred formation, you know.” Which are both incredibly strong statements to come from anyone, but also come with a breath of fresh air.

If RSL is going to be successful, then we need a head coach utilizing the players he has to play the formation he prefers and I hope that continues. I can’t pretend that I know what that is, but I can say that it doesn’t look like it’s the 4-3-3 and I can also say “Hallelujah!” because I hate that damn formation. It just doesn’t make sense to me to play Yura alone up top, and send long balls he will never get to, hoping that the next one will produce Something. Which makes our new signing—a winger—all the more confusing to me. The fact that it has been a signing six-months in the making seems like it was a signing for Cassar and not Petke. On the other hand, losing Lennon at the end of this season seems more likely with each game he starts. Add the fact that Savarino is also on loan, and things kind of sort of start to make sense, but are still pretty unclear… He was brought in to make a difference right away, but we are four wingers deep already and Petke doesn’t like the 4-3-3 anyway, so…. Is it likely that Lennon, Plata, (Yura?), Bofo, and Allen will all fight to play alongside Savarino in a 4-4-2 formation, or some other combination that will give us two strikers? I don’t know, but it makes for great speculation going into Saturday’s match, and it makes for great conversations around the water cooler.

Last week, I ended stating that where we are now is not a reflection of where we will end up. That we had this. I still believe that. As confused as I am about literally everything else involving RSL, I still believe that we have a firm grasp on contending this year. Watch for a possible formation switch this Saturday, and watch Savarino. I really believe that this will be “Game Two” (after the one in Colorado) in my personal “Games that changed/defined this season”.