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Hot Take: There’s only so much RSL can do right now

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Real Salt Lake is doing the only thing that they can do at this point: keep playing.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at New England Revolution David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Yeah, yeah. I know. We’ve talked about this before. But it feels so much more poignant after this loss — and context is always king.

When faced with a predicament such as the one RSL has been handed this year we have to look for little positives until the big issues can start to be figured out. I’ll couch that statement by saying that I think RSL is 1-2 more signings away from fixing all that ails us, and getting a few (let’s say half?) of the injured players back helps a lot in the short term. I’ll also say that I hated tonight passionately.

With that said...

So, what’s a team with 14 players unavailable for a match to do? Put the best team you can on the field and play the game. That comes with some big risks, as we saw tonight. Add in that after the debacle last week, which seems almost a ray of sunshine when compared with the first half tonight, Mike felt it necessary to take a different approach with the formation. Tonight just wasn’t going to be easy.

Young players getting time

I for one had hoped that Dunk would see time sooner than later and sadly the slick turf got the better of him on the first goal. He’s young and that’s bound to happen. But tie that turf and young players getting their first min in a new formation and you get a match that for 45 min we were hapless and disorganized — the recipe for disaster.

Reagan Dunk, Omar Holness, Ricardo Velazco, and Jose Hernandez all getting there first starts this year in this game is a bit of a tragedy and I really hope it doesn’t mess with their confidence going forward.

Even though there were some rough moments from all of these players, it’s important that they got minutes and that there were good moments from all of them. Jose and Omar, particularly, had some moments that are really encouraging for their future. Give them time.

The other young player that got time, and really impressed me, was Jefferson Savarino. I couldn’t have been happier with his minutes — unless he’d have scored a goal. He did all the little things that we had been missing until he came on, and he did them well. Checking to the ball, moving into space well off the ball, creating his own shots. It was all there. Can’t wait to see more of him.

Play the game that’s in front of you

I’ll be honest and admit that I am very much a “glass half full” kind of fan. I hated tonight, but I’m able to find the positive in it. I know that isn’t always the case and that after a match like tonight it’s even harder to find positives. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be in that locker room right now or what is going through Mike’s head. I know that “on to the next one” is super cliche, so I’ll say something a little different. All that RSL can do at this point is play the game that’s in front of them. Circumstances be damned and to hell with line-up hardships. Play the game that your in and give it your absolute all. We saw that from a few guys tonight, and not from others. This time in the clubs history is going to be a refining fire in so many ways. I’m excited to see what Wednesday brings, who steps up and who doesn’t.