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RSL vs. FC Dallas: Three things we learned

RSL wasn’t good enough against FC Dallas — especially in finishing.

MLS: FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake’s performance against FC Dallas was, in a word, a shambles.

That’s two words, but you know what? That’s fine right now. I was mostly accurate when I said “a word” — maybe even more accurate than Real Salt Lake’s shooting, which, well... yeah.

We aren’t near where we need to be in finishing chances

Real Salt Lake took a lot of shots — a whopping two more than Dallas — and 10 of them were outside of the box. That’s fine, but only two of those were on-target. A further three shots were blocked before they had a chance to be really on or off target. Four of our shots inside the penalty area were off-target, too. Three were blocked. That leaves us with four more that were on-target.

I don’t know exactly what this tells us about Real Salt Lake, but that game wasn’t exactly a barnburner in terms of chance creation and actuation. The real lesson here? We need to start putting some of our shots where goalkeepers won’t have easy saves. Seriously — FCD’s Jesse Gonzalez didn’t have to make any particularly interesting saves.

And before you jump on Yura Movsisyan, let’s just establish that if you’re relying on a single player to finish chances, you’ll never find yourself in a good situation as a team. That’s where we’re at now, and that needs to change.

Oscar Pareja was right to not play Javier Morales

I know it’s disappointing that we saw Javier Morales before the match started and that’s all, but Oscar Pareja was under absolutely no obligation to put him on the pitch. Could he have saved him for his last substitution? Sure. But why does he care about how Real Salt Lake fans felt? His obligation is to FC Dallas and nobody else.

What good what it have done aside from placating RSL supporters? The team was up 2-0 as he used his last substitution. If he was at all concerned about keeping the game state, he had no reason to throw on an aging player who isn’t going to offer much in the way of defensive contribution, sentiment be damned.

RSL Academy is the future — and the present

Except for the next month or so, of course.

But looking back at the match, Brooks Lennon and Sebastian Saucedo were probably two of our best players on the night. Jose Hernandez came on and made things happen.

I don’t really have too much to say about this, but it’s been nice having them making a difference while they could. Now, Lennon and Saucedo are off to the U-20 World Cup. I’ll be watching — and here’s hoping they have success on the world stage.

Three other things

  • Matt VanOekel is good, but we asked him to do it all himself tonight. He had some excellent saves, and then he continued being left on an island. I guess that’s what happens when the team is pushing for a goal, but it shouldn’t have happened.
  • That wasn’t a penalty. Not by a long shot.
  • We have a long way to go until we’re MLS Cup contenders again.