HOT TAKE ALERT!!!
If you had told me that Beckerman was sent off because of the arm swing and the simulation after Adi charged into him, I’d understand. I’m sorry, but Beckerman hit the floor like the best of them when Adi hit him. Where’s the stalwart leader!? Where’s the famed Beckerman temper!? You’re going to let a Timbers player body you like that!? In fact, I think there was a little too much of that from Real Salt Lake down in Portland this week. Savarino went down far too easy for the PK and Plata made a big meal out of the high hands. Not saying the calls were bad but I don’t want to see RSL turn into a team who rely on manipulating the ref to get a good swing of things. It’s poor sportsmanship and we’re better than that as we’ve shown with a routing of LA, a respectable showing against Manchester United, and now a strong win against Portland.
Folks I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth nor a mouthy horse in his gifts but lets break things down. We had:
A Beckerman golazo.
A suspect PK
A lucky deflection
A great open play goal.
There’s only one of those you can rely on getting with any real consistency and it’s not Kyle Beckerman’s official entry into the Goal of the Year competition. Yes, we won and yes, we looked dangerous but Savarino whiffed on a chance early on through a poor first touch, Plata took two or three long range efforts instead of continuing the build up and Rusnak is lucky to be on the score sheet at all. There’s a difference between scoring goals and being clinical and it’s always better to be the latter. Luck will dry up and it’s better to be ruthless with a few chances than lucky with a high number. I know it looks like I’m nit picking and complaining where I ought not but how long through this season did luck go against us? We can’t lose sight of that now it’s going for us.
Keep Calm and Carry On
(Side Note: I hate this stupid British Phrase. The only reason I’m using it is because it fits well. Now let’s never speak of this again)
I mentioned at the top of the page how we were a little uncharacteristic with our composure in this game and I stand by it. In a season where we’ve had so many missing players through injury and now have another long list with Omar Holness cruelly joining Jordan Allen and Ricardo Velazco on the season ending list.
With Luke Mulholland missing this game through suspension we now face the prospect of losing Kyle Beckerman for our next game. We’re a team that can’t afford suspensions right now, even with Marcelo Silva bringing the first set of what looks to be numerous fresh legs. All this rolling about on the floor at the first sign of contact is a European trait MLS shouldn’t look to emulate as it’s tarnished the reputation of the game so much. Beat a team by being better at football, not acting.
This is harsh to put in but honestly, there’s nothing else to add here. We simply played a better game of football than Portland. Better passing, better tackling, better possession. Just all round better. Same as against LA. But Portland we not good tonight and LA were not good a few weeks ago. It’s easy to be better than teams who don’t show up and pretending like this is a corner turned is foolish.
We still let a goal slip by us in the last 10 minutes of the game thanks to a mistake by Glad and a rare fumble from Rimando. Missed chances, high tempers and silly give aways will be punished by better teams than the last two we’ve gone up against. Real Salt Lake have been playing like the last game was the 6-2 trashing by Dallas, and that’s the best way to go about it. With every game left this season, we have to prove we aren’t that team anymore so even when we get a good win, we are still in the shadow of that day and we need to keep out of that and in the sun.
Nobody can judge RSL if we come up short against SKC this weekend after facing Manchester United and Portland this week. It’s such a short turnaround time and such hard games for a team as thin as us to go through. This is such a delicately balanced game. Beating LA, holding our own against Manchester United, beating Portland but taking more injuries, now we have to take on our heated rivals only 3 days after, the third game in about 8 days? It’s got all the hallmarks of a game full of drama but all the tell tale signs of a sad ending. I still think we can pick up the win but I’m being cautious with my hope.