I have been saying it for months, but it is finally upon us — RSL has officially started their season!
Yeah, yeah, I know. This is me ignoring the past few months and I can’t really do that, but to me this is where things really start to matter. We’ve been very poor for the first half of the season. There’s no writing it off, but this is what I have looked forward to. I understood how poor we were based on the context of the season up to this point. Injuries, international absences, wiping away 3 years of bad habits, new coach, new tactics, new frustrations, etc. It all played into what amounts to 4 very forgettable months. Underneath all that frustration you could see some small things going well, being done the way you would hope they would; building to the result we saw last night.
We’ve been heading this direction, but have been a few steps off or short in so many cases. Defensively it could be argued that last night was the first time we started our “first choice” back four. Offensively it could be argued that if it could go wrong for us, it had — blame it on bad luck and all that, until last night the fireworks went off and nearly everything went in. Last night was the culmination of a continued effort and hard work over the past four months, and the hope is that we can continue on this roll of capitalizing on doing the little things right.
Now, don’t take this as a “we’ve made it and things are good in RSL land again”. Let’s just be clear, they are not. But this is when I think we should really start paying attention and where I will start being more critical publicly than I have ‘til now. The team is healthy, Mike has choices at every position, international absences will be more minimal, new signings will be coming in, the team should have been able to work through some locker room issues to just get down to playing together, and the pressure is really on. LA did not field a top choice squad, but for the first time all season we were able to dominate a team that deserved to be dominated. With two weeks off before the next league match at Portland, my expectations are high for what this team should look like.