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RSL vs. Portland: What we learned

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No more limbo under the bar. Tonight, we hurdle it.

MLS: Portland Timbers at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

This match was a team effort. Nothing can be pinned on one individual. We put up two bookends of great soccer around a steaming bag of lupine feces. Diego Valeri is having one of his best seasons—if not his very best—and has some serious quality supporting him. We owe a lot of thanks to Asprilla for a couple of shanks. But hats off to RSL for rallying together and pulling out of the slump that plagued us during the middle thirty minutes. Portland is a great team playing a great season. This is a stellar win.

If you’ve read these pieces, you know I’m a huge Jefferson Savarino fan. He had me a bit worried through the first twenty minutes or so of this match, though. Multiple errant passes, some poor dribbles. But he figured this match out. He dug into his spell components and showed us his wizardry. That goal? Masterful. Simply beautiful.

It’s too bad RSL had such a rough start to the season because I think, with the way we’re playing right now, that Rusnák could be in the running for newcomer of the year. There’s some serious competition for that honor this season and it’s going to be a hotly contested prize. With a full season in form, I think Rusnák absolutely is in that discussion. As it is, I think he’ll be left out and that’s a shame.

Kyle Beckerman mentioned in his pregame interview that this team is essentially already in the playoffs; that is, we have to fight every single match or we’re done for the season. The win tonight keeps us moving along. We still could use some help from the other teams in the Western Conference, but if this team can grind out wins against strong opponents going forward, we might just have a shot. Either way, I’m here and excited till the end.

Overreactions

Asprilla will probably move to a monastery to contemplate the universal principles encompassed in the shanked strike.

Jeff Attinella should have dumped twelve or thirteen own goals into his net in honor of his past with us. It was very rude of him to even stop our shots.

Savarino is quickly mastering those third level spells.