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RSL vs 2018 Season: What we’ll learn

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It’s felt like five years of off-season. Time to break out the buffalo wings!

MLS: LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Our new season is just around the corner. A week from Saturday! I haven’t been this excited since I got an entire wheel of smoked gouda all to myself. What are we looking to learn from our matches this year?

Depth

Everyone remember how much we talked about the depth of our roster last year during post-season? Even through the season we went on and on about depth. “Deepest it’s ever been,” was said multiple times. Well, we’re deeper. This roster plunges further into the depths. We’ll need hyperbaric chambers this roster’s so deep.

So who steps up? Who pushes whom? Healthy competition should move this team to be better. Perform. We have a healthy group of homegrown players, a stack of new signings, and a core of solid contributors. This is an exciting squad.

Advocatus diaboli

You know who else has a roster that’s gotten stronger and deeper? Just about every team in the league. Alright, maybe not Colorado or Minnesota, but have you seen what’s coming out of Los Angeles? Those two clubs have the potential to be powerhouses.

Coaching

Guess who’s had an entire off-season to implement his style of play and plans for the team! Yeah, that’s right. Mike Petke. If there’s something to learn this season, it’s how RSL is going to function with a coach who is finally able to make this his team. His program. Will he get buy-in from the players? Can he outcoach the other coaches in this league? Can he bring us some hardware?

He also has a roster that will allow him to tinker with formations and tactics, positioning, player roles. We might see some exciting changes on the field compared to what we’ve seen in the past. If Petke can make the right decisions and put the proper pieces in order, he has the potential to thrust this club back into its dominant position in the west.

Advocatus diaboli

Petke has a lot of new pieces on this team to get working together and on the same page. There are a lot of new faces and it’s the coach’s job to make the right personnel decisions regarding gameday rosters. It’s his job to foster a culture that is able to win matches. He has to make that happen.

Leadership & Player Roles

Last year we watched a struggling team claw its way back into contention. Much of this was due to the strong on-field presences of new players Rusnak and Savarino. We’ve had a long-standing team captain in Beckerman. Rimando organizes an incredible defense. Who will we see move into these roles and step up as successors? Kyle and Nick can’t play forever.

So who moves into these roles? There is incredible leadership potential in Justen Glad; will this be his defender-of-the-year year? Beltran has shown his capacity as a leader, but he’s broken and we won’t get him back for some time still. What will we see from our new additions?

Do we finally have a goalscoring striking core? Can we finish? It was last year’s F word: finishing. It’s what killed us. This needs to be the year we start banging in goals. No more excuses. Finish.

Advocatus diaboli

We won’t be able to finish! It haunts my nightmares.

Overreactions

This is the best roster we’ve ever had. US domestic treble, here we come!

Yura stays and scores double digit goals.

Kyle and Nick find an anti-aging potion and play forever and ever.

When was the last time an RSL player scored a hat trick? Was it Javi’s in 2014? I think it was Javi’s in 2014. We’re due for like three hat tricks this year!

What are you looking for from RSl this season? Let us know!