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RSL vs. San Jose Earthquakes: What we learned

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Back at the grind

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

I spent the weekend camping, so here I am, sitting on my couch, wondering how I’m going to catch up on the hours of RSL, URFC, and World Cup matches I’ve missed. Nothing for it but to start, right? If you need me, I’m on my couch.

So what did we learn from our match with the Quakes?

Stats

Our stats sheet looked really good: 27 shots, 8 on target (this should be better), and 86% passing accuracy over 514 passes is excellent. This is what every home match’s stats should look like (excepting the shots on target). When the team plays like this, the results come. It’s something that we have to continue, despite what the goal posts think.

The biggest thing missing from the stats sheet? Goals. If we’re playing this well, we must finish more chances. Again, the goal posts had a grudge against us in this one, but the finishing has to be cleaner. So many shots zipped over the goal and into the stands. If we’re shooting, we have to test the keeper more; otherwise, it’s just a waste.

We’re making something out of our set pieces, though. RSL has been weak from corners for a while, so it’s nice to see our corners paying off with goals this season. A team that regularly scores off corners is a scary opponent.

Disappointment

What does this RSL team do when faced with disappointment in a match? The last couple games have shown that we’re not responding well.

When we’re flying high, we run all over our opposition. When something goes against us, the team seems to deflate and lose its momentum.

Opponents are going to score on us. Refs are going to miss calls. Everything is not going to always be in our favor. It’s how this team responds when things aren’t going our way that is the real show of what we’re made of.

I want to see the heart of this team even in the face of disappointment. We saw momentum and spirit for most of this match, but that fell away once SJ scored. I want to see the momentum ramp up when disappointment strikes. Step up to the challenge because no one is going to just let us win.

Overreactions

With Messi playing so poorly, he’s on the market for cheap, right? RSL should jump on that! Someone tell Andy Williams he might want to look at that guy because I heard somewhere that Messi’s usually kinda good.

Speaking of scouting, there’s also this guy called Ronaldo who scored a hat trick in the World Cup. Maybe he’s available.

And I saw this defender called Carlos Salcedo who plays for Mexico who might just do well with RSL. Ever heard of him?

But in all seriousness, the summer transfer window is coming. What does RSL do?

Finally, a self-promoting plug. I published a sci-fi short story in Exoplanet Magazine last week that I’m pretty excited about and would love for you to read. You can find it here and share it with all your friends.