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RSL vs Columbus: What we learned

Can we stop playing road games against the Eastern Conference?

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Columbus Crew SC Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Odd Starting Lineup

Failed experiment. Please sign a DP striker.


I wrote about this last week. RSL struggles with motivation, urgency, and discipline once something bad happens. Tonight, it was an early PK that took us almost seventy minutes to recover from.

It feels like there’s a game plan, an expectation for how the match should go; when a problem throws that expectation askew, RSL seems to struggle with adaptation.

It makes me think of something Petke has repeated multiple times: lose by one or lose by twelve, it’s still a loss. While I get where he’s coming from here, it can also sound a bit like this: if we’re losing, then what’s the point of trying anymore?

I’m not saying that this is the reason, but I think it’s an indicator of how players might find themselves. Someone has to come out as a leader and push this team, give them motivation to find a way to move past the disappointment.

Plata brought in a huge injection of energy and skill that led to RSL’s goal. Plata and Baird brought new ideas and fight to a struggling RSL side. It’s exactly what we need to see in light of a disappointing start.


This team is at its best when Plata and Rusnák are linking up.

Baird has speed to accompany Plata. Savarino has foot-skill, but always seems to take on just a bit too much when he should be looking for teammates.

Our young defense needs to move past simple mistakes that cost goals.

The midfield needs to be crisper and not give away cheap passes.

We need every last point we can earn at home. We’re up against a strong Sporting KC team next and they’re coming off a rough loss to Montreal. Hopefully we can kick them while they’re down and not be their rebound match.

We need to cut out some fat and spend that money on some wise acquisitions.


This seems reasonable and fair to all parties involved:

And here’s a metaphor for RSL on the road in the Eastern Conference:

Finally, I’m plugging the publication of my short-story again. You can read it here. Enjoy, please.