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The Salt: RSL, Petke, refereeing, and standing offside

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Minnesota United FC Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Monday, a day in which you will experience feelings of either A) great joy about the World Cup, B) great sadness about the World Cup, or C) both, because it’s over.

Or, you know, you must just be angsty about Real Salt Lake’s loss to Minnesota United, which I am.

This is The Salt, a column I intend to write weekly. What’s the format or theme, you ask? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me being angsty. Or excited. People act like being salty is a bad thing, but have you ever eaten food that really needs salt but doesn’t have any? Yeah, salt’s a good thing, too.

The first goal

I keep watching the first goal Minnesota scored, and I’m really struggling to see how Darwin Quintero’s arm isn’t considered a foul. and I get why Mike Petke is upset it wasn’t reviewed, but ... you know, I kind of get it, too.

But I mostly get it because this is par for the course for MLS and its VAR implementation. Yes, I think that’s a foul, but is it a clear and obvious error that the referee missed it? They’ve taken that to mean something very specific, and I think that’s to their detriment. My premise? If it’s something a referee has seen, they’re not going to think it’s a clear and obvious error. If there’s a part the referee didn’t see, then it’s not. And frankly, that’s a real shame.

The Minnesota commentators talk a lot about it being a “50-50 challenge,” but I’ve never seen a 50-50 challenge where one of the players puts their arm in the throat of an opponent and it’s still 50-50. Could Justen Glad have stayed up? Sure, but I don’t care. I really don’t care. That doesn’t make this not a foul, and it absolutely was.

The second goal

I don’t think this is great from us — we lost the ball a bit too easily in a good position, and I think we got the balance wrong on the play. But we were pushing after giving up a goal, and I get it.

That’s not something I worry too much about, though. It doesn’t cover us in glory, but I think our performance defensively was about 1,000 times better than the commentary on the Minnesota broadcast that followed, which was well and truly dumb.

“The most imperative and imperious loon there could ever be.”

What does that even mean?

  • Imperative: extremely important or urgent
  • Imperious: with an attitude of authority and expecting obedience

How is that an actual description? Down with bad and biased commentary.

Joao Plata proves you should stop whining about players “standing offside”


OK. Stop. You know how often I’ve heard people complain about strikers standing offside during play? Too often. But this is why players do it. Plata has lost his defender by being out of view, and then he scores a beautiful goal WITH HIS HEAD.

His head.

Also, that Brooks Lennon cross is unreal. Wow. One Minnesota commentator thought it was Rusnák, and I don’t blame them. This was inch-perfect.


You know, too often, we end up collapsing after scoring a goal on the road. I don’t know why that is exactly, but I have a few ideas. You tell me what you think.

  • RSL is mentally weak
  • RSL tries too hard after conceding to pull one back
  • RSL doesn’t always find the right balance on the road