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RSL vs San Jose: What we learned

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Meat grinder, angle grinder, or bench grinder?

MLS: Real Salt Lake at San Jose Earthquakes Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

It was ugly and sloppy on both sides. Make no mistake, a better team punishes us tonight and hands us a loss. We should have done better against a team that has only won one match at home all season. A point on the road is acceptable. Three points would have been much nicer. One point is better than none.

This also felt like a match from seven years ago when Steven Lenhart stomped and smashed his way around the field for San Jose. Everyone was getting hacked and returning the hacks. No rhythm. It happens.

High Pressure

This feels like RSL’s soft heel this season. When teams bring the high pressure, we have a hard time getting in sold play in the final third. Our management of loose balls along the back line isn’t always sharp. Tonight, San Jose should have converted a couple of those.

We need to figure out how to break through the high pressure and string together attacks in the attacking third. How do we play through the midfield third to make our attacking play count?

Chances

We had some great chances. Both of our center backs put swell headers on goal and Andrew Tarbell earned his paycheck keeping those out of the net. And Bofo’s chip? Too bad that didn’t drop into the net.

If we had been able to generate more chances tonight, we could have pulled back a point. This goes back to finding a way to penetrate that line of high pressure and attack that back line.

Road

Guess what, though. We didn’t lose on the road. We didn’t lose by multiple goals on the road. Our goal differential wasn’t demolished and pounded into the pavement. So that’s a plus.

Overreactions

There was genuine fear in Albert Rusnák’s eyes when he went down in pain. Cross your fingers this thing works itself out quickly.

Brooks Lennon is leaving soccer to become the world Slip ‘N Slide champion after taking the regional title in San Jose.

Remember the Tommy Thompson hype train? Yeah, he has one career goal and four career assists. It’s his fifth season.