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RSL vs Montreal: What we learned

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I’m getting nervous

MLS: Montreal Impact at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

What happened? We started so nicely. Then it all fell apart. Our creativity and urgency evaporated. Let’s pull the lens out a bit and take a look at what we’ve learned pertaining to the larger picture because the larger picture is where we are.

Every last point at home

One point at home is not good enough. We can’t afford it.

Our next three matches are away. Make no mistake, this run of matches is going to define the season. We don’t play well on the road.

Unless we can pull multiple wins out of this road trip, we might be in the same situation as we were last year when we had to rely on other teams dropping points to save our season. Which they did not.

We have a slight buffer over Seattle and Vancouver (and as I write this, it looks like Vancouver are going to take three points from Portland). We must take points from our upcoming road matches. We’ve gotten five road points all year.

Full ninety

How is it that we are the ones who looked disheveled in the last twenty minutes of this match? We’re at home. We’re at elevation. Montreal should have been the team gassed out. It was us.

All season we’ve struggled to put together a comprehensive, full ninety minutes of play. We have stretches where I sit back and think that this team is absolutely going to challenge in the playoffs.

Then it dissolves. I’ve put a lot of that on an inability to respond to disappointment. We saw that again tonight.

With Beckerman and Rimando still playing massive minutes, they should be the ones spurring the youngsters on in the face of disappointment.

Finishing

Evan Bush, right? It sucks when a goalkeeper plays ninja between the posts. We got that tonight.

At least Rimando did his thing, too.

However. There is no excuse for poor finishing. There were some chances that should have been buried and were not. This is killing us.

On that note, I’m not excited about our substitutions. Not who, but when and how many. We lost control a good ten minutes before our first substitution. If these subs are really going to have a chance to change the game (be those guys with energy who aren’t disheartened by disappointment), they need to have more time to find the game, link up with how the rest of the team is playing, and change how we’re playing. I just don’t see that happening when our subs come so late and so few.

Overreactions

Nacho Piatti is a wizard. I am well documented in my excitement about watching him play. He is my favorite player NOT playing for RSL. A wizard. Like Javi. I miss Javi.

Striker!

I’m concerned about who emerges as leaders on this team as Kyle and Nick age. I’m looking at Kreilach and Rusnák. Of course, there’s Tony. This team needs some on-field fortitude that an emerging leader can show. It’s something I’m watching.