Good afternoon, friends.
After Saturday, I have found myself with an all-consuming need for goals. Real Salt Lake scored six goals, and Real Monarchs scored four. Utah Royals had a bye week, so let’s count that as, what, five goals?
So, yeah. Goals. Please, if you have any more goals, send them my way.
How good was RSL, though?
For 75 minutes, I’d argue we were very good. Five of those minutes were at the beginning of the match, and then we were excellent again from about the 20th minute forward. But here’s a weird thing — I actually think we were struggling for a minute. Now, on the road, most teams will struggle for a bit, but it’s worth thinking about.
Here, look at this. It’s our passing chart our first goal to the 20th minute. We’re pinned in our half. Now, we didn’t get too hurt by it, but still — it’s not like we were perfect.
You want to see something fun? Here’s the second half’s passing chart. It’s, uh, much better.
This was clearly helped by being in an 11 vs. 9 situation, but it still makes me happy to see. Interesting to me is the fact that our play is sort of skewed to the left side. I don’t know that it means anything, but it’s still something I’m interested by.
Danilo Acosta! I was very pleasantly surprised to see him back in the lineup in the second half, and I was doubly pleased that Aaron Herrera stayed in the lineup. To me, this was a great illustration of why he hasn’t been playing. Do I know anything? No, of course not. I don’t know much of anything at all.
I do know that Aaron Herrera has been playing an excellent game, and we should remember that he’s a rookie doing this. It makes it just a little more impressive. Of course, he’s a rookie that played in the U-20 World Cup, so take that rookie tag with a little grain of salt, too.
Will we see Acosta in the lineup again soon? I actually think the only way we do is if Herrera switches to the right side in favor of Brooks Lennon, and I don’t think that’s very likely at all.
So we can continue wondering about Acosta, but I think he and Herrera are at very similar points in their playing skill, so let’s not take too much time assuming that Acosta’s in the doghouse for some reason. He might be, but it won’t do us much good to fret about it.
Kyle Beckerman is king
There have been plenty of doubters of Kyle Beckerman this year, arguing he’s slower and whatnot. I actually think that’s not really true, mostly because he’s never been particularly fast.
I do think we need to continue rotating the captain a bit just to keep him fit and ready to go, especially as the season grinds on. He’s no spring chicken, and the season is a long and grueling one. Especially as playoffs look more likely, we’ll want to keep him fresh.
At any rate, let’s just take a few minutes and think about Beckerman’s pass in for RSL’s first goal. How absolutely phenomenal is that pass for Joao Plata?
The other stuff
Playing: Burgle Bros, which is a fantastic cooperative game from Fowers Games, the operation of Utah-based game designer Tim Fowers. It’s just so good. Plus, it comes in a box that’s actually appropriate for the pieces inside, unlike so many games. The games world could learn a lesson from this. I also played a game of Terraforming Mars for the first time in a bit, and I was reminded how tense the second half of that game can be. (Just make sure you play with Prelude. It’s an essential expansion.)
Watching: Yeah, you guessed it. Deep Space Nine.
Listening: I keep listening to Low in the car, partly because I haven’t changed the CD in a while (yeah, yeah, I know), and partly because they’re just so good.
Photographing: I have a board games Instagram account you should follow if you’re bored.