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The Salt: Transfer window closing, Beckerman still good, and what about a striker?

In the fourth iteration of The Salt, let’s try not to be too dismayed about not signing anyone... yet. (Yet?)

MLS: Chicago Fire at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, everyone. I know we should be excited about Saturday’s win — and I am! Those goals were great! But I’m also a little concerned about the transfer window, and I know you are, too.

So let’s get on with this, shall we?

MLS: Chicago Fire at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

It doesn’t look like RSL will be signing anyone

Well, the transfer window closes tomorrow, and it doesn’t look like RSL — well, you read the section heading, right? It’s all quiet out here. Christian Ramirez isn’t coming to Salt Lake — that’s a rumor that floated around — and it’s probably not surprising, but it did offer a glimmer of hope. And then there was the rumor that we could be after Fanendo Adi, which didn’t happen.

But more interestingly, those rumors about Joao Plata leaving have seemingly vanished into thin air, and that actually makes me really worried. Maybe he’ll stick around through the end of the season and move on after that, or maybe he’ll stay here for many years yet. But if he leaves in the next two days, we almost certainly won’t be replacing him and his impact, unless, of course, we execute a trade that brings someone in exchange.

What comes next will be telling. If the window closes and nothing changes, I think we’ll be OK, but we could have been better. If we lose a player and don’t bring anybody in, I think we’ll be worse off for it, and not just a little.

MLS: Chicago Fire at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports


I know, I know. I hear you. We need a forward something fierce. It sure doesn’t look like we’ll be bringing one in, and I think we just need to come to terms with it.

What’s next for RSL, then? Ha. If I knew, I’d be writing something different here. I have some thoughts, but you could fill a bucket with what I don’t know. You could then empty that bucket and fill it up again for the rest of eternity with that same thing.

At any rate, I actually think we’ll be OK this season. The odds that we could bring in a striker that makes an instant impact are slim, and it really wouldn’t make a big difference for us in 2018. Maybe it helps in a playoff push, but until we figure out our game on the road — and our problem there isn’t about forwards, I don’t think — our playoff prospects are extremely not good.

I do think signing a forward now would benefit us in 2019, though. Giving a player that half-season to acclimate might be just what we needed. Maybe it wouldn’t work. You know, I just have no clue right now.

Maybe we should focus on being a non-striker team. That might just work. Or we can hang our hopes on Corey Baird continuing to improve while we also get a slew of goals from elsewhere, like Damir Kreilach. Man, that guy’s good.

MLS: Chicago Fire at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Beckerman is still good

Mr. Kyle Beckerman had some interesting statistical things we’ve ignored, like...

71 passes, 63 complete — an 89 percent completion rate. Only Brooks Lennon attempted more (59/75, 79 percent completion).

See, here’s the thing. Kyle Beckerman’s role is becoming increasingly more conservative, but that’s made a huge difference in our play. He had the most passes targeting the final third, which is not what you would have thought would be the case. And sure, having the most passes certainly helps there, but it doesn’t mean everything worked out perfectly.

It doesn’t have to, though. Beckerman doesn’t have to be the amazing two-way player; we have Damir Kreilach for that. Especially when we’re playing a high line, we need him to be a presence in the midfield that rarely puts things wrong, gets the ball moving, and .

And guess what? He rarely put things wrong. Love or hate the captain, he is a useful player on this team and very much the midfield glue we need right now.

Let’s talk more about this one, but that’s my premise.

Everything else

Playing: I’ve been playing Root, which arrived last week after a very successful Kickstarter campaign. It’s wholly asymmetric, which can be a real tricky thing to teach — but it actually goes about that very smoothly, with a two-turn walkthrough for four players. I’ve really enjoyed it and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes a good moderate-weight strategy game. [BoardGameGeek]

Watching: We’re still watching GLOW, but I’ve also started rewatching The Office for no particular reason. I’ve also been going through a few lists of sci-fi films and plucking things out, so for some reason, I watched Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel from 2009. It’s ... it’s something.

Eating: Tacos.