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RSL vs Atlanta: What we learned

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Tough match against a strong team

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Atlanta United FC Adam Hagy -USA TODAY Sports

On the road against the top team in MLS. Was there any question that this match wasn’t going to drop our way? No. Not really. That’s not to say that it couldn’t have, but there’s no surprise it didn’t. With Atlanta’s strength and RSL’s struggles on the road, this was a fingers-crossed match.

Pride

I think Petke’s game plan was spot on for this one. We didn’t try to park the bus and hope for one point. We didn’t change our game going into Atlanta. We played the way we like to play and it almost—almost—payed off; however, things dropped Atlanta’s way, not ours.

We had more chances than I expected. I would have liked to see more shots from RSL, but we absolutely had some significant chances that just didn’t work out. Atlanta’s a great team. It’s not unexpected that they’ll play well. We didn’t play poorly, but we were certainly outclassed.

But it’s more to build on. There are positives to take into the rest of our season. To take into next season. Please take into next season. Don’t lose this momentum like we did last year. Learn from the match and come out stronger for it. It’s what you have to do. Learn and grow.

Going to come down to the wire

As of writing this, Minnesota is up 3-0 over Portland. Yay! Seattle and LA Galaxy play tomorrow. As do Vancouver and Dallas. Hope for draws. Although, a Vancouver loss is probably best.

My prediction is that the teams above the line right now will be the teams above the line come playoff time. The top six are going to shuffle, I’ll wager, but I think the top six in the west right now are the top six in the west.

Remember: RSL are best when we’re underdogs. The whole avoid-the-knockout-first-round-playoff-match isn’t best for RSL. Let’s get into these playoffs and make a run. As underdogs. With a chip on the shoulder.

Overreactions

Is Tata Martino wearing a cape because he feels like a superhero? Is this a fashion statement from the MLS Best-Dressed Coach? Bring back the cape, Tata, Bring back the cape. I’ll bet he makes vroooooom noises.

Does anyone else scream “Polo!” every time Barco’s name is called, too?

When Atlanta has a bad season, does everyone think their stadium empties? It’ll happen, folks. I’m pretty sure most are there for the fair weather.