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The Salt: RSL’s playoff shot is looming

Let’s not throw away our shot.

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

Well, it’s a chilly Wednesday morning in Salt Lake City, and there’s no better time to break out The Salt than a chilly morning.

And so here we are, wearing our light jackets (it’s finally not summer) until Thursday, when normal weather service resumes.

Let’s talk about the game, I guess. Or the playoffs. Let’s start there.

The playoffs

Well, wouldn’t you just know it, but everybody in the West is actually terrible and there’s no getting around that fact. We lost to Atlanta United, and that really, really should have hurt our playoff hopes — at least a little bit.

Somehow, it didn’t. Both Portland and Seattle managed to lose, and that put us in a somewhat stronger position. Sure, LA Galaxy won, too, which hurts a little more — they beat Seattle — and we now have to worry about them sneaking in ahead of us. But if we can perform at home, we should be OK. If we can’t, then, well, we won’t deserve to be in the playoffs, so it would really be a just result.

Now, this does remove the last glimmer of hope that we could end as high as third — not mathematical hope, of course, but that little bit of hope we like to hold on to. But that might have been a stretch anyway.

Look tomorrow for our playoff preview. Only one match tonight involves a Western Conference team — but that’s Houston Dynamo, who should be out of reach of a playoff spot. They may or may not be worth watching.

The playoffs, continued

So I know we get a bit up-in-arms when RSL manages to screw things up at home or on the road, and I know we talked about that a little bit, but I’d like to talk a bit more about it in the context of the playoffs.

I think the most frustrating thing about RSL’s poor results in the second half of the season — not the first half so much — is that they’ve come from individual mistakes and less from systemic breakdowns. Encouraging about that is that our second-half losses haven’t been by more than two goals. Of course, it’s a little dismaying when that’s an improvement, but it’s where we are now.

It does make me wonder how RSL would fare in the playoffs. Our road form has left much to be desired, and while our home form has been generally been very good, we’re unlikely to start at home. If we do finish in fifth or sixth, which seem the likeliest in-playoffs options for us, we will need to be good on the road. Luckily — luckily? — two of the teams we could face, Sporting Kansas City and Portland Timbers, are also two teams we will be facing on the road in the next four matches.

In a way, the next four matches really should be serving as a bit of a test run for us. New England fits the mold less, but it’s important we also have to improvise a bit ahead of the playoffs, too.

At any rate, I’m getting quite nervous about our playoff chances should we make it in. Let’s just hope for the best, I suppose.


I’ve been watching the latest season of The Great British Bake-Off (I should call it a series, I suppose, but I won’t be doing that) which, spoilers ahead, is full of delicious-looking things. (What do you mean that’s not a true spoiler?)

I’ve been playing Super Mario Odyssey, and I’m trying to decide quite where it ranks among other Mario games for me. I think this would be my list at current, from worst to first:

  • Super Mario Land
  • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
  • Super Mario Bros 2 (Japan)
  • Super Mario Bros
  • Super Mario Bros 2 (USA)
  • Super Mario Sunshine
  • New Super Mario Bros
  • New Super Mario Bros 2
  • New Super Mario Bros Wii
  • Super Mario 3D Land
  • Super Mario Galaxy / Galaxy 2
  • Super Mario World 2 - Yoshi’s Island
  • New Super Mario Bros U
  • Super Mario 64
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Super Mario 3D World
  • Super Mario Bros 3
  • Super Mario World

I’ll be honest, I haven’t played enough of Sunshine or the Galaxy duo to really rate any of them properly, so I’ll make sure that’s a priority for me moving forward. I also don’t think Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island truly fits here, but it’s a quality game on its own — I rate it much more highly in the Yoshi series, though. I should also note that Super Mario Bros 2 (USA) is quite a different game, and though it did influence the series in some interesting ways, I find it hard to place here, too.

At any rate, Odyssey has been a fantastic time, and the depth of content in the game is extremely compelling.

Well, that’s all. Let’s have some fun on Saturday, yeah?