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RSL vs. Houston Dynamo: What we learned

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The known and the unknown

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Feels good to have soccer back, doesn’t it? Real Salt Lake went down to Houston and came back with a 1-1 draw to open their MLS season against a Dynamo team that had already played two meaningful games in CCL action. Given everything, I’m pretty content with a draw. But what did that season-opening draw teach us about this year’s edition of RSL? Here’s a few thoughts!

Improved Midfield

Kyle Beckerman and Everton Luis had a good game together. They played off each other well, stayed balanced while switching off helping in the attack, and did a great job of being midfield disruptors throughout the game, despite both picking up early yellow cards. Given this was their first competitive game together, I thought the midfield looked like it got an upgrade from last year with Everton, and I expect we will continue to see that midfield improve as Kyle and Everton get more comfortable with each other.

Corey Baird can ball, y’all

Corey Baird had another great game, continuing his recent excellent form with both the USMNT and RSL. He was goal dangerous throughout his 67 minutes yesterday, and slotted a great assist to Albert Rusnak for the Claret and Cobalt’s first goal of the 2019 campaign. It was unfortunate that he had to be subbed off early, but it was just a precautionary measure due to cramps.

Sam Johnson is going to change the way we play

Corey Baird coming off with cramps did give us the first real opportunity to see our new #9 Sam Johnson in competitive action. In his 23 minutes we saw some pace, some good hold up play, and some creativity from him as well. If Sam continues to play that way and show those skills in training, I expect that we will continue to see him on the field.

Overreactions

Nick Rimando is the greatest goalkeeper to ever play soccer. At 39 years old he’s still pinging 60 yard sidewinders directly to the feet of attacking players running at full speed on the break. GOAT.

Kyle Beckerman has at least a couple of years left in his legs cause there’s no way he’s going to let himself retire at an age younger than when Rimando retires.

Why are we still playing Brooks Lennon at RB when we have a healthy club legend RB in Tony Beltran sitting on the bench?

Feel free to share what you learned from the game in the comments below!