I know, I know. We’ve lost four games in a row, everything sucks, Mike Petke is the worst coach ever, Brooks Lennon is not a right back, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum. How could we possibly take anything positive from a 1-0 loss against one of the hottest and most complete teams in the league? I know a lot of people share these opinions, but I want to pump the brakes for a minute and talk about what positive things we learned from this match.
Saturday we got to see Sam get the start and play his first extended minutes of the season (subbed off in the 69’ for Bofo). You could tell that it took him a little while to get into the flow of the game, but once he did, he started to show exactly the kinds of skills you want to see from a #9 striker. My guess is that he was subbed off as he continues to get closer to 90 minute fitness, and I definitely think he played well enough to earn more playing time. My way too early starting lineup prediction for this week is that we see an attacking front four of Rusnak, Kreilach, Savarino, and Johnson heading up the attack.
I want to give Mike some credit this week. In the first half of the game, RSL was weathering the storm a little bit, having trouble getting into the attack and ceding the majority of the possession to Seattle. But in the second half, RSL was really on the front foot, and arguably the better team on the field. A lot of the talk about Mike is how he is a motivator first, and not that great of a tactician. I believe Mike knows a lot more about tactics than we think he does, and I would point to this game as an example. Petke was able to figure out the key, implement tactical changes at halftime, and produce a much better second half product.
I also think that this game is a prime example of why Albert should be starting at the 10 instead of on the wing. Not that Albert is terrible on the wing, either, but in my eye he unlocks the team potential a lot more when he is playing the creative attacking midfield role. The secondary runs he is able to make from the central midfield are always something that defenses have a harder time tracking, runs that he is not able to make coming from the wing.
Some fan who doesn’t like Petke specifically paid Seattle’s right post to block Savarino’s shot. How else could it not go in??
That’s all I can think of this week! What did you learn from Saturday’s match against Seattle? Let us know in the comments!