Forget, Find, Fix
Real Salt Lake needs to do three simple things going into Wednesday’s home match against Portland Timbers.
Forget the losses and poor performances. They’ve been pretty nasty defeats to teams that probably shouldn’t have won, but you cant change that. As a collective, everyone needs to go on a hike and try to forget the absolute blitz they’ve experienced in the last few weeks. Put it out of their mind and look towards the chimneys going forward.
Find where the problems are. I’d like to say that I’ve pointed a couple out in these articles, but as I’ve joked in the past I’m not really qualified to make those decisions. I’m just armchair quarterbacking a couple of times a week. However, these are professional players with professional coaches. It doesn’t seem unreasonable for them, maybe while on their hike, to figure out where things have broken down.
Fix the problems. This seems simple enough, but it might require some out of the box thinking. Giving away too many goals because the center backs are being beat? Set the line of confrontation lower into the defensive third. No one there to finish goals? Spread out a bit and leave someone up top that can just make a run. Maybe even start a striker and let them play as one.
Let’s say that the team can’t forget the losses, find the problems, and fix them; it might be worth just putting 11 players in defense and fighting for a draw. It’s not fun to watch and it’s really hard to walk away with three points, but a point is a point and in the western conference every single point matters.
Real Salt Lake had a genuine opportunity to jump up to the middle of the standings if they would have held on to the one goal lead. If they hadn’t allowed the Vancouver Whitecaps to score a second goal, they would have jumped into the playoff spots at the least. Every point matters and if 30% possession in your own defensive half is how you earn a point, take it.
Move More Monarchs
It’s no secret that 2020 has been an absolutely terrible year for the club in almost every possible metric. It might not even be worth focusing on the playoffs too much. Maybe it’s worthwhile to just bring up as many eligible players from the Monarchs and give them time and minutes in the MLS.
It might create opportunities for transfers. It might create opportunities for players to fight for a spot. It might even create opportunities for a point or two.
At this point, the team might as well run out as many players as possible and see what they have going in to the offseason. With a potential new owner and who knows what else coming over the winter, might as well have a laugh and see what you can do. The club is in a situation where it can’t really hurt and maybe it will light a fire in someone’s belly and open up the rest of the season for a real hard run.
Honestly though, I think everyone just needs a break.