Real Salt Lake is in a freefall the likes of which we’ve never seen in MLS.
On the field, off the field — it’s blurred now into one hideous amalgam.
Every time something happens with Real Salt Lake, I convince myself that it can’t get worse.
Dell Loy Hansen blasting players for striking for racial justice.
RSL head scout Andy Williams opening up about racist behavior from Hansen.
Dell Loy Hansen and Andy Carroll being alleged to have built a culture of sexism and abuse at the club.
Utah Royals coach Craig Harrington being suspended for claims against him of sexual harassment.
Now, Sam Johnson is reported to have been throwing large house parties at his West Jordan home.
And that’s all off the field.
From there, we turn our focus on-field.
Our worst-ever home loss. Ever. Against our greatest rivals. A points-per-game record that pales in comparison to anything we’ve seen from Real Salt Lake since 2007 at the end of the season. A series of bad losses. A series of leads surrendered. An inability to score. An inability to play the attractive, passing soccer we saw at the end of 2019 from Freddy Juarez.
So what’s next?
The Mess Inside
We know by now that the worst is not over at Real Salt Lake. We keep thinking we’re at our nadir; the reality is that it can probably get much worse. There are still
remnants huge pieces of Hansen’s organization still at the club, and that includes a number of folks who are long-time employees of other Hansen organizations.
There will be more uncovered. What will it be? Who knows.
But at this point, I wouldn’t rule anything out.
Ed. note (yes, I am the editor of my own piece, I guess): This section was originally titled “There will be blood,” and I included a little joke about Dell Loy Hansen drinking your milkshake. I’m sorry to have taken it out.
Riches and Wonders
We still have no idea who’s going to buy the team. I wrote a bit about how we don’t know yesterday, and I keep hearing bits and pieces about interested parties. Some could include the titled riches and wonders. Others — well, I don’t want to spoil anything. There are some weird options out there, and I’ll let your imagination run wild.
Needless to say, I would very much like this whole saga to be over, and I would like to have a great owner. Or a good owner. Or even a mediocre owner, at this point, but please don’t quote me on that.
Have to Explode
We have six games remaining in the league, or maybe we have five games remaining. Whatever the case, we’re going to have to work hard to make the playoffs this year.
And you know what?
Do you know how many teams make it into the playoffs this year? Eight in the Western Conference, ten in the East. That leaves four teams in each conference not making it in.
LA Galaxy, who have been laughably bad this year, would move ahead of us with three points from a game in-hand.
We’ll end the season with 22 or 23 matches played (I think! Who knows these days) and we’re sitting right now with 1.06 points per game.
While I’m feeling very doomy about our chances, realistically, a massive reversal in the way we’re playing — and the results we’re seeing — could push Real Salt Lake to the top of the West.
It’s a stretch, but it’s technically possible.
Even if we’re running a thin roster with no real striker.
Maybe then there will be a little light. Personally, I’m expecting to be enveloped in darkness for a while yet.