Doubt Dougie’s Defensive Determination
I said this in previous weeks about Sam Johnson’s skills as a defender, but I don’t think the team can continue to count on attacking players to be fully responsible on defensive set pieces.
This goes for more than just Douglas Martinez, but the last couple weeks he’s created some really atrocious moments. Against FC Dallas, he seemed to lose his assignment that lead to a very dangerous opportunity for Dallas. Against Vancouver Whitecaps he headed the ball into his own goal.
I understand that he is one of the taller players on the pitch and that’s kind of who you want in the mixer, but I’m just not 100% sure he fully understands the assignments. If Real Salt Lake is going to play the way they have been (not scoring on chances and giving away free kicks) they need to make sure that defensive formation is fully understood by everyone and the actual defenders are picking up the more dangerous positions.
It’s hard to see in the stats, but the number one defender for FC Dallas was the woodwork. Once the woodwork blocked a shot or two, it was really the thought of the woodwork that made the rest nearly impossible to make. It’s no secret that the club has not always had “finishers” on the team, but someone has to make it happen.
Maybe they should just practice even trying to hit balls that come across the 6 yard box? Might be good to try and capitalize on some of those low crosses the Maikel Chang and Douglas Martinez put through so well.
Someone has to stay in the middle and be willing to try and put the ball in the back of the net. You would hope that this would be a perfect time for Giuseppe Rossi to come on and work his magic, but he seems to be forever on the injury report. I wonder if he’s been spending time in Las Vegas?
Again, something I feel like I keep bringing up, but at some point the team has to decide what they want to come away with at the end of the season. Do they want to have a lot of new players with experience? Are they satisfied with making it through to the playoffs? Is there a chance that they make it anywhere into the playoffs?
There’s only 3 (maybe 4) matches left. Someone has to be willing to make that decision. Considering that the FO is mostly non-existent or in a bizarre holding pattern my guess is that it will have to come from head coach Freddy Juarez, but is he capable of making that decision?
It seems like we’re in for a couple more draws or one-point differential matches until the end of the season. Who knows what that will do for us going into a very shaky winter.
When RSL met San Jose Earthquakes in the MLS Is Back tournament, it was an unmitigated disaster. Everyone needs to forget that ever happened (just like Douglas Martinez’s first goal) and play San Jose like the bottom table team they are.