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Unanswered Questions: Why Glad was benched, PPG as playoff decider, and more

I’ve had questions swirling. Here are some answers I’ve made up.

SOCCER: OCT 28 MLS - Real Salt Lake at San Jose Earthquakes Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Well, our season is spiraling right now, and I’m left with more questions than answers with likely just two regular season games remaining. Let’s talk about those questions, because I suspect I’m not alone in them.

What is MLS going to do about Colorado Rapids having played significantly fewer matches?

Oh, we’re starting with the hard questions, huh? (Wait. I asked myself the question. This is awkward.) The short answer is that I don’t know. The long answer is that I don’t think that anyone knows. This is a weird year.

UPDATE: While I was writing this piece, Sam Stejskal reported that points-per-game will decide playoff spots. There’s no word if MLS will have the Rapids make up any matches, though.

Why was Justen Glad benched in the last two matches?

Actually, let’s have Freddy Juarez answer this question. He talked about it in last night’s press conference.

“Last game we had a shutout. He wasn’t in the lineup in the win against Portland also. Marcelo and Nedum have been playing well. I’ve had a conversation with Glad, and he knows that we have 3 very good center backs. There’s been some games where I thought that Glad could be a little bit sharper, like the game in Vancouver. He wasn’t as sharp as I thought he could be. It’s just a matter of that. Some games you start, and tonight he didn’t. He went in well today. He came in brave and ready to go. He’s continuing to grow as a player, and he’s not going to play every single game every time. There’s just so much congestion right now. The other two had gotten two results.”

Where was Jeizon Ramirez?

An ankle injury, apparently. We have fallen prey to an out-of-date injury report from RSL, who did not include him as not medically cleared. Their post-match report did indicate he was not medically cleared.

So that probably seals it: Jeizon Ramirez looks like he’ll be ending 2020 with 10 substitute appearances and just 80 minutes played. Hooray.

Is there anything left to play for?

Well, it truly depends on if you think it’s worth playing to make the playoffs. If it is, it’s still worth fighting for, because while we can’t rule ourselves in to the playoffs, we can absolutely rule ourselves out. In fact, all it would take for us to make it would be a win, a Vancouver loss, and two Colorado losses. If we find two wins, we’ll be in an even better spot, but still very much hanging in the balance. I guess it’s somewhat fortunate for us that we play again soon, so we don’t have to wait to find any of this out.

Is there any reason not to play the kids?

Well, let’s put it this way. RSL is not scoring. We are not playing well. We can play well with the team we have, but we’ve been very inconsistent, and we’ve generally been bad.

I don’t think there’s a reason to not play the kids. Let’s put our best foot forward and actually give this a shot. It just so happens that our best foot is maybe broken, so let’s put any foot forward that isn’t the broken one.

With our four home losses, we’re sitting with a count that’s not worse than several other seasons — including some good ones. (Though in those, we had more road wins, and more matches, but who’s counting?) But not since 2007 has RSL lost more than four home matches in a season, and we have one more home match with which to contend. So that’ll be fun.

Is anyone suspended for the next match?

Aaron Herrera. Hello, Alvin Jones.

Who hasn’t played yet in 2020?

Let’s do a list! I’m not counting non-regular-season MLS is Back minutes, for the record.

  • David Ochoa
  • Alvin Jones
  • Ashtone Morgan (he will not, as he’s not registered)
  • Luke Mulholland
  • Luis Arriaga
  • Julian Vazquez
  • Milan Iloski — (actually, he’s played a single minute)
  • Chris Garcia — (he, too, has played a single minute)

I don’t know. We could start some of those players. Some of them are injured (Chris Garcia, probably Luke Mulholland), and some haven’t made a single first-team squad this season.

I’m not expecting miracles out of any of these people. But if we’re going to play poorly, we might as well at least be able to say, “Well, they’re young, so.”

Any questions I missed? Leave them in the comments section and I’ll think about answering them.