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Points of Obvious Refinement: RSL vs. Colorado Rapids

After an absolute drubbing at home, what can the team build off of to prevent another home defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Whitecaps?

Colorado Rapids v Real Salt Lake Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

Bounce Boo-ers

Let’s start with this note, we deserved to lose to the Colorado Rapids.

Why did we deserve that loss?

Because, for some wild reason, Real Salt Lake supporters who chose to attend the match during a global pandemic felt it would be a good idea to actually boo and shout at players when they took a knee before kickoff. Nothing says “we’re not here for RSL” like actually booing a demonstration related to racial equality and equal rights.

Do I think booing before kick-off is why the team lost the match?

No, but I also stopped caring how that game went after that point. If I were a player and my home fans were booing me for taking a stance on something as simple as racial equality, I wouldn’t have a lot of fight in me. Especially for a team lead by and comprised primarily of racial minorities and foreign players.

The Rio Tinto can not be a fortress if there is rot in the walls. The team can only do so much; the rest is up to us as a fan base. The rot has to be found and removed. We have to do this together. This is on us.

(Miss me with the “stick to sports” garbage. Sports have always been political.)

Fight First

There was a little bit of argie-bargie after the match, which will probably see a player or two catching fines and maybe a suspension. It would have been nice to see that fight earlier in the match.

With almost no rotation, the entire squad was running on empty after the win against LAFC. However, that empty tank could have been slightly augmented by some fire in the belly. Everton Luiz had that fight (he always does) at the end of the match, but the rest of the team seemed uninterested if playing hard, physical soccer. The MLS season is going to continue this way and the team needs to learn to be better at fighting for every inch of grass.

José Mourinho has a word for it that he uses a lot in that documentary everyone is watching. The team needs more of that. They need to play like José Mourinho thinks everyone should play if they really want to win.

Refill, Replenish, React

A rare full-week break is available. It’s a perfect opportunity for everyone on the squad to catch their breath and refocus before going on another 3-games-in-9-days run. This means trying to bring players like Marcelo Silva to health and, maybe, starting the process of bringing David Ochoa up from the Monarchs. If they start this process now, Silva could be ready by Saturday and Ochoa could be available next Wednesday.

I think Colorado read my last article and figured out how to beat Andrew Putna and his long ball game, so I won’t discuss what Ochoa and Silva might bring to the table in case Vancouver also has someone keeping an eye on the pulse. Let’s just say it helps with rotations and maybe brings a third dynamic to the defensive line if we need it.

Ultimately, everything depends on the outcome of MLS Disciplinary Committee. So maybe half the team catches bans and we have to play Justen Glad as a striker. I’m here for it. Can’t be too much worse than losing 0-5 in a Rocky Mountain Cup match.