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The Knee Jerk: RSL vs Vancouver Whitecaps

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MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Real Salt Lake Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Holy conflicted feelings, Batman. Three points at home: awesome. Three goals: rad. Kreilach brace: marvelous.

That game as a whole, though? Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh.

The Good

We won. More importantly, players made their chances count when they had them. Meram had a rough game. He’s usually a great sub, but this wasn’t looking like it was going to be his night. That cross to Kreilach’s head, though: spectacular.

Holt takes a lot of guff, but he was the turning point for our win. He made that chance count. He had his moment and he took it. He made his difference, and it was good.

Rusnak had a nice outing. An assist on his docket is a great mark. I think he’s going to get going, but he’s had a rough start. New families are stressful. I’m still benefit of the doubt here on him.

The Bad

The entire second half. We got outcoached. Plain and simple. Vancouver came out after halftime and had a plan on how they would move forward. Their plan worked and they dominated. That’s frustrating to see.

It brings up more questions about tactical changes from the coaching staff. Are they moving the right pieces to the right places at the right moments?

The Ugly

Sloppy turnovers. Wow. Whether it was Ochoa gifting Vancouver with throw-in after throw-in or the inability of our defense and midfield to move the ball out of our defending third without sloppily handing the Whitecaps an opportunity, those turnovers were ugly. They put Vancouver in this game. Things could have been much worse, maybe they should have been.

A banana for scale

We’re still bouncing around the middle of the Western Conference table. Turn Albert on, get Wood cracking, make our new acquisitions sing, or, at least, get our current starters running at a higher level to keep their spots, and we might just have a solid team. Keep running our game through Kreilach and we’re bound to see more magic. Spring Julio and use his speed. Link up with Rubin. We’ll see where things go.

But we can also slip and fall. The chance to skid out is here. It’s up to this team to make the best of it. It’s up to the coaching staff to get the team firing together. The players need to step up. Challenges for starting spots are coming. What will you do to keep yours?

Overreactions

I really like Marcelo Silva. That unpredictable hulk smash that springs into every game is great to watch for. It makes a fun drinking game.

I’m not sure, but RSL looked like they haven’t played a professional match in a couple of weeks.

It’s HOT. Stop that. I have this gross neck sweat thing going on. It’s unpleasant.

As an RSL fan outside of Utah, I’m ><><STOKED><>< that they’ve made the home games home calls on ESPN+ from here on out. No more listening for Dunny’s soothing melodies with my fingers crossed at the start of each broadcast.