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The Knee Jerk: RSL vs Colorado Rapids

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MLS: Colorado Rapids at Real Salt Lake Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

How about Bobby Wood tonight, eh?

RSL epitomizes what it is that I love about MLS: the parity. Any team can win any match at any time. I like the way American soccer is set up. It’s more enjoyable to me than the same huge team winning year after year. Sure, there are the powerhouse clubs and FC Cincinnati (which used to be RSL), but no game is a lock. It makes the league fun.

That’s exactly what RSL is right now. We’re a team that can win games that maybe we shouldn’t win, lose games that maybe we shouldn’t lose, draw on the road and steal a point, and draw at home and squander a point. At least we’re not failing to make the playoffs with a guy like Zlatan on our team. That would be embarrassing.

But RSL is fun. We’re in a congested conference and we’re going to have to fight to prove that we belong.

Coaching

We got outcoached again against LA Galaxy, but we outcoached the Rapids tonight. I was angry on Wednesday. Not angry tonight. I’ve come to a realization though.

When I was pursuing my undergrad at the University of Utah, I worked for a major national retailer. It was never a career; just a job to get me through college. They ranted and raved about promotion from within. Earning your position. Moving up. Growing within the company.

But the reality was very different. People were sometimes promoted from within, but then were often not given the opportunity to grow into the positions. There was a revolving door of outside hires who would come in like deer in the headlights despite their resumes. The bottom line was that the company preached promote from within, but often overlooked strong internal candidates, failed to give internal hires room to own their spots, or just dragged people in from outside to fill slots.

RSL has promoted from within. RSL is a work in progress. But there is progress. Sometimes it’s slow. Sometimes it’s frustrating. And sometimes we get a show like tonight. No fireworks display is going to come close to that RSL performance.

Let’s not flip the revolving door of coaches, not while we have an internal guy who’s building his own system. Juarez is an RSL man. He’s our guy. Will we love him more with a ton of wins? Of course. Sport is entertainment and winning is expected. But we can also support our guy as he grows the RSL brand. Something swell is coming. You can smell it.

Overreactions

Something great is coming. The pieces are starting to fit. Patience will bring reward.

Damir Kreilach should be in the MLS MVP race. If he keeps up with how he’s playing AND if RSL is able to turn this season into something special, I see him in that argument. He won’t win. He plays for RSL. Remember all of those goalkeeper of the year awards Rimando won? He needs to be in the argument, though.

Ochoa’s distribution is getting better. It’s another clean sheet. Things are looking good.