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The Knee Jerk: RSL vs LA Galaxy

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MLS: Real Salt Lake at LA Galaxy Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

I have some thoughts.

RSL were unfortunate to not dig a point out of this match.

RSL were fortunate this season to not have to face off against an in-form Chicharito, but we were unable to take advantage of that fortune and turn it into points. These matches came at the best time to play the Galaxy and that advantage was squandered.

The work in progress is progressing. We may have lost tonight, but there was a lot to be proud of. Step by step progress. Holt had a great first half and a good second half. Our defense did well despite missing Glad. Juarez made some great movements in the second half that almost paid off (too bad this wasn’t a game of hand grenades; is that a game? I always hear that almost only counts in games of hand grenades, but I’ve never played. I’ve thrown hand grenades before. I have a terrible throwing arm and I got yelled at for almost throwing my first one far enough. I guess almost doesn’t really count in hand grenades. True story, but I digress.)

If RSL could have matched the Galaxy’s energy and enthusiasm at the start of the second half, instead of ten to fifteen minutes in, that scoreline might have looked much different.

This was a game of barelies. We barely lost. We were barely outplayed. We were barely outmatched. We were barely a step behind the Galaxy. We barely missed our chances. Alas, the final score is the only thing that matters. And we lost.

But there’s a lot to build on. I’m going to be watching this attack very closely the rest of the season. We’ve been clamoring for years for a real number nine, and now we have two. We have a couple of new forwards on the wings, and some old hands too. Will the attack get clicking at the right time? That time is now. There’s still a lot of season left and there’s the possibility of a deep run.

Over-predictions

RSL turns on in the last ten or so matches this year, sneaks into the playoffs, and looks their very best right at the end of the season before falling out of the playoffs and spending the off-season being hyped about how strongly they’ll start the 2022 season.

We start the 2022 season slowly.

Has this happened before? Are these prediction too safe? Is it what we usually do? Probably.

A crazy prediction, then. RSL finds an owner, we get a new Utah Royals team, our academy becomes the best in the league, and Freddy Juarez wins MLS coach of the year in 2026. Too crazy?