Dec 7, 2013; Kansas City, KS, USA; Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saboru (15) celebrates after scoring a goal in the second half of the 2013 MLS Cup match against Sporting KC at Sporting Park. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

RSL v SKC: Diametrically Opposed


We play diametrically opposed styles of soccer. We want to keep the ball, we want to possess, we want to attack. Kansas City want to kick people, pressure you all over the field and try to rely on set pieces and turnovers to generate their chances. It’s really an interesting rivalry in terms of where the league wants to go. To use facts: Kansas City leads the league in fouls committed by a wide margin. They wear their style on their sleeve. They’re going to come in and try and intimidate and impose their style and even beat you up a little bit. They’re not shy about that, they’re proud of it. So I think the league has to decide do they want that kind of physical, rock’em-sock’em style, or do they want to play more of a passing, possession, beautiful game. And I think that’s really why the rivalry comes into focus, because you see these two different directions the league could go.

Garth Lagerway – DEC 2013

Link here

I’m sure that many of you will remember that quote from RSL GM Garth Lagerway preceding MLS CUP 2013.  At the time we all rallied behind this banner that our fearless leader (conjures a Kim Jong Il thought…) carried into the media before the biggest match of the year. Everything Garth said shouldn’t have shocked anyone at the time, but it seemed to create ripples throughout the MLS world.

How were people shocked that staff, players and fans in Salt Lake view Sporting Kansas City as a team that is the complete opposite stylistically of who we are as a club?

I guess drama is drama and that’s what we’ve come to look for as a league and a society. It’s all about the story behind the game, the quotes, the banter, the history leading up to the 90 minutes that are about to be played.

These are the facts of the matter: RSL play to possess the ball, attempting to get 8 bodies into the attack and through quick interconnected play create scoring opportunities. SKC tend to sit back in 2 banks of 4 and absorb what they can defensively, looking to outlet a ball to a rushing forward generally making a diagonal run.

A team that looks to create chances through possession and passing vs a team that looks to tackle hard and win the ball, then quickly counter.


I could go on and on about passes per game and possession statistics of the two teams. I could talk about the fact that SKC have lead the league in fouls committed in years past (#1 last year by a large margin). The differences in the two teams are visible on the field every single second of any match that either of the teams play.

At the end of the day MLS CUP was a draw. Screw the penalty kicks. Have you ever tried to kick a ball with your toes frozen solid? How about make a save when you can’t feel your fingers? Both suck and are nearly impossible. To call the final in Kansas City the true test for who is better or which team is superior is a farce and does the game we all love no justice.

RSL face an opportunity this weekend. Not to make too much of this or sensationalize it (who am I kidding?), but this is the stage on which RSL can show everyone that December was a fluke. That a team like SKC, who are currently running their mouths like a bunch of ass hats……..

They play the game all fine and dandy but they are NOT the premier team in the league. They are NOT the better team.

Vengeance is mine saith the Lord. I hear he’s busy this weekend, though, so it’s time to do work.


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Tags: MLS CUP Opinion Pre Game Real Salt Lake RSL

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