I was going to write this how Real Salt Lake played tonight; lazy and uninspired, but figured it would be against my best judgement.
Let’s do the classic ‘positive-negative-positive’ thing that’s recommended for constructive criticism shall we?
More from Northbank RSL
Luke Mulholland was absolutely everywhere against Sporting Kansas City, he had to be or else no other player in the field would have done anything noticeable.Mar 29, 2015; Sandy, UT, USA; Real Salt Lake midfielder Luke Mulholland (19) passes the ball during the second half against Toronto FC at Rio Tinto Stadium. Real Salt Lake won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
Now for the negative. Once again RSL was atrocious with their defensive work rate. The effort that was put out reminded me of a JV squad that was playing defeated on homecoming night.
Marking looked like me on Wednesday night beer league (I haven’t played organized soccer since the 5th grade) and the Real back line sunk back to the form of Weeks 1 and 2. While they gave up 12 shots (a number much lower than earlier in the season) possession was extremely one sided and reminded me of Week 1 against Portland, meaning that we definitely did not deserve a point but we got one anyway. Check out the statistics here to see for yourself.
Real Salt Lake looked two steps behind the very aggressive Sporting Kansas City squad and had me gritting my teeth in frustration as countless passes didn’t hit their mark and the RSL defense seemed to run like the portly kid who only made the track team because his father is the coach for the sprint team.
Look, I know I need to be patient as a fan of a team that’s implementing a new system; but this is insane. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH. If you don’t know what that means in the world of sports, it means I am already patient enough. My Bengals have not won a playoff game since before I was born and the Reds have not faired much better. Performances like this are not acceptable at all.
The 4-3-3 formation is made for a team that isn’t afraid to hustle; the 4-1-2-1-2 diamond was a formation made for older and slower teams who want to cover the field. Real Salt Lake cannot afford to have the effort of the diamond while running the 4-3-3.
Now, the positive to act as the bottom bun of this disappointment sandwich. Nick Rimando was Nick Rimando as usual and acted as the generous god he is the the RSL faithful. I’ll accept a point on the road but won’t accept embarrassing hustle like I saw tonight.
What do you think Real Salt Lake has to do to make sure this never happens again? Let me know in the comments or tweet at me @ZeekIsFansided .