What can be said about Real? They certainly are struggling. Their game is like a leaky dam. Every time they seem to fix one part another hole begins spewing water raising concern that the whole thing may come down in an unfixable mess - washing away all hope of making the playoffs.
Before the match against Chivas on Wednesday night RSL had been held scoreless in three of their last four outings - the triple goal performance at New England in the middle of that stretch was clearly an anomaly. For statistical purposes we'll say that Salt Lake have scored a total of 3 goals in the last four games.
During that stretch several chances were squandered by lack of touch, concentration, or fear of touching an easy ball into the net. It's called Easygoalitus. Those inflicted find it impossible to bury "sitter" chances. It ran ramped through much of the RSL offense, but seems to be in remission for now.
The positive side of that stretch is that two of those goal-less performances were draws - wait, no. The Dallas game should have ended in a draw. Abe Thompson did a country two-step through a pair of defenders and then docey-dowed Scott Garlick for the stoppage time talley.
The horror continued four days later as Claudio Suarez (pictured) popped home a Jesse Marsch cross also very late in stoppage time. As you can see from this photo, Suarez had enough space to hold a small fiesta in front of the goal.
Salt Lake's defense has problems. They are very capable of keeping the ball out of their net, but having troubles doing so late. This issue will need to be addressed before the D.C. match on Saturday.
The league's best team has not lost in 14 straight MLS matches and they have not been shut out all year. Our ray of hope lies in their single loss on the year - it was at altitude.
Back in May D.C. fell to the Rapids in Colorado following a 1-1 tie with Dallas the week before. Well, United tied Chicago 1-1 last week and now the Black and Red are climbing the Rockies to play up on the hill at Rice-Eccles Saturday night.
As luck would have it, RSL is in desperate need of a win. All we need is for our defense to stay in the game from whistle to whistle and for the offense to show no signs of Easygoalitus. Couple that with D.C.'s struggles at altitude this season and it looks good for Real Salt Lake.