Sunday, May 20, 2007

RSL can't find win in Dallas

Sometimes I come across as a know-it-all. Especially when it comes to MLS - and even more especially RSL - I usually have an opinion on everything. And, until the coaching change up I had a good idea of how Salt Lake was going to perform. Now, I'm speechless.

Friday was my last day in the first professional job I've had since graduating college. As I went about tying up all my loose ends I had an experience that I wish could have happened 10 years ago - in more ways than one. It happened when turning in my office key, of all places.

I walk into the key office, wearing my white RSL road kit, and the cute blonde behind the desk looks up and says, "so, what do you think about Jason being made coach?"

Again, speechless.

I rambled an answer about not knowing exactly what to expect any more with the only thought in my brain being, "where were girls like you 10 years ago?"

As for the game itself, I would say that Nick Rimando has been playing well. Both of the Dallas goals where in the "hit of their life" category, similar to Brownie and Klein's goals against New York a few weeks back.

Admittedly, I was ADD during most of the first half. The moments I did focus on the little MLSlive box on my desktop it looked like Dallas was always pushing prowling round the RSL box. The defense did well enough. No real bonehead mistakes that have plagued other games, at least that I can remember.

Was I the only one surprised by appearance of number 77? It's amazing the difference he can make on a game. The team looked much more composed on the attack with his involvement. Even with the off season drop in salary, and nearly dropping from the team, I think that once he's fully fit Bomma be a common fixture in the starting 11.

Mehdi Ballouchy is in a funk. In the opening game of the season, he, like so many others, looked to be building on the sharp form from the end of last season. But since that game Mehdi has been invisible. It doesn't appear that his effort is wavering, but his passing has consistently been directed straight to the other team. Although he looked to be getting better with this game at the Pizza Pan, plenty of his passes were to the boys in Waldo shirts.

Ironically, I think Freddy has gotten more involved since Jason became coach. Maybe it's the pressure of having to convince a new boss that he belongs. What ever it is, he has played much better soccer in recent games. He still attacks the goal, but now he seems to look for the good pass rather than try and pull a Ronaldinho through a pack of defenders on every possession. Someone must have told him it's better when our team keeps the ball.

The glaring issue is that I don't remember Sala, the FCD goalkeeper, having to make very many saves. A good amount of chances are being created but the final shot is not even within the frame of the goal. Obviously, that has to get better.

Up next is the Open Cup match at Colorado during the week. Anything can happen, but that is a team that, at least historically, seems to have Salt Lake figured out.