What did our beloved Claret and Cobalt do the evening of March, 10th? They did what they trained for. They did what they most wanted. They did what they are capable of. They “came to score” (The Aggrolites).
If I'm not mistaken, it does seem this Real Salt Lake side has a weakness or two. Have we been this error-prone at home in some time? I'm inclined to say no. But error-prone we are, and our last two home matches have showed that quite clearly. Three against the Galaxy, two against San Jose — and that's just the start.
Our problems have been many, but you know, things aren't as bad as they seem. We still have more points than we've ever had to this point in the season. We still look brilliant in attack when things are going our way. But we'd be mad to ignore the errors, wouldn't we?
I don't think dwelling on them right now would be entirely productive. There's little we, as fans, can do by stressing out over errors from individual players who are usually brilliant. Wonder about them, sure, but at times like these, it's vital that we not let our heads go. Indeed, it's important that we continue to support our side through thick and thin. It's not like those who've been found in error are bad players. Not by a long shot. But it's in part a confidence game, and if we don't do what we can to boost spirits and let our boys know that we're behind them, we risk the problem only getting worse.
But what really happened last night? Was it just errors? Perhaps so. We were found out on set pieces once again. A throw-in we didn't defend properly — that sounds familiar, doesn't it? — and a free kick we erred in the defense of. Painful stuff, that.
Where do we go from here? I mean, aside from Columbus. Things aren't as doom-and-gloom as they seem right now, and from a more level-headed perspective, it should easy to acknowledge that. But today, we mourn for the fortress, which is kicking and thrashing.
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While I don't want to harp on refereeing, I do want to say one thing. At one point, Saborio was quite clearly fouled in the box. Referee Jair Marrufo seemed to recognize this and, once the ball fell to Will Johnson, indicated that he was playing advantage. In the box. You know, where you call penalties. But Will Johnson found himself on the end of an excellent saving tackle, and play resumed.
Now, calling advantage in the box is certainly an option, but the USSF is pretty clear on this. (See this) If a foul occurs in the penalty area and a potential advantage exists, it is acceptable to play it — but it should not be signified, and it should only be to allow a goal to occur in the run of play. But if said goal isn't scored, the play should be pulled back for a penalty. They're fairly definitive on this: "In short, if a goal is not scored right away, give the penalty kick." That didn't happen last night. It would have seen us ahead 1-0. It might not have seen us win, it might not have seen us draw, but you never want to see decisions like that. It's in the 57th minute if you'd like to see it yourself.
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Right, well, I'll write more tomorrow, but that's all I have today. Motivation is an issue for me — but hopefully not for our side.