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).
I'm sure we're all still a bit sore about that loss at the weekend, but these intra-conference road games are what they are. Simply, we play more of them, and we've seen this and last season that the Western Conference holds a stronger position. Anyway, that's just to say it's not the end of the world, but not to excuse anything that happened. I will say that lumping this match in with some of our other losses this season would ignore the specifics to a dangerous extent.
Well, that's not to say it's really dangerous. I suppose that's hyperbole. Who'd have thought I'd engage in, of all things, hyperbole? Nonsense, I say. At any rate, it's time to move past that loss and talk about a few things, especially given that our internationalists (a great word if there ever was one) have been announced for the midweek matches. You know, the ones that come between two weekend league matches. I'm shaking my head right now, folks.
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There's no surprise who our international players are. For the United States, we've got Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando. Nick Rimando seemingly has moved up to a second-choice keeper for this match, but if Sean Johnson gazumps him and takes the "I'm-not-Tim-Howard" spot from him, I'll be a bit miffed.
Why miffed, you ask? Nick Rimando has been called up to camp after camp, and time after time, that's meant he's been so privileged as to sit on the bench at times, and at other times, he's been passed over and left out of the match day squad. Now, I know it's a privilege and all to even be in the camp, but as a Real Salt Lake fan first and foremost, I reserve the right to be a bit upset when our players are yanked (ah, a pun of sorts) from us and then not played.
Perhaps, though, Kyle Beckerman will get some more time in the overly packed midfield that is the USMNT. Our captain and effusive midfielder has transformed into a bit of an ever-constant for the side, which is nice, as it brings us a bit of recognition. He doesn't always play, but unlike Nick Rimando, it doesn't seem that Jurgen Klinsmann is consistently forgetting that he does, in fact, exist and is not a name that simply exists to fill out a team sheet.
Also called up: Sir William Johnson the Brave (or… uh… Will Johnson), who will be looking for a 28th cap with the side. It's not a bad mark for a 25-year-old player, is it? I'm always a little surprised when I look at Will's age, as he seems to have an older head on him. An older head that makes the occasional rash tackle, but an older head nonetheless. Will's had, for me, a very good season for the club, notching two goals and two assists so far and managing to fill a chase-everyone-down midfield role.
Finally, the inimitable Saborio will be looking once again to score a bucketload of goals for Costa Rica, hopping back on that wagon and what not. Or, you know, something like that. But in June, he scored three, and he'll be wanting to do something similar again. Why wouldn't he?
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With these absences in midweek, I suspect we'll see changes rung in (like a bell, you know) against FC Dallas on Saturday. This, combined with the CCL match the following Tuesday, could see us really shake up our lineup in a meaningful way. Or perhaps a meaningless way. I don't really know, mind.
I'll touch on it more through the week, but I'd not be surprised to see Yordany Alvarez, Justin Braun, Jonny Steele and perhaps one more starting in there. We've got to avoid fatigue, but we also can't just surrender points. It's a scenario without an easy answer, but I trust Kreis to figure things out. He is, after all, a giant among men. Anyway, no predictions for that one yet. I'll touch on it more as it gets closer.
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Did you see Chivas falter against Los Angeles last night? Probably not, as it was at 9 p.m. on a Sunday night, but it was a fascinating one. The big part for me? The Galaxy look considerably stronger without David Beckham. Call me a heretic or something, but I'd much rather them work into the box than simply swing balls in. If I were Landon Donovan or Robbie Keane, I'd probably want the same thing. Less hoof, more finesse. It's more fun that way, right? Of course, I don't want the Galaxy to do well, mind, but if one of the "flagships" for the league is stuck playing ugly, ugly soccer, we all lose, right? That's the stupid thing I believe. (Extra credit if you spot the Arrested Development reference.)
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Right, that's about all for today. Let's talk tomorrow.