Back to basics for the claret and cobalt
Photo Credit: smackdowntay (smackdowntay.blogspot.com)
“For us, coming off a performance that we had in our last match, it is important for us to remind the group, ourselves included, of what we are about and how we have success. For me, that starts with long, hard practices.”
Above is a recent quote from RSL head coach Jason Kries. It reminds players, staff, and fans alike, that hard work is the trademark of Real Salt Lake soccer.
Real hasn’t truly played its natural free-flowing style with quick interchanges with the ball between several players in tight spaces, attack from the wings, or all of its high ambitions this year. But regardless, they’ve been winning games. Lots of them haven’t been pretty. In fact, many of them were pretty ugly. That’s why getting down to the fundamentals in this two week break is exactly what the doctor ordered.
A lot of things quite possibly could have attributed to Real not playing their beautiful soccer that they’ve been so well known for over the last couple of MLS seasons. First off is the retirement of Andy Williams (Who I think deserves to have his number 77 retired). He was spectacular for Salt Lake when it came down to working through small spaces packed with opposing players. His crafty footwork enabled him to weave in and out and pass through defender’s legs. Javi Morales has been missed quite a bit this season too. Yes, he’s played, but not to his full potential. He’s done well, and it’s great to see him coming back to full form. I still believe he can become one of MLS’ greats one day. He should be coming off his injury soon. It’ll be great to have him back.
Aside from missing some key players, the only thing that’s changed to not allow the complete RSL Way to come into the effect is the integration of so many new players. There hasn’t been this much of an overhaul for Real since 2008 or 2009, so one should expect things to take some time to settle down.
That’s what this window of training is for. All of the players expected to make an impact this season have tasted the RSL flavor of soccer and will be wanting more. Now is when the fundamentals that put the emphasis on team mottoes like “The Team is the Star” and “Fortune Favors the Bold” are pounded into the claret and cobalt clad athletes.
I for one expect Real to come out of this two week break brimming with confidence and booming with excitement to play their way. I can only feverishly wait for our away fixture at Chivas USA.
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RSL 4 LIFE!!!