RSL disappoints on and off the pitch this weekend

A 0-0 draw at home against an opponent that you should beat is simply disappointing and that is exactly what RSL fans were treated to.  When RSL dominates an opponent and fails to get a result, at least the match can be entertaining, at least fans can draw hope that eventually the goals will come, but when the team simply looks disjointed it leaves one with lots of questions. So 14 shots for RSL, to 12 for New England, 2 shots on target for RSL and 1 for New England, a 52% to 48% edge in possession for RSL but much of that seemed to be in our own end of the pitch.
Prior to the match there was another issue facing RSL, a member of the Salt Lake Tribune’s sports staff was denied access to the Rio Tinto press box and their RSL credentials were revoked.  There are statements from both sides that support their stance on the issue and for me the reality of the situation is probably somewhere between the two statements.  I have never been a huge fan of Gordon Monson, largely because he writes about the Utah Jazz and I care nothing about the NBA.  He has over the past two years written two articles about RSL that I have found interesting, both question how decisions are being made after Dell Loy Hansen took full ownership of RSL.  Both take issue with what Monson called the dismantling of those who helped build RSL from a disappointing expansion side to a dominant force within MLS.
Was his take a bit simplistic? Yes in some ways, but were there also some legitimate questions being asked? Yes, one would have to be blind to the rapid pace of change at the top of RSL once DLH took over.  First losing Jason Kreis as head coach, due to a lowball offer and then losing GM Garth Lagewey who was looking to take on more responsibility (which seemed to make sense at the time) but then letting Bill Manning go as well, and wondering why not hold onto Garth given that move had to be in mind.  These are all questions that many fans have asked me online and offline over the last 3 years.

I guess for me the deal with Monson seems almost as confusing as the recent form of RSL.  Gordon didn’t just become a person employed by the Jazz via a radio station owned by the Miller family?  He didn’t just start doing a radio show with Spencer Checketts the son of former RSL owner Dave Checketts. So why in November did RSL make a decision they weren’t going to issue him a credential for 2016?  Why did they then issue him one, only to deny his request for a spot in the pressbox and revoke the credentials they had issued him?  I don’t know.  I will say that it doesn’t seem like Monson needs access to do what he does, but denying him access probably just will feed into the questions he asks about how RSL is being run?

I am also left a bit puzzled by how an RSL team that started so well, 4 wins in their first 6, which could have been 6 except for some late match meltdowns, to a team with a single win in their last 7 matches (with 5 of those at home). There haven’t been a ton of injuries, no real impact from national team call ups, so a lot of questions to be asked.

I expected after a long road trip during the grass replacement that the extended home stand would see RSL moving up closer to first place and catching both FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids who seem to be pulling away at the top of the Western Conference.  Since June 8th, RSL has played 5 home matches, 7 overall and have just a single win in those matches, there have been 4 home draws and two road losses in that time frame. RSL still has a favorable schedule with 8 remaining home matches and just 6 left on the road and RSL has yet to lose a match at home.  I still worry that despite scoring first in 10 of their 20 matches, RSL has only picked up a victory in 4 of those matches.

I can only say the following in summary on both of the disappointments from this weekend:

I have been a RSL season ticket holder since 2005, I have been writing a RSL blog of one type or another since 2007 so I have gotten to know the RSL media team well over the years and while there has been a lot of folks come and go, I have been impressed with everyone the team has brought in as part of that group.  I also know blogger and others who cover other MLS teams, and based on my conversations with them the RSL team is admired and respected by everyone who deals with them.  The only flaw I have ever found is that some may be too passionate about RSL and MLS, which is no flaw in my mind.

As a fan I question a lot of things the team does and has done, it doesn’t impact my love of the team or sport, it simply means I may disagree with some decisions.  My concerns and questions may be very different than those of other fans, it doesn’t make them wrong or me wrong, it just means we have different thoughts and ideas. I love this team, and I admire the players and I expect that any disappointment I may feel as a fan or blogger is rather small in comparison to what the very competitive players are feeling.  I can only hope that all things RSL turn to a more positive outlook as quickly as possible.

That’s How I See It

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