I remember as a kid whenever I would point my finger at someone my mother would remind me that three more were pointing right back at me and I would offer that same thing to the RSL fanbase.
Yes it is easy to point fingers at Sorin, the official that clearly lost the match early on and if you want to carry it to an extreme made the match look a whole lot like a WWE match. Where anytime the good guy does anything close to being against the rules the punishment is swift and harsh, meanwhile the villains can do no wrong, or at least not in the eyes of the official who either seems blind to it or seems to miss it all together. I thought it was one of the worst officiated matches I have ever seen in MLS, calls were missed, calls were ignored, minor transgressions over punished, yeah it made for a very difficult match to watch. I am thankful that I watched at home and not from the sidelines taking pictures, where I likely would have been asked to leave before halftime.
Still pointing a finger at the ref leaves us with three fingers pointing right back at us. It was early in a match when two RSL players reacted or overreacted to what should have been a easy yellow card for Jermaine Jones, but instead Luke pushes and Kyle swears at the official and they get the yellows. If RSL players hadn’t gotten the point by that time of the match and knew that they needed to tread very carefully, but they didn’t seem to get it and the result was a sloppy challenge in the midfield and RSL going down a man.
It would be remiss if I didn’t mention how good RSL looked at the start of the match, something we hadn’t seen in a long time. The chemistry between Brooks Lennon, Bofo, Albert and Yura was impressive and could hold a lot of potential for the future. So while it is easy to see that positive and just again point blame at the poor officiating or the poor decision making by a couple RSL players, that would still leave some fingers point inward that have to be accounted for.
I question the decision making in the early second half, you go down a midfielder, a defensive bulldog and when the minutes started to tick by it was clear RSL was being put on their heels and that momentum had clearly swung the way of the Galaxy, at that point you know you need some defensive bite you need to regain some possession, so you make a forward for forward swap? Then you give up a goal, then a second and you try to regain a grasp on the match by bringing in Luis Silva who has been fairly unimpressive so far this season, but by then it is too late. Down a man, tired players as a result of that and a LA team protecting a lead with an extra man. Yeah I call the decision making in tactics and subs as a mistake and one that has to count as a finger pointing inward.
This leaves one remaining finger and this one may be the hardest to swallow, as I am not sure exactly where it points. Is it a overly cynical approach of the fanbase that was so spoiled by success for so long, or is it those who keep apologizing or making excuses for the lack of success? Listen, I have no doubt about the passion of our fans, just like I have no doubt of the passion of our players, coaches or staff. So now here we are 3 matches into a new season and the frustrations of seasons past are already creeping in, so as fans what do we do? Do we hold on and hope for the best, do we bitch and moan on social media about it non stop, do we show the team and each other that we are here for them, that we support them and that no matter what that we will be here for them?
Is it wrong as a fan to expect more, is it wrong to be critical when things aren’t going right? I don’t believe it is, I believe that is a sign of passion, of belief that things can and should be better. For me this season was about RSL regaining an identity, so far I haven’t seen it, glimpses of what the future might hold simply aren’t good enough. This teams legacy was built on hard work, fitness, discipline, determination and knowing we had to prove we belonged each and every minute of every match, if you aren’t going to live up to that legacy then you sure as hell better deliver results to start a new one.
That’s How I See It