Sunday, July 13, 2008

A first for RSL

When Chivas USA players were asked about being in first place a week ago, to a man they said it pretty much didn't matter. First place at this stage of the season can be misleading, especially with the way the Western Conference has gone this year. First place can lead to some complacency which could lead to poor results, and then before you know it you're in fourth place.

I didn't talk to any of their players, but I'm guessing Real Salt Lake players don't exactly feel that way about their newfound first place status.


Chivas USA won the Western Conference last season. Their focus is not just reaching the postseason but trying to do something when there. And though they've had their struggles, they are confident that if they sort out their issues, everything else will take care of itself.

But for Real Salt Lake, being in first place at this point of the season - or at any point of the season - is indeed massive. RSL has been dreadful over their first three seasons and few gave them a shot at much this year. But RSL has indeed been a revelation out west. Yes, the conference is weak, and yes there is still a huge portion of the season before us. However, the mere fact that they have reached first place could send a jolt of confidence into the fourth-year club.

RSL can't expect results to start coming now, though. If they play with any sort of complacency, they will find themselves looking up at a pair of other teams pretty quickly.

This club, though, might be poised to make a bit of a mid-summer run now that they've gotten a taste of the top.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Moved to RSL as a fan along with Kenny Deuchar from Gretna. I think he solidifies the striker ranks and predict 20 goals for him next season after getting used to the play in the US. His strike rate at Gretna was frightening.

A.C. said...

Frankly, I think it would mean more to the history of RSL to finally be over .500, which they've never done before. Yes, #1 in the West is fine, but it's very misleading when they don't have a winning record and other teams have games in hand.

The Hammer said...

I think people make too huge a deal about the West in relation to the East.

yes, the West is weaker, but if that bothers you, look at the single table. Salt Lake is in 4th! That's still a huge accomplishment for them.

Congratulations to Salt Lake. They're the only other MLS club I can stand.

L.B. said...

Hey Hammer, you going to the game tonight?

The Hammer said...

Yessir.

OSweet said...

Once I'm in charge, standings will be in order of points per game played.
Galaxy and Chivas still tied for first at 1.38, Salt Lake third at 1.35. Colorado and Houston tied for 4th at 1.20.
Revs lead overall at 1.94.

David Harris said...

I would think that privately the players would be excited about their accomplishments thus far, but what does first place really mean other then home advantage in the playoffs. Winning the league in MLS doesn't count for anything (which is a real shame) and it all comes down to the cup format of the playoffs that decide the MLS champion. MLS needs to adapt to bring the structure that the rest of the world uses to the U.S.