After two full World Cup games, I still managed to catch Real Salt Lake trounce the New England Revolution on DVR into the wee hours of this morning. (A decision that might leave some to question my sanity.)
Luckily, I escaped post-game nightmares, as they all played out right there on the TV before I went off to bed.
I have been contemplating if it is worth blogging any thoughts on last night’s game or to just add some snarky commentary (and there’s so much there waiting to be lavished on Twitter.)
Given the beautiful weather, the World Cup games at hand and the ridiculousness of the current situation in New England, I’ve decided to keep this simple.
In a league built around parity, I would submit that RSL had better players in every position. It does not give me any pleasure to say this, but it seems arguably true, at worst…
RSL vs. Revs
Nick Rimando vs. Matt Reis
Robbie Russell vs. Kevin Alston
Jamison Olave vs. Cory Gibbs
Nate Borchers vs. Emmanuel Osei
Chris Wingert vs. Seth Sinovic
Andy Williams vs. Sainey Nyassi
Ned Grabavoy vs. Jason Griffiths
Javier Morales vs. Shalrie Joseph
Will Johnson vs. Chris Tierney
Alvaro Saborio vs. Marko Perovic
Fabian Espindola vs. Zach Schilawski
You could argue around Reis/Rimando, or that Sharlie Joseph would make the RSL first team, etc., but on the basis of last night, and the skill and experience put out on the field, RSL was a mile ahead.
To this open wound, I’ll offer a few bits of salt…
First, when substitutions were needed, we used three. One was Joseph Niouky. RSL also used three, one was a returning USA World Cup player. (All Findley love/hate aside, no Revolution players were close to the USA’s list of 23 for South Africa.) Oh, and RSL’s midfield “engine,” Kyle Beckerman, wasn’t even fit for the game.
Second, not only did RSL win. They did so with some style. The Revolution as a team are so far from playing with a sense of style that it is almost comical. Almost.
Third, whether driven by a post-game fireworks display or not… over 19,000 sat there in a beautiful soccer stadium enjoying the destruction of the Revolution. Ouch.
And potentially more troubling, is that there was true personality on the field for them. Morales does things that kids might want to emulate. Ex-Rev Andy Williams has a compelling personal story mixed with creative skill on the ball. Espindola appears to be one of those love ‘em, or hate ‘em players that, if nothing else, stir emotions.
Sadly, the emotions being stirred by the Revolution right now, are not the kind that they are hoping for.