If you haven't heard, better start learning. In the Champions League tie between PSG and Bayern, Sergio Ramos, the literal starting Center Back for PARIS Saint Germain, uttered the following:
“F*ck the wh*re that gave birth to Paris. Motherf****r”
I love this so much. A man who's identity has always been Spanish couldn't say a more Spanish thing. That's true hate. Even when you're working for the country you hate, you still find a way to shit talk them on a world broadcast. This hatred is in his bones, molded by years of anger and frustration. I love it.
Before I get into the preview for Austin's next match, I wanna establish my top 5 teams that I absolutely hate. You'll notice my rankings reflect game history we have with these teams, less than the perceived hatred. Hatred is earned not given, and these teams have given us matches that have made my blood boil more than the others. That's why these teams can fall off a cliff, only to grab onto a rope before falling perilously to the ground. But I am holding that rope. I could drop them, or I could save them. But I choose to tie the rope to a tree and let them dangle til the lose their grip and fall on their own accord. These Mothers:
Real Salt Lake
I despise Real Salt Lake, and it's no accident. They've given us two of the most infuriating games of our history in Salt Lake, and I don't doubt we'll have a similar anger inducing game on Saturday. Let's Preview:
My previews are based entirely off the last match the opposing team has played. I give it a watch, and I see how they play and how they can hurt us and how we can hurt them. Take all of this with a grain of salt today. I genuinely think there is no way Austin can replicate how Seattle dismantled this team. This was an absolute onslaught. RSL had 3... THREE shots at the 80 minute mark. None on target, so:
RSL took a very conservative approach in defending Seattle's attack. Few aggressive interceptions, and they stayed bunkered in front of attacking players. I think we'll see something similar, as our attack can be just as intimidating. Is this a positive? I dunno. It could lead us to a 0-0 game, which I suppose would be a win?
RSL could NOT break the midfield pressure applied by Seattle. I do not think we can replicate this, but it is an opportunity for us. Driussi loves to cause havoc pressing high, and we could get our best chances off of their attempts to break out of their shell. To do so, we would need both Wolff, Pereira, and our Full Backs to press immediately when they regain control in their half. So far, we haven't shown the urge to do this.
RSL seemed to try and push Seattle out the wings rather than get ruined through the middle of the field. This didn't work. The way our Fullbacks have played forward this season makes me think we could sneak in a goal or two from crosses. This is exactly how Seattle bagged one of their goals. A Zardes header at the end of a Zan cross leading to a 1-0 win would be my dream scenario for Saturday.
We will 100% be receiving a red card. Each of the last two games at Salt Lake have ended with only 10 men on our squad. Last yearwas unbelievable. Pereira getting a straight red on an absolute flop. This will be one of the most frustrating games of the year. It always will be. Screw RSL. Screw Utah and their majesty. They don't deserve to see that beauty. Give that to a state that deserves it (certainly not Texas, but someone good)!
Carlos Gomez appeared to be the only player giving Seattle problems. He had a moment where he cut back a Seattle defender in box. Another where he was able to get a steal and push it to the other side of the pitch. He's 20 and he seems like a firecracker who could go off against us. Pace can rip our back line to shreds and he's full of it.
This is a litmus test for us, and after watching the way Seattle dominated them (granted, it was in Seattle), I worry we'll fail this test. RSL may not be particularly good, or they may have just had a bad night, but if we don't come out and get a win on Saturday, that solidifies us as a tier lower than the top of the West.
What to Watch For
We'll need to rotate our roster again for this one. If we want to win the home leg against Violette, we need our starters on Tuesday. So... Who are we gonna trot out there? I would guess we go with MOSTLY starters, with the plan of subbing them off early in the second half. Driussi and Pereira in particular.
We'll be pushing everyone forward in this one. How will we handle their counters? Early in this Seattle game, RSL was bouncing passes up the pitch with ease until Seattle just locked everything down. If it's late and we haven't scored, we have a habit of over-committing and then we get torched. Assuming our CB pairing is back (Leo and Ring) can they handle a fast break? We didn't see them have to do this against Montreal.
We need to turn up the pressure when the ball is on the other team's half of the pitch. It's been vacant this year compared to last. If we aren't creating turnovers on the RSL side of the pitch, I don't think we come away with points in this one. We'll probably get embarrassed. Again.