Okay, sat myself down in front of the laptop and watched these two games. Not something I have done much in recent times but since I have declared that MLS is the sport of summer I had better start.
Salt Lake were unlucky not to get a win against Chicago Fire on Saturday. Only a last minute equaliser by lardy winge bucket Cuauhteomoc Blanco (being honest I looked that up) put a damper of a winning start. An unlucky 71st minute own goal by Bakary Sourmare gave RSL the lead, although it remains debatable if they deserved the lead. That mistake could have been avoided had the keeper done better in advising the onrushing defender to let the ball run clear.
Having not watched RSL before I thought that they worked well as a team with the midfield creating a number of chances. Of course I cannot compare to last season and I type without really reading about the thoughts of RSL fans but I do feel that overall the club should be happy with this performance. The defence at times did allow too much space which the Chicago forward line worked and this may be something that will have to be worked on. A more mobile forward line will take advantage of this and from what I have seen so far this risk is out there. I was concerned about the number of silly cautions that were picked up but will put that down to those particular players wanting to make an impact. On the positive side the link between midfield and the strikers was very good with no-one lacking confidence in taking on the player or getting a shot off.
As for Deuchar, didn't really get into the match once he came on and I suspect that it will take 4 or 5 games before he fully tunes into his colleagues.
In the end it would be hard to disagree that both sides deserved this result.
What of Galaxy? It didn't look bad, it was terrible. Okay Sir Beckham played much like he did for England . In what would be a disappointing performance in France was acceptable in this game. The right back overlapping Sir Beckham was pointed out after the international and was again picked up after this team implosion. Maybe we are starting to see the way in which the future Sir Beckham will play, relying much on his ability in getting the crosses into the correct area's . Without doubt he can still do this and cause trouble for the opposition but it is up the the coaching staff to make sure that they get the best out of this service. Without doubt Sir Beckham was the best player for this first look at a very disappointing Galaxy side. The biggest shocker was Xavier. At one stage I noticed that this central defender was playing right midfield closing down an opposing player, 20 yards outside the Rapids penalty area! What was he doing there? By that stage though the visitors had not only lost the game but shape. I only hope the bus was easily located outside the ground.
The cause was not helped by a referee whom I think didn't work hard enough and appeared a bit dazed by the record crowd. The penalty is open to debate and my view of this was poor due to the quality of my Internet stream at the time. You can see that the referee was losing control and a more proactive approach to cautioning players much earlier could have avoided the dismissals. The Rapid sending off was easily a red card and I have read that Xavier was sent off for bumping the referee. If he did do this then his ban should be extended. Maybe this would be welcomed by Gullit, who now has the toughest job in football. After all King Keegan has started winning at Newcastle. I also suspect that the 3rd goal was offside but this did highlight where the biggest problem is. Two central defenders who appeared not up to task and a midfield which got lost. And judging by Sir Beckham's face as he walked off maybe he realized that too.