I split my season tickets with a good friend of mine. We're both adorable in the way we look at things when the season is still young; "well, match days need to be special. I want the games I pick to be meaningful, crystal ball this, and league coefficients that" and we still both end up with tickets to all of the important games.But there was one game neither one of us wanted any part of; Real Salt Lake.
Because at the time, they looked unbeatable. But MLS is kind of weird. And it turns out the Sounders are pretty darned good. Better than Real Salt Lake over the course of their run to the top of the table. And at this point, the Sounders have a pretty tremendous advantage just by nature of being the home side: Real Salt Lake's status as one of the league's best through virtue of their outstanding home record. Their road record has been far less impressive.
3-5-3, in fact. Real Salt Lake has performed about as well away from home as Chivas USA, the Philadelphia Union, the San Jose Earthquakes or, to be honest, Chicago Fire. Rel Salt Lake has built their reputation (and quite rightly so) on being near unbeatable at home. And, hey, hood for them. But they aren't playing at home.
It's a very odd position to be in. But in reality, this team has been so good as of late that until they lose any misstep will be met with confusion and, most likely, overreaction. And the odds are good that some point this team is going to lose. Not due to the lack of a target striker or anything of that nature, but just because, well, hey, it has to happen at some point. And this Real Salt Lake team is quite good. They're probably the best team the Sounders have to face for the rest of this season. But until they lose, is anyone worried? I mean, hubris can come right on back and slap us all in the face quite soundly. But until it does, we should probably just enjoy it.