I noticed today that Real Salt Lake has scored in every game that they have played. That impressed me. I am very excited for this team in'08, and I feel like they are finally heading down a road of success. It is too early to tell for sure, but they have impressed me. You take a team like Chicago or FC Dallas (neither have lost yet, and Chicago has even eeked out a few wins), and I'm not impressed. Chicago's (I should say Blanco's) last minute goal to tie with RSL in week 1 was a fluke. I'm calling it that. That was a piece of Blanco magic, and frankly I don't blame RSL for that. The next week can't be blamed on a fluke as much, but RSL came out as ballers. They played very well, but thigns didn't go their way in the end (and it stung even more because of the two goals by Attiba and Esky). Game three, they finally got the win. Now, that fluke thing could come right back in calling their win against a decidedly less-than-normal-strength DCU, but RSL didn't just beat them. They beat them soundly.
I am very hopeful for this team. It seems to me like they are at that point where all the pieces are in place. All they need now is that finishing touch. It is up to the strikers to gain that confidence to finish the chances that they are creating. This week will help. They are going against Toronto and it is a game that they should win (despite the addition of Amado). This is an important game for RSL. They need to step up and take that confidence from last week's destruction of DCU Reserves and finish against Toronto. The whole season doesn't hinge on this game, but it will determine where they end up. If they can beat TOR this week, with their offense finishing the way they should, then they can set themselves up to actually have a great season. If not, then they are going to continue with that struggle that has marked their existence these past three years.
To sum up: RSL will show great improvement this year. How they do this weekend will determine just how great. A win this week could help propel them to the confidence that they will need to not just drag themselves into the playoffs (finally), but to actually earn that playoff spot with strength and honor.