First thought on Salt Lake’s win

… But it’s really more to do with Los Angeles’ loss.

Question: Is Edson Buddle the Chris Webber of MLS? He brings the same history of “effort issues,” same sulk artistry, and a similar complete lack of guts in crunch time situations as 2 playoff goals in over 600 minutes backs up.

In the words of the immortal Linda Richman, “discuss amongst yourselves.”

I’ll be back tomorrow with much more on the final.

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28 thoughts on “First thought on Salt Lake’s win

  1. It’s one thing to be a forward and not score, and another thing entirely to not score the PK when your turn comes around. It is also indicative that the starting forward doesnt’ even take his shot in the first 5.

  2. i thought pretty much everything about that match sucked, except for a couple nice passing sequences by the Galaxy. Buddle certainly didn’t stand out as sucking any worse than some of the others. and Landon Donovan choking, what the hell was that about? doesn’t bode well for the World Cup…
    i think the thing to take away from this match was the painful mediocrity of both of these teams, MLS needs to seriously raise the salary cap over the offseason and get some better players and deeper teams on the field…

  3. If it’s any consolation to Galaxy fans, most RSL fans currently have from 1 to 4 inches of snow to shovel/snowblow off sidewalks and driveways.

    I agree; I think that Gordon would have caused more problems from the RSL back line.

  4. the galaxy had a couple of nice passing sequences but rsl had dozens. they lack a big strong finisher inside the box but their midfield work was good.

    every time they showed time of possession in the last 5 minutes it was like 75-25% rsl. the better team on the day won.

  5. RSL played decent football. They were more deserving of a result. It’s harsh to blame Buddle. Buddle may be an underacheiver, but he was an underacheiver before this match, so that should have been factored in. Perhaps the Bruce should have subbed in Gordo, perhaps he should have figured out long ago that he could have Buddle or Henry or God Almighty at forward, but if the “service” from a “A-Mid” is coming from a committee of old and/or mediocre strikers and old and slow right wingers, you aren’t going to score anyway.

    The game was lost in the middle of the pitch. They would have done better sitting take-your-pick-among-Bex-Birchall-Klein-Kiro and pulling a “Roger Milla” and bringing in Cien and Danny Penya for the final 30. Seriously. With the thrashing the LA midfield got the last 75 minutes from halftime on, it would not have mattered who was standing in Buddle’s boots.

    The game was won by Beckerman, Mathis, and company. And Findlay for opportunistic finishing. Buddle? Do you blame Foghorn Leghorn for the sunrise?

  6. I had a long think about that comparison as well, but I decided that Buddle wasn’t guilty of the really awful and intentional laziness that so defined Carter after he clearly dogged his way out of Toronto. Even Buddle isn’t that bad.

  7. Yeah, really…Never really bought into the whole best player in CONCACAF malarkey. The guy only really shines against lesser teams in the confederation and Mexico. He has never, ever done anything in his stints in Germany and always pulls a disappearing act in big games. If anything his WC young player award makes him a huge disappointment, if not a total bust if he played for any other country.

  8. That was some quality halftime entertainment. Nothing like watching Freddy Montero play Guitar Hero on the easiest difficulty setting.

    A TV camera fell and almost killed somebody, by the way.

  9. i wouldn’t go that far, he played pretty damn good in the Confederations Cup. he sure didn’t live up to the hype tonite tho…

  10. I think the Galaxy’s age caught up with them in the second half, but the only person who I thought was having a stinker was Buddle who just could not control any ball that came to him. LA attacks came to die any time he touched the ball.

  11. Puh-leaze, the Landon bashing is totally lame. He is the best American player ever, has won three MLS titles, including one for Galaxy a few years back when he lead them to an RSL like miracle run on his back. He played very well this past summer, has some quality World Cup moments, including against America’s biggest regional rival, nothing to sneeze at. Sorry if he aint Kaka. Last night he made a great pass on Galaxy’s only real offensive moment in a match where the possesion tilted 75% against them in the latter stages. He may never make it in Europe, but to label him a choker is totally idiotic. Even Baggio missed a PK once.

    RSL was the better team in a sluggish match and if Findley and Mathis convert some of their chances it becomes 3-1. LA had too many guys hurt or sick, Ricketts obviously should have been out after hurting his hand, he was totally out of position on the goal and Becks with his flu and/or bad peg just stood there watching the rebound get poked in. Magee was limping the whole second half, no Demo out with a bug, the Rookie of the year (according to Hopkins) was nursing an injury and eventually bowed out. Not pretty at all, not EPL, but give RSL props, especially Rimando again.

    Buddle, yeah, you just knew he and Jovan would miss their PK’s.

  12. LA looked to me like they thought 1 goal would be enough at the half. Perhaps they should have watched footage from RSL’s last two games, because they would have known it was a bad idea.

    I agree that LA should have won, but it was a deserved win for RSL – they wanted it more. Please don’t naysay parity in an American sports league. It’s almost a requirement for a young league in such a large country.

  13. Yes, not so big of an upset when you consider that Crew lead league at 49 points, Chicago had 45, LA 48, and RSL sat at 40 and was 8th overall. The whole league was one big logjam, unlike say in EPL where you might have 20 plus points separating one and 8.

  14. I came into the match wanting Los Angeles to win, I ended up rooting for Real Salt Lake after seeing one of the Galaxy’s players throw a Laker forward onto the ground. As I saw Donovan completely screw up a certain goal in penalty (the goalie was completely off), I sort of felt for him. The poor bastard was the only one the commentators thought would surely score and he ended up being the only one who didn’t even come close to hitting the net.

    At the end of the day, I have just this to say : it was a good game, but something tells me that I’ll be watching a lot more of the returning NASL next season.

  15. Ever since RSL and Chivas joined the league, I thought for sure Chivas would make it to the cup before Salt Lake. Especially, given that they’ve be a much more consistent team over a course of the last three to four years. That said, MLS’ beloved parity has allowed a mediocre team advance to MLS Cup and claim the trophy.

    While there’s something appealing about the little guy squeaking into the playoffs and getting hot at the right time to advance to the trophy, I feel that when this happens, a conflict that exists.

    The League wants to succeed internationally (i.e., Champions League). To do this, they need to send their best teams to the tournament. Was Salt Lake the better team last night? Absolutely, especially in the second half. Are they one of the league’s better teams? No. As a result, parity also sends the wrong clubs into International competitions.

    The 10/11 Concacaf Champions League will see 4 MLS teams next year (so far):

    1. Real Salt Lake – MLS Cup Champions
    2. Columbus Crew – Supporters Shield Winner
    3. Seattle Sounders – US Open Cup Champions
    4. LA Galaxy – MLS Cup runners up

    Now, let’s look at our Parity rules: RSL is there because they made the playoffs with a losing record and ended up winning it all. They’re still a team with a losing record on the season. Not someone I’d pick to represent MLS.

    Columbus without Scholetto is simply the normal Crew. I can’t expect much out of them if they don’t bring back one of the leagues’ best players.

    The Seattle Sounders probably are in the best shape to do well in the Champions League. The team was probably successful enough in its first season that the fans will probably not allow the the novelty of having an MLS franchise to wear off after just one season. As a result, look for the Sounders to carry the home field advantage they’ve had in MLS into the Champions League.

    LA Galaxy could compete if the weren’t so old. That said, with the last two Rookie of the Year award winners, and a up-and-coming young keeper, the Galaxy could be building something pretty nice. They need help this off season and post World Cup Landon Donovan and David Beckham will likely not be all that supportive (assuming Donovan returns to MLS after the Cup).

  16. i’ve been watching mls since day one. while i’ve hardly seen every single match, i thought there were stretches during the second half when real played as well as any mls club i’ve seen over the years. not consistently, but when they kept their heads they played with composure and discipline. in fact, i thought they played the galaxy off the pitch after the interval.
    of course, i’m biased. i live in salt lake and was a season ticket holder for the first two seasons. still, i have seen just how bad the royals can play and that was a far better team out there last night.

  17. All this crap about a mediocre team reflecting poorly on the state of the MLS or the MLS Cup is total BS.

    a) RSL is not mediocre – sure, they were the 8th team in a 15 team league, but they did well in the last few games of the season and continued that through the post season. As many here have said, they played better than LA, the presumably not-mediocre team.

    b) Dont’ make it seem like this is a problem particularly acute in MLS. The stinkin’ Arizona Cardinals were in the Superbowl last year, with what? I think a 9-7 record in the NFC West? So they got to rack up victories against SF, Seattle, and St. Louis on the way to playing a pretty good game against the Steelers in the NFL Super Bowl?

    I don’t recall anyone saying that at the time that the Super Bowl was de-legitimized by the Cardinals being there. And if you think this doesn’t apply because its not the way that the Europeans do it, then you are just idiotic. This is American, and playoffs are the way you do sports. In America, the idea that someone can win the league simply by having a better record through the season is going to be scoffed – we want a head to head championship, and that is the way its going to be.

    You guys make it seem like it would be a great thing if Columbus won the Championship. Yeah, after losing 3 of their last 4 games, including their last two. That is a frickin formula for excitement if I ever heard one.

  18. Really? I thought they looked pretty good. I guess I forgot that if an underdog team makes a good playoff run and wins a cup, the whole league must be pathetic.
    I also just now forgot that that sort of logic is a big fat stinky pile of bulls***.

  19. I am a Galaxy fan, but I thought RSL was very good in the second half. Excellent possession and passing, very patient and created dangerous opportunities. This is exactly how I thought the Galaxy would play, but Beckham kept giving the ball back to Salt Lake time after time. I think this makes the West so competitive next season with some good teams like LA, Houston, Seattle, Chivas, and now Salt Lake the champions in there as well.

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