RSL has nobody but itself to blame for home losses

Jun 25 2012 - 9:17pm

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While it's easy to complain about the things that you don't have control over, it's the things that Real Salt Lake does indeed have control over that are most to blame for its stunning two-match home skid.

Sure, you can be upset with Jair Marrufo, the center referee of Saturday night's match against San Jose, for his beyond-bizarre advantage call after a San Jose foul on Alvaro Saborio deep in the Earthquakes box. Had advantage not been given, the result would have been a 58th-minute penalty kick, which likely would have given the home side the lead.

You could even be upset when midfielder Javier Morales was violently fouled from behind just inside the 18 during the opening half of play, another sequence that could have awarded a deserved penalty to Real Salt Lake.

Personally, however, I don't think either play cost Real a victory on Saturday.

Indeed, those were just two of nearly a dozen opportunities for the Claret-and-Cobalt to find the back of the net. And neither would have had any impact during RSL's collapse against Los Angeles on Wednesday.

No, right now, Real Salt Lake's biggest issue, and the reason it has lost two straight at home for the first time in Rio Tinto Stadium history, is simple.

Both losses came down to the team making catastrophic defensive mistakes.

In two matches at home, against the Galaxy and Earthquakes, Real allowed five goals, of which perhaps one was of sufficient quality to call it a solid goal.

In Wednesday's loss to Los Angeles, the first goal came as a result of a shockingly bad back-pass that cleanly laid the ball at the feet of Galaxy forward Landon Donovan for an easy finish, while the second came after a turnover at midfield by normally stalwart central back Jamison Olave.

"We're leaking a lot of goals," midfielder Ned Grabavoy said. "It's coming from a ton of different things. Whether it's turnovers in the midfield, turnovers in the back or we're not awake on set pieces. To be one of the best teams, you can't give up goals like that."

You can follow Justin Johnson on Twitter at: @jjohnson801 or email him at justinjohnson801@gmail.com.

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