Sebastian Velasquez brings a jolt to Real Salt Lake

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  • TheCrossbar Hurricane, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 11:26 p.m.

    Todd, I'm not sure what you're on about. To trade for established MLS talent in this league requires trading away established MLS talent, and that's not something our management is willing to do â and with good reason. We've developed a relatively unique system in the league that demands certain sorts of players. Further, we scout talent across the globe. Unlike, say, as is the case the Utah Jazz and nearly the entirety of the basketball world, the soccer landscape doesn't revolve around the United States.

    Sure, you can be worried about the strength of Los Angeles â but keep in mind, they've lost several very good players, including Juninho. Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan are sitting in a situation where 1) they'll be off with national teams on a regular basis, and 2) they won't have had much off-season to speak of, and as a result, little to no downtime with which to rest. Lack of a genuine pre-season leads to fatigue and stress-related injuries. Also, scratch Omar Gonzalez, who suffered what is likely a season-ending injury when on loan to FC Nuremberg. Sure, they'll have 36-year-old Beckham. Oh, no! Not old man Beckham. He's a good player, but they won't pin their hopes on him.

    But you'll notice in the soccer world that the best teams in the world have featured a great deal of continuity. Look at the dominant Arsenal side that went unbeaten in the English Premier League: They kept a core group of players together for a long period and it paid off extremely well. Look at Barcelona now, setting the world alight with their play. Look at Ajax, Cruyff and Total Football â success and continuity go hand-in-hand. In a sport where play is dependent on an intuitive understanding of your teammate's abilities and playing styles, continuity is key.

    And if you want a star, maybe just reject "the team is the star" motto altogether and look at our players. We've got a man tipped to feature in the U.S. captaincy with Kyle Beckerman. We've got one of the top three goalkeepers eligible for the United States in Nick Rimando. We've got easily the best playmaking midfielder in the league with Javier Morales. We have the second-top-scoring striker in all competitions over the last two years in Alvaro Saborio. We have the best central defensive pair in the league with Borchers and Olave â remember the All-Star game last year when Olave, before taking to injury, shut down England's top striker, Wayne Rooney? So, sure, they're not household names across the world. We don't pay over the top for players. But no "star power"? Names don't win matches. Team sheets don't win matches. Salaries don't win matches.

    We win matches.

  • toddfromsantaana Santa Ana, CA
    Jan. 26, 2012 11:03 p.m.

    I am not fooled like so many. This is becoming JAZZ like over the years with continuity. Sure Some new faces. However, every team hopes to build through the draft and have guys stick. Why should RSL be better? Everyone else can say the same thing James. This organization did nothing to make a trade for established MSL talent. Does anyone truly truly think, RSL, although will be a playoff team, can challenge LA? How? If Robbie Keane plays a full season they are even better. With the big 3 including Donovan and Beckham, it will be like long as Lakers have theyr'e big 3. The Galaxy with Omar and others has developed starlet strong young players. They will likely repeat. I hope to be wrong. RSL was resillient as usual when it counted to get to the Semis. Jason did a good job. Most thought Seattle would beat us after up and down injury plagued season. Sorry too much youth, no star power

  • Nussdorfer AC Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 8:29 p.m.

    It's will be interesting to see which players make the team and how much they contribute. Either way it is exciting to have some new faces.