Real Salt Lake Working Through On-Field Communication Issue
SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake is working through communication issues as it prepares for the elimination clash against Seattle next Tuesday. Prior to the Sporting Kansas City game on decision day, Aaron Herrera and Pablo Mastroeni admitted the club has been struggling with simple communication on the pitch.
It is an issue that many other Major League Soccer teams face, not just Real Salt Lake.
“I was in Houston last year, and we had the same issue,” Mastroeni said.
Some players speak very little English, while other players speak very little Spanish making basic communication seem challenging.
“I definitely don’t think our communication has been good enough, honestly it is kind of tough because there are a lot of language barriers on the field. There are a lot of guys that only speak Spanish and a lot of guys that only speak English so it is hard to communicate in these short spurts of time and in soccer, everything happens so quick,” Herrera said.
Immediately, I asked Mastroeni the same question while informing him that I had just spoken to Herrera on the same subject.
“When I got here I said the same thing to Freddy, I said how do these guys communicate? He said they don’t. The interesting thing is that Pablo [Ruiz], I think even Everton [Luiz], I know Marcelo [Silva] all understand English and I think they can speak English it’s just that I do not know what it is that they don’t communicate. It is funny because I was just talking to a bunch of the guys about it, it is a real thing. It’s a real thing.”
So then immediately following I asked Pablo the same question and informed him that Herrera was just very transparent with me regarding the subject.
Spoiler: Freddy Juarez told Pablo when he first arrived that the team doesn’t communicate…😬 pic.twitter.com/UJJQ14tipr
— Tom Hackett (@TomCantHackett) November 18, 2021
Fortunately, Real Salt Lake found defensive security throughout the Sporting Kansas City game. They altered the shape of the team and played in their more traditional 4-2-3-1 formation as opposed to the ultra-aggressive 3-5-2 formation.
The shift allowed for more structure behind the ball, so when Real Salt Lake turned the ball over they were not constantly chasing their opponents. It was a masterful move by Mastroeni who admitted that the change was not difficult to make.
Furthermore, Real Salt Lake fans can expect a similar showing against Seattle and any game going forward. Sadly, Real Salt Lake will not play at Rio Tinto Stadium again this season, all of their future games will be on the road.
Road games are very different than home fixtures. For Real Salt Lake to have success on the road they must survive for as long as possible, then when the time suits, Real Salt Lake can throw numbers forward in an attempt to steal all three points at the death.
But before any success can occur, Real Salt Lake must learn how to communicate in a more effective manner.
Real Salt Lake will next travel to Seattle for a date with Freddy Juarez and the Sounders. The single-elimination game will be a part of the first round of the MLS Playoffs with the winner advancing while the loser is eliminated.
The kick-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. on November 23rd and will be broadcast via FS1.
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