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A brief tale of two expansion teams

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It’s that time of year again. That time when the Goats visit Real Salt Lake and I ponder back on what went wrong with our team. Founded the same year. Equally bad. Then the Goats got good and RSL still struggled. Goats’ attendance numbers were respectable. Stadium talk was rampant. All the while RSL played in an empty football stadium with turf and football lines while their franchise sat on the verge of going belly up.

Then the 2008 MLS Playoffs. The Goats were projected to go far while RSL limped into the post season. For a team that had won the season series since the foundation both organizations, the Goats didn’t have one thing RSL did. A home. Rio Tinto Stadium had just opened about a month earlier. As us long time supporters of our team already know, RSL won that series on the strength of a last minute goal in the 1st match, and a Goats team that forgot they were at “home” in the 2nd match, digging themselves into a hole of which Justin Braun and Ante Razov could only claw them out of so much.

RSL may not have made the Cup Final that year, but the ground work was there for them to jump over and surpass their 2005 expansion brothers. While the Goats went on to bomb out of the post season in the 1st Round again in 2009, RSL went all the way to the MLS Cup Final and beat our neighbors. A win that resulted in their qualification for the 2010-2011 CONCACAF Champions League. An entertaining run that captivated MLS fans from coast to coast (unless you were from Colorado).

And all the while the Goats sunk. The powers that be, brought in Martin Vasquez to pick up the pieces after Preki was given his walking papers. 2010, down the drain. After that, the Powers that be, brought in the man many believed played a huge role in the success Real Salt Lake had been having. Robin Fraser may have been a good Assistant Coach. But 2 years with our Goats showed that a Head Coaching job wasn’t something he was ready for. 2011 and 2012 down the drain. All the while RSL became a force in MLS. Qualifying for the post season as well as the Champions League again.

So that brings us to last night. Was another shock win in the cards? Or more of the disappointment that has become customary after facing the “Claret and Cobalt”?

A missed Penalty Kick, a Red Card and a 1-0 loss for the Goats. Sounds like business as usual. Sure, there were some injured players, and others who allegedly are holding out due to financial reasons, but it’s no excuse for a loss. All the pretty passes in the world aren’t going to make up for the fact that points were dropped yet again.

The Goats return to action next Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes. Who will be coming off dramatic back to back matches against the Portland Timbers. Kick-off is 7:30pm. No TV has been arranged for the match, and the alleged free stream on cdchivasusa.com is not very reliable. Only good way to watch will be in person.

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