With a 10-10-10 record in the regular season, a 1-1-1 record in the playoffs and an almost identical number of goal scored and goals against (40 and 39, if you must know), for better or worse, Real Salt Lake was the definition of "average" in 2008, writes the Deseret News' James Edward.
Acknowledging last season as an exercise in mediocrity, Coach Jason Kries calls for a big step up from his squad, or at the very least, "we've got to be better than .500," he says. So what needs to improve to make that happen? "Just about everything," writes Edward, who goes on to narrow it down to five key points that need to be better in '09, from earning more points on the road, to such obvious things as, um, scoring more goals (duh?).
One of the biggest goals for RSL needs to be the ability to win back-to-back games and ride mutli-game win streaks, something they shockingly were unable to do all of last year. Among other high priorities are trying to turn new stadium Rio Tinto into a "fortress" and use the continuity of nine returning starters to rack up points early in the season while other teams are still adjusting.