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The Daily Dirt, October 22: Eve of Destruction

MLS teams prepare for Decision Day

Real Salt Lake v Sporting Kansas City Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Something that doesn’t get mentioned enough when discussing American player development is pressure. It’s a critical piece, and it explains why our national teams and clubs sometimes fall apart on the road in hostile environments. It’s not about skill development, it’s about mentality. Tomorrow’s MLS Decision Day will expose some players to this type of pressure.

Four teams are playing for three spots in the Western Conference and every goal throughout the three affected games will swing the standings one way or another. A player like 19-year-old Justen Glad of Real Salt Lake is going to get a crash course in pressure tomorrow afternoon in Seattle. RSL is in fourth place going into tomorrow, but might have the most precarious position playing on the road against the Sounders.

These experiences are key for a player like Glad, who is being discussed as a potential national team player. These games feel different than the others, and you can’t truly prepare for them in practice. You have to live them. For a player like Glad, it could just be the beginning as well because the mid-week knockout games would take place just a few days later.

The drama will be thick on Sunday, hopefully it leaves an imprint on the young players involved and prepares them for future games down the road.


More on Lauren Holiday’s successful brain surgery (The Blue Testament)

Great profile of Chris Seitz, discussing his bone marrow donation four years ago that saved a stranger’s life (LA Times)

Jesse Marsch looks ahead to February’s CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Vancouver (Once a Metro)

A look at Seattle’s structural changes since splitting business operations with the Seahawks (Seattle Times)

Minnesota makes some slight adjustments to their stadium plans (FiftyFive.One)

St. Louis struggles to put together MLS expansion effort (STL Soccer Report)


Jose Mourinho said he was never friendly with Roman Abramovich (Guardian)

Reports that Barcelona are monitoring Christian Pulisic (SBI Soccer)


Georgia teenage goalkeeper wakes up from a coma after being kicked in the head speaking Spanish (FOX Sports)

Arkansas-Little Rock defeats Georgia Southern’s women 3-0.

South Alabama’s women move into first place in the Sun Belt after a 2-0 win at Georgia State.