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ProSoccerTalk’s weekly Panic Quotient

Jun 27, 2012, 8:05 PM EDT

Keep calm

ProSoccerTalk’s weekly soccer Panic Quotient (®) takes the temperature of stress and distress in the streets of Major League Soccer and along the boulevards of the global game.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Three semifinals in major tournaments – and not much more to say about it. Not once has the Portuguese star of stars passed the semifinal gates, not once gaining admission into the grace of a major tournament final. And then this: the odd choice to arrange things so that the Ronaldo Man, the best player in Europe, didn’t even shoot in the big penalty shootout? What do we all make of that? What should he make of that? Mostly though, is the man himself wondering, “Will I come and go in this game without every making a World Cup or Euro final?”

Panic quotient: “Hey, honey, great news! My mom is coming on our vacation with us.”

Real Salt Lake: The men of Utah lost three games at home last year. All of last year. So it looks rather odd to study the standings now, to note that RSL is 6-3-0 at Rio Tinto. (Ahem. Uh, 6-4-0 if you include that unfortunate U.S. Open Cup loss to second-tier Minnesota a month ago.) Yes, the two home losses in MLS Round 16 were to recognized brands, an L.A. side that has its groove back and a San Jose side that’s looked like a winner all year. Still, the last three times Jason Kreis has walked his team onto the Rio Tinto grass, they’ve walked off with a maddening loss. How much money would you have profited if you’d bet on that to happen before the season?

Panic quotient: July 4 and everybody is over. They are all hungry, too! The cold slaw is slung, the burger patties are patted and the buns are buttered. Now, the charcoal. Uh … charcoal … where … uh … charcoal …

Toronto FC fans – after the 80th minute: New manager Paul Mariner has his team headed in the right direction. Mostly, anyway. You have to wonder if this group of players has already suffered some sort of post-traumatic stress deal from the historically awful 2012 start. Because every time they get close to a win – they panic, and find a way to toss a couple of points away. They gave up two-goal leads twice last week. Twice! And in both matches they still had a one-goal lead in the 90th minute. The 90th!

So, the team is what it is. We’re worried about the fans here. Stress does bad stuff to you, man!  How can any of the good supporters along Exhibition Place ever truly settle the nerves now as they head into the 90th minute?

Hard times, man. Hard times.

Panic quotient: “Hey, dude. Good one about the boss. But, uh, when you sent that one to me, you know you hit “reply all” on it, right?”

  1. wesbadia - Jun 28, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    Then count the RSL home loss to Monterrey in the CCL Final to their home record last year (if you’re counting the USOC loss this year).

    As an RSL fan, it’s hard to imagine the RioT as anything but a fortress. For damn near two years it stood as an indomitable rock. I think it was rightly so that a huge Mexican power was the one to first conquer it. And don’t forget that it took another two months or so for Seattle to come in and do the same last year.

    But let’s face it — Rio Tinto was bound to fall at some point. You can’t go on forever with an undefeated home record, especially in a league like MLS where parity is king. I think most RSL fans seem to forget this… and maybe that actually helps the atmosphere in Sandy, I dunno. But eventually, Riot was going to become just another field to play at in the league. I think the expectation needs to be that RSL should win at least 3/4ths of their games at home, and anything less is unacceptable. Even with five home losses this season, I’d say it’d be ok. Besides the flukey loss to Chivas to begin the season, the other two teams they’ve lost to have been quality sides. I don’t think there’s any shame in that at all.

  2. arthurgopnik - Jun 28, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Given how small Portugal is as a country, I’m sure that Ronaldo realizes that it’s such a long shot to play in a major final, much less win one. I bet he’s not too bothered by this.

    Plus, most players covet the Champions League over the European or World Cups.

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