Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes
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THE INTERNET — Welcome back to The Weave, or the Web Weave, or Ryan’s Weave, or whatever we are calling this weekly take on local sports. If you prefer us in an audio medium (because reading is hard, we get it), you can listen to a lot of what we write here in podcast form, too.
Let’s start with the Beautiful Game, shall we?
An RSL trophy?
Real Salt Lake lost back-to-back matches before MLS went on hiatus for the start of this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup. But there’s a game Tuesday as they jump into the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Does RSL need this trophy, or nah?
Sean Walker: RSL coach Mike Petke won’t admit it because he wants to win everything (Who doesn’t?), but this competition has mattered less and less to Major League Soccer teams. It’s like the stepbrother at the family reunion you go to every summer: everyone knows you have to pay him attention, but nobody really knows how to address the son of the creepy, old uncle other than to say 'what’s up?’ with a half-formed squad and a side-eyed smile. All this to say, expect plenty of Real Monarchs when RSL hosts LAFC at 8 p.m. MDT Tuesday.
Ryan Miller: Any time clubs openly give away tickets for matches (like RSL is doing with this one), it’s pretty telling. The organization doesn’t have its full heart in this one, and it knows the fans don’t either — so, free tickets! Something tells me if LAFC and RSL meet up in October, Real won’t be letting people inside Rio Tinto for nothing. If you want a Utah soccer fix on Tuesday, just turn on the Women’s World Cup and watch the Utah Royals’ Christen Press, Kelley O'Hara and Becky Sauerbrunn play for the USWNT.
D'Angelo Russell as a Jazzman?
According to ESPN, the Nets and Hawks agreed on a trade that sent Allen Crabbe and a first-round pick to Atlanta for Taurean Prince and a 2021 second-round pick. Now if the Nets renounce restricted free agent D’Angelo Russell, they would just about open up enough cap space for max contracts for Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. So ... Russell might just be available. How do you think he would fit in with the Jazz?
RM: Remember that Donovan Mitchell Instagram story with his and Russel’s bobbleheads together? Or the one where Russell is just chilling in the background? They are already buds off the court, and I think they’d be best of friends on it. Russell would be an offensive game-changer for the Jazz. He’s a dynamic guard that can create his own shot; and maybe, more importantly, opponents would no longer be able to simply ignore the Jazz point guard. I think Mitchell and Co. would enjoy that.
SW: D’Angelo is my boy. OK, not really, but it’s pretty well known that he is Donovan Mitchell’s friend. And if D’Angelo Russell isn’t wanted in his current situation, I wonder who the first person on his iPhone is going to be. The only irony, perhaps, is that it could take former Jazzman Taurean Prince to move the deal forward.
The best of college sports
The college sports season wrapped up this weekend with the end of the NCAA track and field championships. College football media days start in one week, with BYU’s stand-alone event in Provo. What was your favorite moment of the 2018-19 collegiate year?
SW: The way Utah State captured college basketball’s attention in Utah was fantastic, and all props go to coach Craig Smith, star shooter Sam Merrill and Portuguese big man Neemias Queta. But my vote goes to another NCAA Tournament event: the one hosted last March at Vivint Smart Home Arena. That’s where we saw Auburn’s run to the Final Four begin and an epic shootout between Baylor and Syracuse — shout out to former Yale stud Makai Mason.
RM: Is it too cliché to say Utah coming back from 20 points down in the second half to beat BYU? Yes. Well, I’m going with that anyway. It doesn’t matter that Utah has a long winning streak, or that the teams don’t share the same conference, or that last year’s contest was technically meaningless for the Utes; that game still produces magic. I’m sure there will be a question or two about the game on Aug. 31 come next week.