RSL 0 - 1 FCD: A Late Report

If one report on last night's game between Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas is to be believed, the score constitutes the most interesting thing about the proceedings. Against that, another site dubbed the game "entertaining enough." Call it a mixed bag. Whatever happened, you can find the box numbers in's report.

As for me, I caught the last half-hour of the game. Apparently, I caught the better portion - or at least that part of the game containing all the stuff people are talking about: e.g. RSL Coach Jason Kreis' ejection, Alecko's tussle with Marcelo Saragosa, the winning goal and the no-call that immediately preceded it, etc.

Based on that limited viewing, here's what I saw (supplemented by links!):

- After reading upwards of a dozen interviews with Kreis, I've formed this image of the guy as a kind of posi-core, clean-cut, can-do motivator. As such, I was surprised to see him, um, misplace his shit when Clarence Goodson's (probable) foul sent Atiba Harris to ground just outside Dallas' penalty area. I don't quite buy Ian Plenderleith's lead that the particular officiating theory (e.g. shoulder-to-shoulder play versus body check) was "all that separated the two teams" - after all, this wasn't a PK - but I accept this wasn't a particularly popular call in Rice-Eccles. Kreis' post-game comments (really) should keep him out of fine trouble with the league, but the foul wasn't bad as all that...or at least not as bad as how RSL played.

- And, to their credit, a few players seemed to concede as much. During that half hour, I saw RSL repeatedly squander possession, mainly through long, cross-field passes that fell well short of the target. Worse, I saw players unwilling to shoot on goal - notably Andy Williams, who I know can strike from range (Mehdi Ballouchy took a respectable crack, though) - which seems damned peculiar given this team's awareness of its problem with scoring. But it was the passing, coming as it did during a period when RSL ever-so-slightly held the upper hand, that really stood out. While you can't win if you can't shoot, it's somewhat fair to say you can't get to a place where you can shoot unless you can pass. More to the point, given the consensus view that RSL played better in the second half, I'm envisioning a first half in which they ran around the field like greased pigs.

- That brings up a curious, possibly irrelevant, detail: home-field advantage. At one point - actually, this came shortly after ESPN's commentating crew complained about the speed and general shittiness of the Rice-Eccles turf - Freddy Adu took a decent pass from a teammate on the left side of the field; he turned this decent pass into a great opportunity with a step-over, then a touch that sent the ball inside the defender....though, tragically, too far; Adu lost possession (and mysteriously chewed out Alecko Eskandarian for failing to read his pheromones or some such). RSL players should know that field better than any team in the league; they should know how hard to touch the ball, how fast it rolls and bounces, where, when, etc. The thing with Adu wasn't an isolated incident; at times, Dallas seemed the more comfortable of the two teams. There should come time when that crappy surface plays to their advantage - and yet it doesn't. It all gets me thinking back to the rhomboid field my JV squad played on in high school: we all knew which corner pinched in, where all the sprinkler spigots lay hidden just beneath the grass, which bald patches made the ball skip and which made them hop. We figured this out as fairly bad 15- and 16-year-old kids playing in rural, Eastern Washington. So, what's with RSL's players?


1 comment:

esay forex said...

merci mon frere pour les artivle