To all of the two or maybe three avid readers of RSLBoz.com,
First–thanks for reading…
Second–I haven’t been posting news links or anything else for a little while–mostly due to an amazingly low amount of readers/return readers. To add to that, lately I haven’t had the capacity to update the site daily and I haven’t been able to make it to the sideline for photographs as often as I had intended this year–but I do intend to add a thing or two during the rest of the season.
Sometimes I dream big and then realize I don’t truly have the means to accomplish what I had set out to do… Or, if I do have the means I often find that I’m simply not dreaming big enough. It’s all good, though.
If you check back from time to time you will probably see something new every now and again.
I really believe that the first stat that I listed has been the key to RSL’s success this season. The additional production from the midfield has been huge this year. Opposing teams have to pay more attention to our midfielders and this will free up more space for our forwards to work in.
Lovel Palmer – 6.5 Palmer made good runs at the right times and used his speed to his advantage. He was dangerous most of the night and had he not received that ghost red card, he would have had his best game in a RSL uniform.
For a brief, brief moment, Javier Morales’s penalty take looked to be heading wide or rebounding back into play off the post, but his curling ball hit the inside of the post instead and rebounded to the opposite side netting.
Still, Nelsen started Saturday’s post-game by taking a run at an official rather than sorting through some of the bigger issues that persist: Scoring, lack of discipline and conceding at bad times.
The worst part, and I say this with a straight face, the Reds are beginning to show bits and pieces of competency across the pitch. Instead, we’re left talking about semi-contentious PKs that have little to do with the outcome of games.
Just before the end of the first half, Yordany Alvarez scored the lone goal of the match with a fine finish from the edge of the box on with a far-post shot. The shot beat goalkeeper Joe Bendik and a bunkering Toronto defense and certainly changed the dynamic of the second half. The foresight from Tony Beltran to find Olmes Garcia just inside the box, then from Garcia to find Alvarez was commendable, and the quality of the strike, unmistakable.
The rat-a-tat of legs desperately clashing into and often through one another was enough to give any RSL fan acid indigestion but the one cardinal rule of soccer — never let the ball bounce after a service — was apparently forgotten, a trait that has not served RSL well over the years.
Alvarez launched a rocket of a shot from outside the box that beat TFC goalkeeper Joe Bendik just before halftime, extending Real Salt Lake’s unbeaten streak to six games and ending Toronto’s three-game undefeated run.
“It’s good, it’s always been difficult,” said head coach Jason Kreis. “This year for some reason it’s been very, very quiet. It seems odd to me because the first couple years you literally couldn’t talk to anybody because it was so loud. So the atmosphere’s become a little bit more playable for us. Maybe that has some contribution to the win today.”
There are areas where local and immigrant talent coalesces to forge a soccer hotbed – Southern California alone produced five starters on the under-20 national team now at its World Cup in Turkey. And then there are places like Utah, where youth soccer is still no more than a rite of passage in an American childhood, like sleepovers and trick-or-treating.