Monday, June 9, 2008

A Real World Review: Monday June 9, 2008

A Real World Review
A Review of Week 11 for RSL
(Courtesy of rslfanboy)

This Weeks Match Results: 0-0 draw against Kansas City at home
Current Record: 3-5-3
Points: 12

Key Developments: RSL dominates yet another team at home but fails to win. The loss puts RSL precariously back to the bottom of the table when a win could have vaulted us into the thick of the Western Conference pack.

What's right in the Real World: With Morales back, we looked quite composed in midfield. The weakest link in the midfield on Saturday night was actually Dema Kovalenko, who gave away the ball in very bad spots several times throughout the game. I don't know if it was the narrow pitch that frustrated KC, but they had nothing going on in the midfield the entire night. Most games I get worried about giving up a late goal, but not on Saturday despite one really good shot. RSL made KC look flat, and just plain ugly. They were never organized and couldn't string more than a few passes together most of the night. We forced another team to play the long ball instead of the other way around.

Cordoba finally saw the pitch with considerable time, but he didn't produce any magic out on the left. I would really like to see him get more time with the first team to get used to the starters instead of the second team. This is a guy I really hope can turn into a great contributor.

The defense was solid tonight. I don't think once I was completely frustrated with any single play. They couldn't get anything around Olave and Borchers. I was very worried coming into the game about a Claudio Lopez - Tony Beltran match up, but Claudio didn't trouble our back line as much as I thought he would. Nearly all of KC's attempts were outside the 18 and from the midfielders. Rimando was on his game and kept everything out. Davy Arnaud's shot, however, highlighted the reason why keepers are typically closer to 6 feet tall than 5'8". Great defense overall.

What's wrong in the Real World? Obviously, finishing. We have finished our chances well in 3, or maybe 4, of the 11 games so far this season. We did well against DCU at home, San Jose twice, LA, and alright against Dallas at home. Those teams haven't been particularly impressive the beginning of this season. We miss Espindola and his versatility in the attack a whole lot when he isn't on the pitch. Deuchar missed two golden opportunities in the first half, and was completely shut down until he was subbed off in the 2nd half. Robbie tried to beat Hartman twice at the near post and was denied (all the credit to Hartman). Dema and Kyle had some shots that were either weak or off target. Morales' bicycle kick was cute, but ineffective. Nunez did nothing out there when subbed in, much like Cordoba. We have to find an answer to our finishing problems, or we are screwed. Of those teams, we only play San Jose once more at home....

RSL played great in the middle of the game, but the first and last 15 minutes were shaky. We still have yet to put in a full 90 of good play.

A Brief look at the week ahead: We are off to Chivas where we have historically gotten our asses handed to us. We already lost 3-1 to them earlier in the year, and were scored on by Atiba and Alecko who we traded to Chivas in the offseason. That loss was closer than you'd think though. We controlled the pace of the game, and a small number of critical defensive miss-steps by Talley and Joy largely are to blame for the loss. Alecko is out with an injury (and sucks), so expect to see Atiba and Talley out there. Galindo will be out also, so that's nice. However, Chivas' midfield and quick counter attack will put RSL to the test again. here's to hoping that they don't fail miserably again on the road.

Final Thoughts: Our offense needs to get it in gear, and we need some one to step up and be a difference maker for this team. Blanco, Beckham, Oduro, Kenny Cooper and others have all scored against RSL in incredible fashion to change the game and get a result they didn't deserve (Cooper aside). Every game we won, we should have won. Every game we've tied, we should have won. Every game we've lost, we should have lost. We need someone to step up and energize the team to get results. We've played consistently and even downright boring a few times. This has to change. Who's going to step up for RSL?