Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Real Salt Lake Downs Hosts Charleston Battery 2-1

Real Salt Lake managed to eke out a victory against the host team, Charleston Battery in each teams second match in the Carolina Challenge Cup tourney. The play by the RSL side composed mostly of reserves in the first half was rugged, and the USL-side at times looked the more polished of the two sides despite only having practiced for a couple of weeks together.

Clint Mathis seemed to hold his own, and managed the first goal off of a free kick that glanced off of the wall and snuck past the keeper.

Trialist Joe Zewe, who has played at Viborg alongside Robbie Russell, and nearly joined Ian Joy at St. Pauli, looked very dangerous and created several opportunities for himself but could not connect.

The Battery then pulled the game level in the 2nd half as standout Ian Fuller blasted a perfect shot to the upper left side of the net as RSL keeper Chris Seitz had shaded heavily to the opposite side of the net.

The play throughout the first 70 minutes was choppy and relied heavily on long passing. However, in the 70th minute Coach Kreis made wholesale changes bringing in many first-teamers including Will Johnson, Yura Movsisyan, Kyle Beckerman, Chris Wingert, Jamison Olave, and Javier Morales. The results were immediate as the style changed to the tight passing, fluid, energetic tempo that we became accustomed to from the MLS side last season. It took just 7 minutes for a result to be posted on the scoreboard as team captain, Kyle Beckerman blasted what looked like a hopeful 35-yard volley into the net which proved to be the game winner.

A short time later, the RSL staff held their collective breath as last years breakout striker, Yura Movsisyan went down hard and awkwardly in the box on his left shoulder. He later re-entered the game and initial reports are nothing serious. Likewise for defender Ian Joy who left the match earlier with some tightening of the hamstring that troubled him last season.