Thursday, April 2, 2009

Historic Hat-Trick


Robbie Findley Nets Three in Victory Over Champs


Real Salt Lake enjoyed a magical night tonight with a 4-1 win against the Columbus Crew. The Man of the Match was clearly Robbie Findley who recorded his first professional hat-trick, and Real Salt Lake's first league hat-trick (althought coach Jason Kreis did have a hat-trick in an Open Cup match).

Robbie Findley seemed extremely excited over the 3-goal output that he was able to manage. In 2 of the last 4 matches that I have witnessed Robbie play in he has dominated the action - tonight and then against Charleston a couple of weeks back. Let's hope this activity and quality of play continues.

Several other players had good matches:

Movsisyan: good work on the pitch tonight but he failed to finish one of his several chances. He also supplied some good balls to his teammates, including an assist to Findley on a goal, already equaling his assist count from last season.

Mathis: as Kreis mentioned, Mathis has been good on the ball in both matches. He had 2 assists in this match, and he is very underrated in his ability to pressure the ball and cause opponents to give up possession.

Johnson: That first blast at the goal which resulted in a rebound and eventually the opening goal at the 2nd minute mark was amazing. It was 25 yards out, but Will told me that he likes to take those kind of free kicks and he talked Javi off the ball just prior to the kick. Look for more of this from distance in the future.

Beltran: Okay so it wasn't stellar, but this position was my biggest concern coming into the match, especially when I saw Rogers in the Starting XI for the Crew. I thought Beltran had a decent outing and did reasonably well against Schelotto. Not spectacular but headed in the right direction.

Borchers: Phenomenal match. He helped avert so many "almosts" on the part of the Crew that I lost count.

The crowd was a mixture of disappointment and admiration.

Disappointment - because of their sparse numbers. 11,806 was the announced crowd which is based on paid tickets, but the real number in attendance was likely several thousand less than that. While there were several reasons for this low attendance, you would hope that the support for the club would be strong enough to drive people into the seats even under adverse circumstances.

Admiration - because there were alot of reasons to stay home, but a solid core chose to attend anyway. And the crowd was surprisingly vocal despite their small numbers (of course it's easier to be vocal when your club leads start-to-finish). In addition, this crew largely remained even after a heavy rain began to come down during the last 10 minutes of the match when the team enjoyed a 3-goal lead.

Keep in mind that the Crew did have a depleted lineup and were facing a situation of looking ahead to the Chivas game on Sunday as well. We should avoid getting ahead of ourselves as to what this means for future weeks, but if nothing else I think Kreis was likely right when he said how "important it was for us to score early on, and especially to have Findley score the goal." This should boost his confidence dramatically.

What are your thoughts on tonight's match?