Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Reasons for RSL's 3-0 Win at TFC

There are several reasons for Saturday's RSL victory over TFC.
  1. Amado Guevara took the night off. Not only did he not do anything positive, he gifted Movsisyan with a breakaway goal.
  2. Movsisyan is much more composed with the attack being more distributed in the 4-3-3. In the 4-4-2 Movsisyan had a lot of pressure placed squarely on his shoulders. The team relied on his work rate, speed and strength to create opportunities. This often translated to him getting the ball just outside of the box and trying to go 1 on 2 against the defense to get a shot off. Now the team utilizes more width, and more combination play which allows Movsisyan to attack the goal from different angles and have more interchange with his teammates.
  3. Defense: The roles are now more clearly defined. Outside backs aren't faced with a continual dilemma of "should I stay or should I go (forward)". They know that defense is their primary responsibility and getting forward is a luxury to be used sparingly.
  4. Midfield: Whether it's the formation or just a run of good form, the midfield as a whole looks to be dominant against the opposition. We saw this against TFC. Javi Morales has been sensational. Beckerman has played extremely well, and had a great match against TFC. Grabavoy filled in for Will Johnson and we hardly noticed that Will was missing. And Clint Mathis has been fantastic all season long. It will be interesting to see the midfield respond this week while missing Beckerman and Johnson.
  5. Intensity: For whatever reason the team appeared to have lost that intensity that we saw last season. I'm not sure if this was complacency, a lack of confidence, or what but they appear to have it back. I was especially pleased with the 3rd goal against TFC because it showed a little bit of the killer instinct in RSL to go get that goal even though they had a comfortable 2-goal lead.
  6. TFC excuses: midweek game, altitude, blah blah blah. No seriously - they did come in at a disadvantage after playing against the lifeless New York team during the week. However, they looked pretty sharp initially in this one. I think they just let the game get away from them. I'm not sure that had much to do with the altitude or the previous game.