RSL had all of the possession in the first half with Grabavoy, Beckerman, Morales and Beckerman in particular playing keep-away with the Outlaws. They were working off of Tino Nunez who did a great job of getting the ball, holding it up and distributing. However, they were unable to hit the frame as they seemed to be blasting shots well over the goal.
While it seemed that RSL dominated the possession in the first half, rarely leaving their attacking end, the team seemed to step it up even further in the second half. Espindola was absolutely terrorizing the Outlaws defense on the left side, making nifty moves in tight space to get past multiple defenders and put the ball into the box. His delivery on Movsisyan's 2nd goal was particularly good.
The other player that seemed to truly dominate was Movsisyan who showed alot of nice skill on the ball and killer instinct around the goal. He made good passes, and in general good decisions, but just outclassed the PDL side in a way that you would expect from an MLS player.
Two players who haven't seen recent action but looked good: Ian Joy and Andy Williams. Ian didn't have much work defending on the night, but looked good supporting the offense and working with first Raphael Cox and then Espindola on the left side.
Interesting time at the start of the 2nd half - RSL had 3 natural left-footed players on the field at the same time. Joy and Espindola on the left side and Cox playing on the right. It was really good to see Joy and Espindola working together on that left side. I know Wingert is ambidextrous and Beltran has played well on the left recently, but there is something about seeing a left-footed player in that role that just seems more natural.
Here are a couple of other observations:
- Cox had a mixed performance in my mind. Did well at times, but struggled in a few cases trying to run at his opponent with the ball.
- James Rogers had a couple of nice runs, but his team rarely saw the ball in their half. I would have liked to have seen him get more of an opportunity to do his stuff.
- Ditto for Sam Charles.
- Late in the 2nd half, Rogers made a reportedly questionable tackle (I actually didn't see it). Mathis got into a shouting match with him.
- Kreis indicated that the team is still learning this 4-3-3 and that they are looking at options for new wrinkles/different combinations.