Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Columbus Match/Acquisitions/Upcoming

Unfortunately I was travelling and watched this match from a laptop at the hotel, so I didn't have the best view of the action. I thought the team played decent for most of the first half, but I felt that the holding midfielders had a sub-par performance. Neither Russell or Grabavoy appeared that sharp to me, either with their passing, or their marking of opposing attacking players.

I also thought that there was an extreme contrast in the finishing of the two teams. You can call the first 2 goals lucky, but the fact is that Columbus capitalized on their opportunities. Real Salt Lake simply did not. They had several opportunities that they could have/should have put away. That was the difference in the ball game.

Duncan Oughton was fantastic. Where has he been the last couple of years? Maybe it's time that he sees more time for Columbus.


In case you missed it, Real Salt Lake has been busy on the transfer/trade market.

Pablo Campos: RSL made a trade with San Jose for the imposing Brazilian point forward. Despite the size, not really an aerial player, but fairly skilled with his feet, and good movement for his size. Narrowly missed a shot on his first touch in an RSL kit. Was not a standout with San Jose, but maybe a change of scenery and a new system will do him good. On paper, the trade seemed to fill a void for RSL and added some needed depth at this position.

Rachid El-Khalifi: After not coming to agreement with the Dutch-winger in the off-season, the team was able to land the Moroccan-born player after his “price came down quite a bit”. According to clips and reports of the player he seems to be the classical winger that the 4-3-3 thrives on. Could be the first player the team has ever had that is naturally suited to play out wide, whip in balls, and create from the wing. However, until we see what he can do it’s hard to say how he’ll fit in here.

Nelson Gonzalez: Reports out of Argentina indicate that the versatile young player from River Plate is headed to Estados Unidos to join Real Salt Lake. The 21-year old defensive midfielder can reportedly also play in a defender role. There are no “stateside” confirmations of this and details of when he is coming are a bit sketchy with one report indicating “next season".


Gold Cup Semifinal (7/23): RSL fans will get a glimpse of Kyle Beckerman and his US teammates in action against Honduras. He played a key role in the team getting to this point, can he do it again?

FC DALLAS (7/24): This should be a good cure for the disappointment in Columbus. Although overlooking any team in the league can be a deadly mistake, Dallas at home should be a very winnable contest.

Gold Cup Final (7/26): Should the US advance, they would face the winner of the Mexico/Costa Rica match. If this happens, it will make a busy week for RSL captain Kyle Beckerman.

All-Star Game (7/29): Although not a league match, this should be a very memorable event and having Javier Morales and Kyle Beckerman participate should make it a little more special. Something to look forward to, even if Everton isn’t the opponent that you had hoped for.