Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lethargic Real lose in Frisco

Real Salt Lake started poorly and ended almost as bad to allow FC Dallas to walk away with a full 3 points from a game that they were desperate to claim themselves. For the first few minutes it looked like Real might have a chance and then, as has happened far too often this year, they fell asleep. Chris Wingert was the first player burned missing a header and allowing two Dallas players to get in behind him. Jeff Cunningham, received the ball of a bad first touch by teammate Dave van den Bergh. With a quick turn around volley Cunningham found the far side of the net in the fifth minute an Dallas never looked back.

Five minutes later van den Bergh found another teammate, threading a pass to David Ferreira for a go ahead goal. Ferreira didn't disappoint the home crowd as he put FC Dallas up by two goals in a scene that was eerily familiar to the fans back in Salt Lake. With that second goal it looked like all the air deflated from RSL’s diminishing playoff hopes and the team knew it. From that point on RSL created very few chances for themselves and even when they did manage to set something up they wasted it time and again.

Pablo Campos had one such failure. In the waning moments of the first half he received the ball in a spot were all he had to do was turn and shoot with no one between him and goal other than keep Dario Sala. To his chagrin Campos found the ball got stuck under his feet and had to take 4 touches before he was able to turn it on frame, by that point Sala had stepped up cutting down the angle and Campos’ shot bounced harmlessly off his chest.

Andy Williams, brought in around the 60th minute with Clint Mathis and Fabian Espindola, had a failure of his own shortly after coming in. Sala picked up a ball that referee Kevin Stott ruled to be a back pass and automatic indirect free kick.With RSL players lining up everywhere from the near post to the back post, penalty spot to the top of the 18 Andy had several options of where to play the ball for a quick shot. Unfortunately Andy chose the easy ball, just touching it over a bit to Mathis who had to try to beat an on rushing Marvin Chavez if he wanted to put a shot on goal. Chavez managed to get to the ball about the same time Mathis did and what should have been a great chance for a goal never even made it to the wall Dallas had setup at the mouth of the goal.

For Real, its night of horrors wasn't done with just that though. Dallas continued to look like the better disciplined team and even though they were looking to play more defensive in the second half they still managed to create a few very good chances. In the 87th minute that patience paid off again for Jeff Cunningham. Dallas worked around the ball magnificently and found Cunningham about 23 yards out directly in front of the goal. Jeff beat Robbie Russell with a nifty little chip to himself and fired from the top of the box beating Nick Rimando to the far post.

After a match like this Real leave Frisco Texas with several unanswered questions and a few other questions answered with something RSL fans would rather not see. Playoffs? No, not likely. Van den Bergh and Cunningham? Yep, they still have Real’s number. Team Focus? Nah, it stayed in Salt Lake where they have left it all season. Oh well, I didn't want to buy playoff tickets anyway.