Thursday, October 15, 2009

Real Salt Lake moves within a point of the playoffs

Perhaps the team likes to add pressure before they can perform, perhaps it has more to do with a switch back to the 4-4-2, or maybe it is because the Red Bulls came to Salt lake missing their biggest names after being eliminated from Playoff contention over a month ago. However you look at it Real looked dominate in a must win game against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night. For most of the game Real dominated possession and found themselves on New York’s half of the pitch attacking relentlessly. They were so dominate in fact that the Red Bulls only managed six shots all game and only one of those was on frame. That one shot was easily handled in the second half by RSL Keeper Nick Rimando as it came right to him.

Salt Lake on the other hand managed 21 shots, keeping nearly half of those on target (10). Danny Cepero managed to save eight of those but was unable to save the two most important as shots by both Andy Williams and Fabian Espindola found the back of the net. Andy’s goal was particularly beautiful as it was setup by same great team play. Robbie Findley delivered a killer cross that sailed over the defense to the back post for a wide open Andy Williams to tap in. Espindola got in on the play by taking the defender at the back post out of position as he made a run toward the near post. As the ball trickled into the net RSL’s playoff hopes suddenly rebounded a little and the crowd could feel it.

Ten minutes later Espindola put the nail in the coffin with a great individual effort finding the goal. Fabian received a flicked on header from Findley and took it half the length of the pitch cutting it back inside the 18 yard box and buried it in the side netting with his right foot. On a night of great individual efforts Fabians goal to finish off the game took the crown. Now the question remains, Can RSL recapture this kind of effort on Saturday when they hit the road again? Any less then three points in Toronto will spell disaster for a team in desperate need of some wins.