So earlier today I looked at the 4 things that stuck out to me across all the opening weekend action of Major League Soccer, now I will focus in on the 4 things I noticed from Real Salt Lake's 3-1 win over the LA Galaxy on Saturday night.
1. New TV marks a turning point for RSL, So of course I am a fan of both Bill and Dunny so having them doing the RSL matches is a good thing for me. I thought both of them did a good job and I expect that we will see them continue to get better each match. With the exception of the minute and a half where the signal was lost, I was very pleased with the quality of the broadcast when you compare it to what we have been given in the past. After a couple years of dealing with 2.2 and not being able to see that channel on some providers, plus the lack of HD, I consider this weekend's inaugural broadcast to be a huge step in the right direction.
2. New Javi, looking like the old Javi, last year when Javier Morales returned to RSL at the end of the season I worried it was too soon. He didn't look sharp, and how could anyone expect him to after that crushing injury? So that left me this off-season wondering if he would be able to get back to what made him one of the most feared play makers in MLS? On Saturday we saw some real signs that Javi could indeed be back, his passes looked good he completed 17 or 20 passes and in his 23 minutes of action he took 1 shot which of course ended up in the back of the net. It did look like he took a bit of a knock, but via twitter he said it was nothing major and he expected to be ready for Saturday's home opener. A healthy Javier Morales will be a very important part of RSL's 2012 plans.
more after the jump:
3. A rookie shall lead them, On Saturday for the first time since 2006 a rookie started an opening day match for Real Salt Lake. When he was taken late in the 2nd round of the MLS Draft, Sebastian Velasquez took everyone by surprise, most experts didn't think that the Junior College player stood much of a chance of making the final cut with Real Salt Lake, but some of us after seeing how quickly he adjusted to the team in practice had very good feelings about what this young man might be able to do. Not only did he start the match, the numbers he put up are kinda staggering 42 successful passes, just 3 unsuccessful passes and while he didn't get credit for the goal, his shot turned the tide for RSL. A lot of people laughed when I predicted that Sebastian would not only earn a starting spot, but that I thought he would win the rookie of the year award. I think he made a lot of people take notice on Saturday night, and I can't wait to see what he can do at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night.
4. Down but not out, RSL fans had become fans of last minute come from behind results over the years but the reality is that RSL hadn't won a match in two seasons after giving up the first goal. That changed on Saturday night, not only did RSL come from behind to tie the match, but RSL then took advantage of a disorganized LA Galaxy team to get a second and then a third goal. To win the match 3-1, their first win in 2 years after giving up the first goal, to me that is the biggest thing to take away from the weekend. Now I don't like giving up the first goal in matches, and for RSL over the last two years they are 30-4-3 when scoring first. I expect that RSL will look to strike first on Saturday when they play host to the New York Red Bulls.
So what was you biggest takeaway from RSL's opener?
OFF MY SOAPBOX