Well Real Salt Lake and DC United both started lineups of their top players on Saturday night and the first half showed signs of being very much like a typical MLS match. Both sides had chances but a slight edge would have to go to RSL for controlling more possession and creating more chances, but as is typical in the preseason finishing would be the tough part, it took a trip to the PK spot for Robbie Findley to give RSL the 1-0 lead.
The second half was a different world, RSL would make 10 changes to their lineup by the 62nd minute (all but keeper Nick Rimando), while DC United would keep their first team on the pitch more than expected, they only made 4 changes and 3 of them came after RSL made their massive 62nd minute 7 player swap. Well it didn't take long for DC to take advantage of the "B" team for RSL as they tied it up in the 77th minute and then took the lead in the 80th minute. The first goal was a defensive mistake and bad clearance by Rimando, who clearly wasn't as comfortable with the new backline as he had been in the first half. The second goal was simply DC playing better than RSL, both goals came off the boot of Jamie Moreno (the MLS's all time leading scorer).
It will leave RSL a hole to climb out of if they want to reclaim their CCC title in 2010.
After the jump some updates from the CBA front:
While there has been no official release of information, and it appears that the union has gotten their "leaks" back under control, there are 4 interesting pieces that I have found about the current CBA situation in MLS:
First up is a piece from caughtoffside.com
With a finite audience to draw from, given that the American public adores its more established sports, the threat of a players strike could ruin the sport as a spectacle and set the game of soccer back many years and with any luck everyone will get around the table and agree the next five year deal that will hopefully continue to breath life into the game stateside.
Next up is a rambling post from the very pro union Nordecke Luchador
As the Nordecke Luchador prepares to face the U.S. Soccer Nation on this historic moment in our history, he offers this blog post to put the current labor struggle into historic, economic and cultural perspective.
Of course he really doesn't offer up anything close to a historic look, he offers a couple out of context quotes of "the Don" and then goes on a rant about why the union isn't trying their case in the public. I kept him in the list because he is clearly pro union, of course if you look closely at this guys site, you see he is pro-Castro and all over the place on everything else in the world. Last year he offered up this thought about the playoff matchup between Columbus and Real Salt Lake:
Their multiple wives may be homely, and they may not dress so well, but the polygimist mormons at Real Salt Lake can play some football and should not be overlooked.
A column from NowPublic gives us a real brief look at the overall situation, but offers up this tidbit for both sides to think about:
It is also feared that since football has a tenuous hold in America, some of the accomplishments of the last 16 years could be diminished if not reversed. Some feel the MLS and the Players Union should swallow their pride and resolve their differences before the start of the MLS season for MLS fans if not for themselves.
Finally a look at why the strike might not work the way the players want from 3rd Degree (a FC Dallas blog):
The players are thinking about striking. They've voted themselves either the power to hold a strike or they've voted to go ahead and strike, depending on who you believe. In my opinion it would be a bad idea for them to hold the strike cause it won't work. Let me be clear, I think what they are asking for isn't unreasonable. They are not getting some basic rights players world wide enjoy. I think they deserve most, if not all, of what they want. But that doesn't mean a strike will work.
The post goes on to look at some of the issues and then raises some very real concerns on why a strike might cost the players more than the league.
OK that is it for today,
OFF MY SOAPBOX