Well we are almost to start time, and tonight I will be doing a live blog of the match. If you have a chance make sure to catch the action on FSC, or FSC HD if you are lucky enough to have it. Either way if you are watching the match you get the benefit of Dunny's play by play call.
If you checked out the match reference card or my match preview you know I was on targert with both my starting 11 and the bench. Here are the starters for Real Salt Lake tonight: Rimando; Russell, Olave, Borchers, Beltran; Beckerman, Johnson, Gonzalez, Williams; Espindola, Saborio.
The bench will features: Reynish, Findley, Alexandre, McKenzie, Warner, Campos, Gil.
It is also worth noting that tonight is the opening match of the Portland Timbers season, they feature former RSL defender Ian Joy as their captain, and have Alex Nimo on a season long loan from RSL. You can get updates on that match at the Timbers website, including a live stream of the match. They have a great crowd out for their opener as their fans are getting ready for next year when they will join the big boys of MLS.
OK, back to things RSL, weather shouldn't be an issue as it should be the mid 60's with a light breeze tonight at the Home Depot Center. I am waiting to get the lineup for LA, but as soon as I get that I will post it here: Ricketts, Franklin, DeLagarza, Gonzalez, Dunivant, Birchall, Magee, Gomes, Stephens, Donovan, Buddle.
If you haven't joined me for a live blog before I follow the same format as my detail match reviews, I will break down the match into 10 minute parts and will try to post an update every 5 minutes or so depending on what is going on in the match.
LA starts off and get the ball down into the RSL end early but RSL is there and able to clear the ball back out the midfield. Buddle fires a shot from outside of the box and it goes wide, remember that Edson hasn't scored from outside of the box yet this year. Nick plays the ball to midfield and as is typical both teams are struggling to really establish any possession early but I am sure as we move along both teams will get their fair share of possession. Run by Fabi, he goes down but no call and it goes out for a LA goal kick.
RSL gets the ball back and a long ball to Espindola ends up with a bit of a wild shot that goes wide of the goal but early on Fabi is making the LA defense (which hasn't given up a goal yet this year) think about what they are doing. RSL is doing a nice job early of pressing and fighting for the 50-50 balls but LA counters but they get nothing as they play it long and it rolls to Rimando. A turnover gives the ball to LA in a dangerous postion but Borchers breaks it up but LA keeps possesion until Williams takes it away and RSL is back on the attack. Beltran gets fouled and a free kick for RSL about 15 yards outside of the box, a poor service by Johnson and LA take back over. Olave goes down hard on a challenge from Magee and RSL will once again restart but this time in their own end of the pitch.
More updates after the jump:
A nice long ball but Saborio is just off side, and LA counters but Beltran clears the ball out but LA gets a corner kick and Landon will take the kick. The ball is high in the box and Buddle was left unmarked and heads it past Rimando and LA goes up 1-0, not sure how you leave him this open as Borchers loses his man. LA takes over again off the restart of the match but this time Borchers clears it out but LA keeps possession and it goes off Borchers for another corner kick and once again it is Donovan to take it. This time Buddle gets a foot on it but it goes out for a RSL goal kick but once again the coverage was less than perfect.
Can RSL find a way to get reorganized, a nice save by Nelson who plays a ball into the area but LA clears it and now they are working in the RSL end once again. This is cleared out by Olave but again it goes for another LA cornerkick, Landon lines up and it goes into the mixer but is punched out by Rimando and a shot by Birchall goes wide and out for a goal kick. RSL back on the attack, an interesting ball into the area is just a bit long for Saborio but the effort by Gonzalez is impressive. A good run by Johnson but his ball finds nobody and LA counters but Russell is there but LA keeps the ball and again Russell clears it long but LA keeps the ball.
Saborio has the ball wide, into Andy and out for a RSL corner kick, their first of the night. Nelson Gonzalez will take it for RSL, and it was well played but Russell can't get his head to it. RSL is pushing high as they try to keep the pressure on, funny that Landycakes is back and wanting a call for minor contact away from the ball, as he must remember that Beltran shut him down last year so effectively. RSL is playing a lot of long balls as they try to force the LA backline to stay further back and so far the possession is about 50-50 but RSL is the more aggressive side.
A great play by Beltran breaks up a LA attack and now RSL looks to create something, a bad pass by Williams gives the ball back over to LA but RSL gets it back and a dangerous ball by Saborio into the box as both Johnson and Espindila is there but LA clears it out for a RSL throwin but LA takes back possession of the ball. (update from the Timbers match 0-0 at the half). A good defensive effort by Borchers as he shuts down Birchall's attack. A long ball finds Fabi deep but they are unable to keep it and Borchers is unable to slow down Buddle, but Nick comes out and kicks the ball out of bounds. A foul by Beckerman gives LA a free kick from about 10 yards outside of the area and Landon will line up to take it, cleared out by Kyle for a LA throw in.
Magee plays a weak ball in and a foul gives RSL a free kick at midfield, RSL clears the ball back to reset their attack, so far I am waiting for Nelson to get a chance to create something. Andy plays a long ball that goes well over everyone and goes to Ricketts.
Out for a RSL throw in but a foul gives LA a free kick which goes out for a RSL goal kick as we are just past the 30 minute mark and both teams look to be playing the ball in the air more than working through the midfield area. Not a good sign as Olave is down and getting his knee looked at after he lands strangely after contact with Donovan. It looks like he will be able to continue after a little break. RSL again attacks and a good ball by Johnson finds Williams at the top of the box but broken up by LA and they counter quickly and a dangerous ball in by Franklin but Olave clears it instead of letting Donovan get to it.
RSL again look to try to organize their attack but this time it ends witha ball over to LA but Buddle is called for the foul and RSL get a free kick, a bad ball by Borchers turns the ball over to LA but a good recovery by Will Johnson breaks up the ball but the ball goes out for a LA corner kick. Buddle finds the ball but it is off target but it goes out for another LA corner kick, this one is less dangerous but LA keeps possession. I think RSL needs to slow down and play their possession game, they keep making very silly passes that end up in turnovers, Franklin goes down and is slow to get up, but he looks like he will be OK after he lands wrong after going for a header.
Again RSL play a high risk ball and it goes over to LA again, but action is slowed down as Franklin goes down again, as it looks like LA will likely have to make a change as a number of guys are quickly up and stretching for LA.
RSL has the ball deep Beltran plays it into the area but it is cleared out for a RSL corner kick, once again Nelson on it that goes long out of the area but finds Kyle Beckerman who fires a shot from distance and it skips past Rickertts and RSL is tied up 1-1 as Kyle finds the back of the net for the first time this year.
RSL is back on the attack as they build from the midfield, a tough ball by Beltran goes out for a LA throw in. Bryan Jordan comes in for LA as Franklin is unable to continue, a smart move as the speedy Jordan will have to match up with Beltran and Gonzalez. LA is applying a lot of pressure and RSL is having a hard time clearing the ball and a hard foul by Jordan on Gonzalez, which could easily have been a card as he was late and studs up.
LA back on the attack as we are getting close to the end of the half, LA is getting lucky from RSL mistakes and two minutes of extra time will be added on as the clock hits 45:00. Neither side has looked real impressive so far but I would have to say LA has been a bit sharper and RSL will need to regroup at the half if they are going to pressure to get a win tonight. The whistle blows and we are tied 1-1 at the half.
Both sides will look to regroup and find a way to control the match better by looking for a way to keep possession in the second half.
So with a number of guys having played a physical 120 minutes on Wednesday, one has to wonder what changes RSL will make and when.
So I jumped over to the San Jose vs. New England match for a second, San Jose is up 1-0 in the 67th minute but I find it funny as hell when they talk about the two championships that San Jose won, those were won by the team that now plays in Houston. Giving credit to this Quakes team is simply stupid, I get it but come on, nobody on this team had anything to do with it, those players went to Houston and won two more championships. I am fine leaving the stars on their kits, but please stop talking about it like they actually had anything to do with it.
Wow on the replay of Edson's goal you have to wonder about the coverage but are you allowed to use another player to boost your jump? OK, we are about to restart, just a quick TImbers update 0-0 late in the first half. It doesn't look like either side has made any changes at the half.
OK, match back on as RSL gets a throw in and has the ball in the LA half of the ptich and up to that bad ball by Russell, the possession had looked better than almost anytime in the first half. Good pressure by Saborio gets RSL a deep throw in, but LA is able to take possession of it and they give it right back to RSL. Wow, wonder why no whistle as Saborio goes down at the edge of the box on hard contact.
The first couple minutes of the second half have seen RSL look good and the Galaxy try to counter but as they play a ball into the area and it goes right to Nick who restarts the RSL attack. Espindola fouls Jordan after losing the ball and LA looks to attack but the shot by Buddle never goes far and RSL has it back but Fabi is unable to get there as he and Jordan get tangled. LA back on the attack and have a deep throw in, and they play it into the area but as bodies hit the ground it is cleared out by RSL and at midfield it is Magee who fouls Beckerman and then they get in each others face. Once again Olave is down after Williams falls on him and this might be it for Jamison tonight.
A long ball in by RSL goes right to Ricketts and RSL get it right back but turn it over to LA, Olave is back on the pitch but one has to wonder for how long. A bad turnover by Saborio in the midfield, and LA gets a corner kick (7th so far-thanks Dunny). This one posed no danger but LA keeps the ball and they go all the way back to reset their attack, and before they can do much dangerous, they turn it back over to RSL.
We are still 1-1 and the first yellow card of the night on light contact goes to Andy Williams and the set piece is cleared out but LA keeps possession. A dangerous ball into the box and another LA corner kick, it looks like RSL is ready to make a change as Findley is by the 4th official. Landon's corner is cleared out but again LA keeps possession of the ball. LA looks much more organized early in the second half as RSL looks still a bit out of sorts early on. Some good pressure by Espindola has Ricketts coming out to clean it up.
LA on the attack a great shot by the Brazilian Juninho but Rimando is there, and another shot but again pushed out by Rimando. Finally the change is made as Robbie Findley comes in as Espindola goes out as we enter the 60th minute of play. RSL is going to figure out a way to slow down LA, as they get another corner kick (9th), cleared out but LA plays it back in and RSL can't get it out of danger until Rimando finally gathers up the ball.
The long ball goes right back over to LA, RSL has to find away to get some possession as right now it is all LA Galaxy. A RSL throw in at midfield but again they lose it but LA plays it out for another throw in, the LA crowd is louder than I have ever heard them. (Timbers update as the Timbers go up 1-0 in the 85th minute) A foul on Findley gets a yellow card for Stephens and RSL makes another change as Nelson Gonzalez is out and Rookie Collen Warner is in.
This could be interesting as the rookie gets into a very important match, RSL is lookign more dangerous now as they string together a number of passes and a shot by Findley goes off the post as RSL is looking more agressive than they have this half. The offside whistle as Saborio's header is just off target.
LA counter and Buddle fires a shot that finds nothing but the side netting as the match has opened up a bit in the last few minutes. Warner is already looking like he is bringing some fire to the midfield and is causing LA to rethink what they are doing. A foul gives RSL a free kick just on their side of the midfield line as RSL is connecting passes and looking dangerous, another foul gives RSL a free kick from about 30 yards outside of the area. LA makes a change and Alex Cazumba comes on for Mike Magee.
Wow the two changes really have picked up RSL's energy and effectiveness, now it will be interesting to see if they can find a way to get another goal and pick up their second road win of the season. A good ball to Beltran but eventaully to goes out for a LA goal kick, Borchers and Buddle are battling and a foul called on Borchers and a great ball into the area off the set piece by Landon finds Gonzalez but it is just wide of goal, as RSL dodge a bullet. Findley has the ball deep and plays a good ball into the area but Saborio is unable to get there as he is held a bit by Jordan.
I like the energy of Findley, you can barely tell he went 120 minutes just a couple days ago. Wow a good run by Landon is broke up by Olave but great pressure by Johnson but LA keeps the ball in the LA end and RSL pays the price as Buddle gets free at the top of the box and puts it past Rimando. No idea where his man is as Olave and Russell are both two-three yards off of him, and you can't leave the top scorer in the league alone at the top of your box. Mistakes leaving the most dangerous man on the pitch alone have cost RSL.
Both sides look ot make their final changes as Campos is ready to come on for RSL and Alan Gordon for LA. RSL was doing well but the mistake of not clearing the ball and leaving Buddle that open at the top of the area have cost RSL tonight as they will need a goal in the final 10 minutes to get back into this match.
RSL doing a nice job of organizing right now as LA looks to be playing a lot of guys behind the ball. Johnson gets a chance but can't get it on frame. Campos in for Saborio, and Juninho out for Alan Gordon as both teams have used all their subs. Goal kick by Ricketts is cleared to the midfield line but LA is back on the attack but Gordon is offside and RSL get the ball back. I am going to say it now, Buddle deserves a call into the US camp next month.
RSL need to go back to what was working about 15 minutes ago, keeping possession and passing the ball. It almost appear they are getting desperate and playing a lot of long balls, with 8 minutes left it is too early for that. Now RSL builds and attack, Russell plays a good ball in and it is cleared out by LA for a RSL throw in deep in the LA end of the pitch but Andy can't control the ball and it goes out for a goal kick.
Well RSL was able to come back in the final minutes last week, can they pull a rabbit out of the hat for a second straight week? Will Johnson fires a shot from distance, Ricketts pushes it out for a RSL corner kick, and it was a set piece that saw RSL tie up the match last week. Not this time as RSL clears it and Rimando has to come way off his line to break up the LA counter attack.
RSL still controlling the ball and they have calmed down a bit, a shot from distance by Russell goes right to Ricketts but it ends up back to RSL and with just minutes to go it may come down to stoppage time as LA is playing with 8 men back to slow RSL's attacking efforts. Warner tries to play the ball into the area but it goes out for a goal kick, but RSL gets a throw in just short of midfield. LA gets it back and eventually they get a throw in deep in the RSL third as the 4th official holds up 3 minutes of stoppage time as the clock hits 90:00.
It was a stoppage time goal that got RSL a draw at home last week, and a late goal in San Jose that pushed the match to PK's and now they will need to do something special again if they are to get a result in LA. Down to the final minute for RSL as they look to set up a final attack but LA is all over them and Jordan gets the ball deep into the RSL third and Landon heads for the corner but it ends up into the area and this one is over as RSL drop the match 2-1 and LA is now 4-0-0 on two goals by Buddle.
Mistakes will cost you and tonight both goals came as Buddle was able to get away from his man and when you are as hot as he is this year, well it simply cost RSL the match. I thought we spent too much time trying to play long balls into dangerous areas vs. keeping possesion and building our attack that way, it was clear that the leadership and creativity of Javier Morales was missing.
OFF MY SOAPBOX