Well it is time to watch the match again and see what I might have missed while watching from the sidelines.
Well unlike the last match for RSL the weather shouldn't play a factor. An early cross into the box by Philly but Rimando gets the ball back in RSL possession and Javier is on the attack with the rest of RSL and connecting some nice passes and a foul about 15 yards outside of the area and RSL is setting up for a set piece. Morales to take it and it sails high over the net and out for the goal kick, it is nice to see Javi back in the starting 11 and I only wonder how long it will take for him to find his full match form.
A good ball but it is a bit long for Javi, and out for a goal kick for Seitz, some good passing by Philly but RSL break it up and a long ball to Findley as RSL counters and a great ball into the area by Robbie finds Saborio but his touch is off and it goes out for a throw in and Philly looks to try to get some offense going. I am very impressed that Philly unlike Toronto last week is coming out and attacking the ball and looking to move forward with numbers.
Early on Philly looks like a more solid team than did TFC in their first half of last week, a great little series as Robbie plays it back to Javi who leaves it for Saborio but his shot goes wide of the net but that was an impressive looking series for RSL. So far the majority of action has been on the Philly half of the pitch but the Union are looking to counter and get something going their way.
You can see a bit of disjointed play from RSL, as the last month without Javi has left a little communication breakdown but I look for that to drop off as the match continues. So far RSL has done a nice job of limiting the passing lanes of the Union and been good connecting their own passes. Kyle has been everywhere early on in the match, The Union get a throw in deep in the RSL end of the pitch and then a foul on Wingert and a free kick for Philly, a good ball in finds Rimando diving to punch it out, but the whistle had blown for a foul in the box and RSL is back on offense.
Wow a number I didn't know RSL had never won with the official in this match being in charge. RSL is playing dangerous and a ball mishandled by Rimando gives the ball back to Philly in a dangerous position but Olave gets back to stop the attack but Philly is looking dangerous and a yellow card for Andy Williams on a clear foul. Free kick for Philly, it bounces around in the area but eventually goes out for a RSL throw in. Philly get the ball back as the throw goes out of bounds at midfield but they give it right back over to RSL, who look to try to build their attack but it eventually goes out for a goal kick.
More after the jump:
I really thought if RSL didn't score early that this match would be much tougher than it should be and so far RSL had had a couple chances but nothing too dangerous as Philly is doing a very nice job of attacking the ball all over the pitch. A foul in the midfield and the Union are back on the attack but RSL do a bad job of marking but Rimando is there for the save. No idea how a forward gets that wide open with no RSL defender within 10 yards of him at the edge of the RSL area.
Javi does a nice job of eluding defenders but eventually Fred breaks it up but a quick move by Kyle gets it back to RSL and now they will look again to get their attack organized. Still a few communication issues for RSL as they look to get back used to playing with Javi in the midfield. Philly is doing a nice job of keeping up the pressure and keeping RSL off of the attack by getting back on defense in a hurry. a horrible back pass gives the ball to Saborio who fires a shot that is deflected but goes to Beckerman who fires it past Seitz to give RSL a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute of the match.
Philly right back on the attack and RSL have a bit of trouble getting it out of their half of the pitch as Philly tries to get back into the match. Hard to blame that one on Seitz as the back pass was a very weak effort and gave RSL a huge open door that they took advantage of.
Findley fires an off balance shot which deflects out for a corner kick and Javi will take it for RSL. The effort is a bit long and Philly has no problem clearing it but RSL forces them to lose the ball out of bounds and RSL is back organizing their attack. RSL almost does the same thing with a weak back pass but Rimando is able to clear it out of danger but Philly keep possession. The Union do a nice job of connecting some passes and don't appear to be panicking despite being down a goal early in the match. Findley is down and appears to be hurt, he is back up but moving rather gingerly. Another ball played back dangerously as Rimando has to clear it out of bounds, A long ball played over the top for Findley but he is having trouble moving.
Another good ball played long by Philly and they move forward with big numbers and Findley signals to the bench that he isn't going to be able to continue. I really like how Saborio is attacking the back passes of Philly, it is something I have noticed him doing a lot of in recent weeks. Philly is back on the attack but the RSL defense is up to the task and clear the ball back down to the Philly end of the pitch, but RSLis giving up too much possession for my liking. Findley is out and Campos is back in and with Espindola out, that is it for our forward subs tonight, but we know we can move a number of midfielders up top if needed. RSLis now getting a bit more possession as they look to reorganize with Campos in the lineup.
RSL is doing a better job of controlling the pace of the match now as they look to force Philly to come out of their more defensive posture of the last few minutes. A yellow card on Beckerman on a foul at midfield and Philly is looking to push forward now that they have the ball again, you can see that Philly are learning when to attack and when to play a more defensive stance. RSL is doing a nice job of responding to the pressure that Philly is putting on them as they look to string together some nice passes. A ball into the box but it is just beyond Saborio but the Union clear it, but RSL keeps possession as we enter stoppage time in the first half. So just an observation, I haven't seen much of Andy or Will in the first half. I will expect more in the second half but RSL is up 1-0 at the half.
Interesting review of the injury woes of Houston as we kick off and Pablo is whistled for being offside, but not sure how he could have been. RSL is applying some good early pressure as the second half kicks off, Philly gets a throw in and they look to create something but the ball is too long and out for a RSL goal kick. Rimando gets the offense restarted and the Union have to boot it out of bounds in their own end of the pitch and Javi tries a back heel which ends up going a bit long and Philly tries to clear it but RSL get it right back and Will gets the ball in the area and his attempt to chip Seitz is handled easily and the Union now go on the attack. The inability of McInterny to turn forces a turn over and RSL is back on the attack.
A hard foul on Johnson gives RSL a free kick a couple of yards outside of the area, and a yellow card for Arrieta, Javi is there for the free kick again. He goes for goal and it goes to Seitz but a slight bobble of the ball and Olave hammers it out of his hands and into the back of the net. RSL is up 2-0 in the 51st minute of the match, and that is the pressure I expect out of the gate in the first half. Shea Salinas comes into the match for the Union for Jacobson, corner kick for the Union but it bounces around and then goes out for a RSL goal kick. RSLis back on the attack and a good ball for Campos who collides with Califf and Danny goes down and the counter by Philly is broken up as the offside flag is up.
RSL is doing a much nicer job of connecting their forward passes but Philly is still doing a lot of attacking of the ball no matter where it is on the pitch. I love the "Olave says no" chant you can hear in the background. Nice pass by RSL but Kyle fires a shot from distance that goes out for a Philly goal kick but RSL is right back on the attack until a handball is called and it goes over to Philly. The offside flag stops the play and Mwanga comes in for Philly as he replaces McInerney in the 60th minute. Philly fires a shot but Olave is there and breaks it up but the Union keep possession and pressure on until the Union take a shot that goes wide and out for a RSL goal kick. The Union aren't giving up yet and are applying a lot of pressure.
RSL need to do a better job of attacking the ball, they almost look like they are just waiting for the Union to attack and then breaking up their efforts versus controlling the ball and attacking. A long ball is cleared out by the Union and RSL have the ball in the Union half of the pitch but eventually the passes break down and the Union are back on the attack but their long ball is too long and back over to RSL. I like how both Campos and Saborio are able to bring the ball down and maintain possession.
A lot better from RSL in the last few minutes of keeping possession deep in the RSL end and Saborio almost got to another poor quality back pass by the Union but Seitz is able to clear it out and the Union are back on the attack and a foul gives Philly a free kick from about 10 yards outside of the area and off to the side. A nice ball in but it goes a bit long and it goes off Olave and out, but the call goes RSL's way and they get a goal kick. Philly plays a nice long ball but before they can get a shot off it is cleared out by Olave. A bad pass by Javi almost gives up a scoring chance but RSL get the ball back, only to turn it over again. Philly is connecting some passes and Torres plays a ball over the back line but nobody is there and Rimando cleans it up and RSL are back on the attack.
A great ball from Johnson to Saborio, who plays it to Campos and Pablo plays it into the area and Saborio gets his head to it and puts it past a diving Seitz and RSL is up 3-0 in the 70th minute of the match. Wow if they can play like that more often, there will be nobody who can beat them, that was simply a thing of beauty from the pass by Johnson, how Saborio played it through some pressure to Campos who keeps possession and plays just a perfect ball to the head of Saborio. Zimmerman comes in for Torres and Philly are done with their changes.
RSL look to counter, another great pass by Campos to Javi who tries to chip it past Seitz but it goes out for a goal kick and McKenzie comes in for Olave who has been limping a bit for the last 15 minutes. RSL is doing a nice job of keeping possession now and forcing Philly to chase them a bit, a had foul on Beckerman and I am surprised that no card was issued as he was taken down from behind.
RSLis doing a much better job of applying pressure than they were doing in the first half but a very game Union side isn't giving up they are still playing with a lot of energy and trying to create some chances of their own. RSL is getting ready to make their final change of the match as Collen Warner is ready to come in for Andy Williams. I like how they are talking about the US Open Cup and the RSL trip to DC for that match, then to the White House to meet the President, then a MLS match against United all within a few days.
Another free kick for RSL, as Javi got fouled and then Campos steps on the foot of Orozco and another RSL effort goes over the top of the goal and out for a goal kick. Borchers gets a yellow card for a foul on Salinas, and a free kick for the Union about 20 yards outside of the area and a diving Rimando punches it clear and Philly give up the ball but RSL's long ball goes back over to the Union. The match is getting a bit chippy as you can tell the Union are getting a bit fustrated as they try to get something going. A few sloppy passes by RSL gives Philly a chance to build some possession, and they are trying to find a way to get some chances on goal. A free kick from just 10 yards outside of the area and right on target, and RSL had 5 in the wall, but the shot is over the goal and out for a goal kick.
You have to wonder if RSL will go with the Campos and Saborio lineup against Houston, where their defensive size has caused RSL issues in the past. A good run by Saborio, but his cross goes wide and out for a goal kick instead of finding Campos, and then RSL get the ball right back and Pablo chips a ball over Seitz but it is a yard wide and out for a Union goal kick. It is clear that Pablo wants his first goal of 2010 badly.
Long ball by the Union is too long and out for a RSL goal kick as Nick takes his time getting things reorganized, it is interesting to see that RSL has been able to deal with their back passes to Rimando better on both ends of the situation than the Union have been able to do. I really like the effort of Javi in the second half and you can tell that he is starting to feel a bit more comfortable. Campos gets a long pass and he tries to head it over Seitz, but Chris is able to handle this one as the clock hits 90:00 and we enter 2 minutes of stoppage time.
A nice shot by Philly and the difference between Rimando and Seitz is that Nick was able to clean that ball up after making the save. Javi getting into the act of applying pressure on Seitz, and the whistle blows and this one is over as RSL picks up the 3-0 win.
Well it wasn't as pretty as I would have liked but RSL did a nice job against a Union side that came to play and attack instead of looking to sit back and defend. Exciting match, now bring on the Dynamo.
OFF MY SOAPBOX