OK it is game time, and if you can't catch the match on KUSG or Direct Kick, you can listen on KALL 700. For me I will be watching and keeping you up to date here:
DC United lineup:
Perkins, Wallace, Pena, Jakovic, Graye, Simms, Pontius, King, Najar, Allsopp, Quaranta
Bench: Christman, Emilio, Castillo, Morsink, James, McTavish, and Hamid
Real Salt Lake lineup:
Rimando, Russell, Olave, Borchers, Beltran, Johnson, Morales, Alexandre, Warner, Espindola, Saborio
Bench: Reynish, McKenzie, Schuler, Grabavoy, Williams, Gil, and Campos
We are ready for kick off as RSL looks for their first ever win at RFK stadium, and I heard over on the prematch show on KALL 700, that Trey is picking this one to be a 4-0 win for RSL, while I went for the 3-1 RSL win. I still have to say that no team has embraced their fans better, giving fans groups prime seats on the side of the pitch instead of sticking them at the end of the pitch has to be a great motivator for DC United's players as the Screaming Eagles and Barra Brava, both appear to be at the match in numbers.
I looks like the pitch is very slick as so far every touch of the ball has gone out quickly and we have had 3 goal kicks in under two minutes. It is 91 and humid in DC, which could be a factor as the match goes along. Wow RSL has dodged a bullet as Najar plays a good ball and Wallace then plays it into the area but out for a corner kick , which RSL clears without DC United getting a shot on goal. A bad touch by RSL gives it back to DC and Simms fires a shot, and Nick pushes it out for another DC corner kick, cleared but possession stays with United. RSL needs to quickly pull their heads out of their rears, and stop looking for these huge long balls and cross pitch passes and complete some passes and hold onto the ball.
I am just confused what RSL is trying to do, almost every touch of the ball is a horrid pass or a long ball that is far too long, RSL gets a set piece from 53 yards out and Javi will take it, but he doesn't beat the one man wall and DC United get the ball back. I am really surprised that RSL, who have started matches really well over the last few weeks are looking this bad early. More bad passing by RSL, and the finally get more than two connected passes, but of course it is among the backline players and a foul on Olave gives DC United a midfield free kick.
more after the jump:
So RSL has barely touched the ball in the first 10 minutes as it has been all DC United and RSL defense. Well a couple completed passes and RSL looks much better and Will Johnson fires a huge shot that goes just wide of goal from a tough angle and RSL will take their first corner kick of the match. Javi's effort is too high and long for everyone and DC counters but Olave breaks it up as they are forced to take a long distance shot by King, but it goes wide of goal and RSL gets the ball back.
I am still a bit confused why some DC players are different jerseys? Some have a shiny pattern on the back, while others don't, very strange. Another shot from DC United, as RSL is having some issues marking their men, but Nick punches it out but DC keeps possession, and Russell throws it in and back to Rimando, but it appears he was in the wrong place to they give the throw in to DC? WTH? Another corner kick for DC, as RSL continues to play with fire, it is headed out for a DC throw in and then the offside flag goes up and RSL will try to figure out how to get some possession. So far it still has been mostly DC possession, and Saborio goes to fire a shot and he instead catches Wallace who was rushing in, and both players are still down as the clock hits 20 minutes.
With Findley gone, this could be a huge injury for RSL that already are short benched for offensive players. We are back to action, as Wallace is hobbling around the sidelines as he sees if he will be able to continue. For the first time all night RSL has actually had possession for a couple minutes as they look for a way to get into the box and Beltran gets there but so does Perkins who picks it up and plays it long. I like Jean but so far his touch is rough on passes, and Wallace won't be able to continue and McTavish comes in for him. Another ball is deflected out for a DC corner kick, it is cleared out fo the area but DC keeps it, RSL gets it back but another bad pass for RSL and DC United have it again deep in their half of the pitch.
A nice take away by Morales but Saborio is unable to get to the pass but RSL is keeping up the pressure on DC in their own half of the ptich. It is interesting to see how far forward RSL is pushing Beltran, and DC is taking advantage of that in their counters, but Will is there and doing a better job of slowing down the attack. Warner gets on the end of a long ball but he can't beat both defenders and RSL has looked better in the last 10 minutes but they still don't look good.
Another corner kick for DC United, it is headed toward goal by McTavish but it is weak and goes right to Rimando, and his restart goes out for a DC throw in. I am going to say it now, you will see RSL make a change at halftime, and don't be surprised if it is either Grabavoy for Alexandre, or Williams for Warner, or both of them. The possession just isn't where it needs to be and RSL can't play 90 minutes on their heels like they have the first 30 minutes. This match is starting to look a lot more like the Chivas match, where the backward passing and keeping the ball in their own half was something RSL did a lot of.
You have to love that Jamie Moreno is in the middle of the stands and beating on a drum with the supporters, ala Ian Joy. Saborio gets the ball deep but with little support, he plays it off the defender for a throw in, but Russell loses it but it goes out for another RSL throw in. Perkins makes a mistake and has to play a ball out for a RSL throw in, and Will fires a shot from distance, but it is wide of goal and out for a goal kick. DC counters and get their own throw in deep in the RSL end of the pitch. RSL plays it long but it goes out for a DC throw in, and as Olave breaks up the DC attack but he slowly goes down to the pitch and is grabbing his calf. Hopefully he will be able to continue.
It looks like Olave will be OK, it is funny that they show Moreno in the stands again and Kamler says he hasn't seen that before, but RSL fans know that Ian Joy has done this in his RSL career. RSL is trying to get something going as the first half is almost over, but it goes all the way back to Perkins and DC is back on the attack. Alexandre breaks it up but DC was able to get it back, and eventually RSL get it back but the DC defense is too much and they get it back and look to try to organize another push.
A deep throw in for RSL as there will be 1 minute of stoppage time, Espindola goes over McTavish and he is whistled for the foul. Rimando makes another save, as a RSL mistake gave DC a chance to get a shot on goal and as Nick plays it into action the whistle blows and we go to halftime at 0-0.
With half of the RSL players coming off 120 minutes of action on Wednesday, they look a bit slow and sluggish and the other are unable to provide them with much support. That was one of the worst halves for RSL, in terms of possession and offensive chances all year.
OK, the teams are back on the pitch and I am looking to see if either side has made any changes to their lineups. It does look like Grabavoy is in for Alexandre and I hope this will be part of RSL doing a better job of possession, and early on it is looking better but it is only a couple minutes in. OK, I like that, RSL get the ball off a turnover and instead of playing a long ball to get over the midfield, they battle for some passes and keep the ball for a couple minutes. Of course then they try the long ball, and it goes over to DC.
RSL dodges a bullet as a ball stops on the line and DC is able to recover and play it into the box, where Olave clears for a corner kick, but RSL is able to clear it out of danger. Warner fires a shot that goes wide, he missed the chance to make a pass but the pressure was coming from the DC defense. I have a feeling that if Andy is fit, that we will see him come in at about the 60-65 minute and he may be part of a double switch as I think Pablo might be a better target up top as it seems United has taken Espindola out of the match for long periods of play. A bad mistake by RSL and King is unable to take advantage of it as King fires a shot wide, Nick gives everyone a earful about the sloppy play.
RSL is on the attack and Will plays a good ball into the area, but Warner's header goes out for a goal kick. OK a great back heel by Fabi finds Johnson running on goal, his shot is deflected out by DC and Javi fires a shot from distance that goes high and wide of goal. Olave pushes the ball out as DC attacks, and United get another corner kick, cleared by Fabi but DC keeps possesion of the ball and their attack is good but they can't convert as RSL's players look like the Keystone Kops on that one. Thank goodness King has no ability to get his chances on frame tonight, or RSL might be down 2-0 tonight. Najar is causing some trouble for Beltran but so far it hasn't come back to bite RSL yet.
Andy will be coming in for Warner, as the clock hits 60, and for United Pena is out and James is in. Can Andy spark some offensive energy for RSL? RSL is doing a better job of passing, and it seems like their energy level has picked up a bit with Andy in the lineup. Wow some great passing as RSL get on the attack and Fabi's shot is off the defender and out for a RSL corner kick. It goes to Andy, who fires a couple shots that go off defenders and eventually out for another RSL corner kick. Javi takes it and Saborio's header is just a foot wide of goal as he had Perkins beat.
RSL are right back on the attack but Perkins out jumps Saborio and DC United are on their counter attack, but Andy breaks it up and RSL are back moving forward. I have to belive as we get close to 70 minutes that we might see Campos soon, and another RSL cross is out for a RSL corner kick. Can Saborio get his head on it? Wow, Saborio may have gotten away with a foul on Perkins and United are back on the attack but broken up by Johnson and RSL will look to get back into the DC half of the pitch.
In a long season you sometimes have to win the ugly matches, well for both sides this match is ugly but we are still tied at 0-0, can RSL step up and get a goal to claim the win? Nice sliding tackle by Borchers breaks up a DC attack, and RSL again have possession and are looking to build their attack. Andy's ball is a bit long and Beltran can't catch up to it, so a DC United goal kick. I really do think with the way RSL is able to get forward that brining in Campos is a move RSL needs to make, his size and touch would be perfect as a target when we move forward. A DC corner kick is cleared out by Saborio and RSL get a throw in.
This has been better for RSL, but they will need some of that late match magic from last year when they were the most lethal team in MLS in the final 15 minutes of matches. RSL gives up a set piece from about 40 yards out, and it goes over the goal and out for a RSL goal kick, and Nick will get RSL back moving forward. A good ball by Andy, but Espindola can't get to it but a RSL throw in as James puts it out and RSL still has possession in the DC half and a good ball in by Fabi but Perkins punches it out before Saborio can get to it, and eventually it is a RSL corner kick.
Javi again lines up to take it, it is cleared and DC get a counter but the RSL defense recovers and now launches their own counter attack. DC makes their final change as Christman comes in for Allsop, and I am puzzled why Jason hasn't brought in Campos, he must be happy with the thought of getting out of this one with a single point, but I think we could offer more of the attack and go for the 3. DC gets a corner kick, and RSL clears it but DC keeps possession and eventually fire a shot that is wide of goal and out for a goal kick.
Wel the change is finally made as Campos is in with a chance to be a hero, and the Saborio 5 match streak of goals and assists is over. RSL is back on the attack and Fabi plays a good ball into the area, but Perkins punches it clear. RSL are back in possession, but turn it over and DC United get another corner kick and it was headed on goal and Nick makes a big save. You can tell that Olave is out of gas and may be cramping up a bit and RSL plays a long ball and RSl are back in the final third and out for a RSL throw in, and they turn it over and get it back and Andy fires a Medhi shot that is wide and high. DC is really applying the pressure now as they look for a way to get a win at home, and RSL look like they are just holding on.
3 minutes of stoppage time is indicated as the clock hits 90:00, Some pressure from RSL forces DC to play it long and eventually it goes back to Rimando and he will restart the offense, and Fabi fires a shot that goes wide but not by much. It goes all the way back to Nick and he will get the RSL attack going one more time, and a great shot from distance by Johnson but Perkins again stops it and gets DC back on the attack. That is it, the whistle blows and the match is over 0-0, RSL get their first road draw of the year and consideirng the way they played in the first half they are lucky to get any points out of this one.
OFF MY SOAPBOX