It is two hours until the match starts and do you know where RSL is? On the way to the stadium to get about their business tonight. It should be an exciting match and I will try to provide some updates along the way. I am waiting for the rosters and lineups, enjoying a jack and coke and waiting on my pizza to be delivered to the Republican (917 S. State St. in Salt Lake City), where the crowd is already showing up probably 30 people here already.
I think RSL will need to have a good first 15 minutes, there will be a lot of energy and emotion from both sides. We have seen that RSL can really sneak up on teams quickly if they aren't paying close attention, just ask David Beckham and the LA Galaxy about that. Don't be surprised if RSL unleashes some early shots from distance to both test the keeper and to keep the Monterrey defense on their toes.
OK going to wait for lineup to be released, be back soon.
RSL Lineup: Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, Ned Grabavoy, Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Will Johnson, Fabian Espindola, and Alvaro Saborio.
RSL Bench: Kyle Reynish, Tony Beltran, Chris Schuler, Jean Alexandre, Andy Williams, Collen Warner, and Arturo Alvarez
RSL will be in their victory gold kits tonight, CONCACAF rules about primary and secondary colors force them to break out the kits they have never lost in. Still waiting on the Monterrey lineup.
OK Monterrey starting XI: Orozco, Osorio, Mier Alanis, Basanta, S. Perez, L. Perez (c), Santana, Cardozo, Ayovi, Suazo, De Nigris.
Monterrey Bench:Meza, Davino, Martinez, Zavala, Paredes, Ibarra, Arellano
I have about 65% power on my laptop so I will post as much as I can unti the power goes out. The good news for RSL is that the temp in Monterrey is about 15 degrees lower than was expected at game time and it should make for a fun evening to play in. Nice they are playing the #MLS4RSL video before the match on FSC, that was a very classy move by MLS to make that video. The fans at the pub are in full voice as the match begins, this is gonna be a fun night if the boys can take it to them down in Mexico. Some good passing early by RSL, a good run by Sabo but the cross finds nobody. Yeah not a fan of the football lines on the pitch, a shot by Monterrey goes high and wide(reminds me of the efforts of Medhi Ballouchy. Fabi attacks the ball and makes a huge run, the keeper pushes it out for a RSL corner kick, but it is cleared out but the ball goes back over to RSL for a throw in.
Another good attack by RSL but Fabi's shot is stopped by the keeper, RSL is looking the more aggressive side early one in the match. A big counter by Monterrey, but Nick is there to make the save. Looks like the home team is trying to slow things down a bit as they try to organize their attack but Will breaks it up. Monterrey try a shot from distance, a great shot but Nick puts it over the top bar and out for a corner kick, which is broken up by RSL.
I would say the first 10 minutes were fairly even as Monterrey has quickly adjusted to the RSL attack and now things are calming down a bit as Monterrey look to build their attack with some possession, but RSL is keeping the pressure on them and now RSL is on the attack with some possession in the Monterrey half, they clear the ball for a RSL throw in, and a huge shot from distance by Will Johnson finds the side of the net but that was blistering. Javi gets taken down and RSL will have a free kick from the 30 yard line, but the shot goes wide for a goal kick.
Olave picks off a pass and Fabi is called for a soft foul as Monterrey seem to be playing the lay down style of play. Wow a quick response by Borchers puts the ball out for a throw in, and then the ball goes out for a RSL goal kick. RSL playing a little keep away with the ball as they look to build up their attack but a pass goes out for a Monterrey throw in. It looks like RSL is still adjusting the the surface a bit, we heard a number of players complain about it.
A counter by Monterrey and the initial save is made but the ball bounces around the area and Monterrey is able to put it into the back of the net, off a lucky bounce as Nick is unable to gather up the ball. Now RSL will need to play from behind, but that is something they have done often in CCL play. Aldo De Nigris gets the goal as the score is now 1-0 Monterrey.
Two changes early by Monterrey as both their captian Perez and De Nigris come off, as Martinez and Zavala come on for Monterrey. oh and a great shot by Saborio but the keeper makes a huge save as RSL seem much more motivated the last couple minutes. Folks this match is far from over, no matter what Monterrey's coach may think.
Big save by Nick Rimando on a Suazo shot, hurt or not he is a damn good striker. The crowd at the pub is coming alive as RSL are trying to battle back and get a goal to even this one up. RSL are looking more and more dangerous with numbers moving forward. The Johnson shot goes wide for a goal kick, which bounces all the way to Nick who puts it back in play for RSL. a good through ball but Fabi can't get there but the defender plays it out for a RSL throw in but the ball goes out for a RSL goal kick.
A great ball into the area but Sabo can only get off a weak shot that is easily stopped by the keeper. Monterrey has a corner kick but it is easily cleared by RSL. the offside flag is up on Suazo and RSL will put it back in play, Olvave breaks up the cross by Suazo but Monterrey is applying some tough pressure. Borchers deflects a shot out for another Monterrey corner kick, eventually it goes out for a RSL goal kick.
Fabi makes a huge run to pressure the Monterey defense and keeper, and earns a corner kick for RSL. it is punched out by the keeper but RSL keeps posession and sure enough it is RSL who get the equalizer as Nat Borchers will not be denied tonight. 1-1 in the 36th minute.
Monterrey get a free kick at the top of the area but it goes off the wall and out for a corner kick, which goes out for a RSL goal kick. This is turning out to be a match played at a fairly frantic pace, and you can rest assured that Monterey will probably start to get more physical knowing they no longer have a lead and they have given up an away goal in the first half.
With 5 minutes to go in the half RSL is playing possession and making some great passes the Fabi cross is a bit high but RSL are looking like the better team right now as they are applying a lot of pressure all over the pitch. I think the conflict of two teams that play a very similar style is causing some issues for both teams as neither have looked nearly as sharp as expected. I have a feeling that we will see a couple more goals in this one as both teams have the ability to be dangerous, almsot a great run by Fabi but the defender pokes it out for a RSL throw in. A foul on Fabi and RSL will have a free kick from the 23 yard line, but the ball doesn't get past the first defender who knocks it out for a RSL throw in. RSL earn a corner kick as the clock gets close to 45:00, two minutes of stoppage time in the first half.
OK, it is 1-1 at half and my laptop battery is running down, I will try to make a couple updates in the second half.
Second half 45-55
A couple good chances for each side as both look to have gottena bit of energy from the break at the half, I would not be surprised if each side finds another goal in this half, but I am holding out hope that RSL can get another goal and hold on to a 2-1 lead to make this one very interesting in the final minutes.
RSL is going to need to be careful with their possession in the midfield, Monterrey is still a very dangerous team, but some good collective defense is helping keep Monterrey at bay in the early minutes of the second half. You have to believe that some fresh legs for RSL (Williams and maybe Alvarez) in the next 10-15 minutes could be just what RSL needs. Wow a huge save by Olave as RSL let them get behind the defense, time for RSL to get some fresh legs. Yup Andy Williams comes in for Ned and look for RSL to get some possesion and a little bit more offensive. A bit of a BS call as Olave is called for a hand ball and Monterrey puts it in the back of the net on a PK by Suazo and it is now 2-1 Monterrey. Not sure about the call, as it looks like the ball played off the thigh of Olave, but now RSL will need to once again come from behind to get a result, something they are more than capable of doing.
A yellow card for Beckerman means that he will miss the next leg of the match, that is a horrible call but you have to understand that Monterrey is going to play this way now that they have a lead, but you know that there is no way that CONCACAF is going to review that. RSL have to keep their composure and play the match and not panic, they are good enough to play with Monterrey.
The official misses a forearm to the back of the RSL player, he calls the foul but doesn't issue the yellow card. RSL need to calm down, they are playing to frantic, they need to connect some passes and get some possession. Borchers clears it but it goes out for a Monterrey corner kick, which goes out for a RSL goal kick. Jason is up off the bench and yelling instructions to the team. It will be interesting to see if RSL hold on and try to defend or if they will figure out a way to get some possession and attack.
A free kick for RSL from the 40 yard line, Javi lines it up and it goes out for a RSL corner kick. Again Javi lines it up but it bounces areound the area and now we will see some red cards as the match has simply broken down. This is insane how Zavala isn't given a red card for that, and how in the hell is Sabo carded for being pushed and kicked while he is down. I am sorry this is a clear case of an official who isn't calling a fair match at this point. You can't choke and push a guy down in the goal and then kick him when he is on the ground without a red card. then a quick yellow to Andy Willaims as Monterrey get a free kick from just outside the area. RSL is dodging bullets right now.
RSL get a couple offensive chances but so far they haven't beena ble to convert but RSL is applying much more offensive pressure the last few minutes, you have to believe that they are simply pissed off over the antics of Monterrey the last few minutes. RSL will take another corner kick, a great ball in but the header goes right to the keeper, now Monterrey is going to try to get a call anytime there is contact, a tactic I fully expected from them.
RSL is playing with fire and they have to get some possession and stop letting Monterrey dictate the pace of the match. I love that in the 80th minute that Fabi is still chasing the ball with as much energy as he was in the first 10 minutes of the match., but does RSL have enough in their tank to get a goal and even the match up. You can see that both sides are a bit winded in this one, but RSL still has the ability to bring in a couple players, I have to thing we might see Alvarez soon, wow I type it and it is true.as Sabo comes out and Arturo comes in. Also Russell goes out and Beltran comes in, some fresh legs for the final minutes.
OK, gonna try to make it but the battery is going down quick. Monterrey has a corner kick but RSL get a free kick on a foul in the area. It looks like Monterrey is going to start to waste time where they can.