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Real Salt Lake 3 - New York Red Bulls - 1st half match thoughts


Well when I documented that New York had given up 13 goals in the first 30 minutes of matches, I didn't think RSL would add 3 more to that total but on a great header by Alvaro Saborio and two simply brilliant plays by Fabian Espindola that give RSL a 3-0 lead at the half.

If you have read my blog for some time you will know that I believe that New York has two major issues that are holding them back, first nobody wants to play defense. Rafa, Chris, Jan Gunnar all love to move forward, their entire roster minus Rost and Tim Ream want to be part of the offensive side of the game and in this league you have to start with everyone committed to playing defense that way. The second thing is that they play as individuals too often, now that doesn't mean they don't play well together but it means this team does well when an individual (TH14, Luke Rodgers) puts the team on their back and carries them to wins.

I would add that I also think Hans Backe is baffled by MLS, he is used to a league where you solve problems by spending money and getting more players but in MLS you must build a team with what you have. His belief that bringing in more players from Europe would raise the level of the team higher than players from the US has backfired as he fails to understand the physical nature of the league and of US players who sometimes aren't as talented but are incredible athletes and maintain a fitness level that many in Europe envy.

So RSL needs to do a huge job in the second half of closing down the pitch and continue to attacking the ball, New York will be desperate to push forward to try to get goals and that means that counter attacking chances are there and RSL should look to keep putting on pressure on a defense that is showing huge cracks.

OFF MY SOAPBOX (for now)