The weather was dark and overcast for most of Tuesday's reserve match between Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas, and the action on the pitch matched the weather, as the action often was tough and physical. A bit of rain during the first half, which saw some players struggle with their footing and a couple of rough challenges that at one point lead to a rather loud "If you take care of it, I will" statement after a rather clumsy tackle by a FC Dallas forward resulted in Kyle Reynish getting some cleats in the midsection, that wasn't the first or last physical challenge or reaction to a challenge that the match would see.
I know that none of the players or staff were happy with the loss, or the performance so far this year in the reserve league. I would agree but I do take a couple of things into consideration, first the realization that if you look at our starting XI you had a total of 4 guys who were with the team last year (or longer), you have 5 guys who this is their first year of professional soccer, and you have 2 guys who have previous professional experience. When I see that I understand why there was a lot of what I would call disjointed play, where different guys appear to be on different sheets of music. Now you would expect that you would see some exceptional individual displays and efforts and I saw some good things from every player, but the collective effort wasn't up to expectations.
I thought a couple of guys stood out for me, I thought Chris Schuler showed real leadership as one of the more experienced players on the squad, it is clear that his time and production with the first team has boosted his confidence on and off the ball. He is going to be a star in MLS, and beyond. I was again impressed with the work rate of Sebastian Velasquez, while he had a couple of good runs, I thought he actually was a bit more reserved in his play than he has been with the first team. Despite the score line I was impressed with the aggressiveness of both Chris Estridge and of Terukazu Tanaka, both of them showed the courage to move forward and support the attack. I do think that both will need to work on communications with their teammates to ensure we don't leave gaps that the opposition can exploit.
You can check out some of my pictures from the match on my google+ page
After the jump the official match recap from RSL:
So here is the official recap of the match from the RSL Communications team:
RSL RESERVES TOPPLED AGAIN IN 0-3 DEFEAT TO FC DALLAS RESERVES
Goals by FCD's Jonathan Top, Bruno Guarda and Scott Sealy Doom RSL to Third Straight Loss in MLS Reserve League Play
SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, April 17, 2012) - The FC Dallas Reserves left Sandy's America First Field wet and cold, but with three points in tow courtesy of acomprehensive 3-0 victory over their Real Salt Lake Reserves counterparts on Tuesday. With the win, the FC Dallas Reserves move to 3-1-0, their nine points good for a share of the Central/Mountain Division lead alongside the Houston Dynamo, while the RSL Reserves' third straight defeat dropped the Utah side to a disappointing 0-4-1 halfway through their 2012 MLS Reserve League calendar.
Rainy conditions in the first half made for some slippery footing, hearty challenges and tense moments, culminating with a 34th minute altercation that followed Dallas forward Ruben Luna's sliding challenge into RSL goalkeeper Kyle Reynish, which resulted in a yellow card shown to the Hoops' attacker. Luna would help move the scoreboard shortly thereafter in the 41st minute, his lobbed ball across the six finding midfielder Jonathan Top, who slammed a side-volley past Reynish and inside the bottom left corner to put the visitors up 1-0.
The FC Dallas Reserves doubled the advantage shortly after halftime off a penalty kick opportunity, created in the 49th minute when RSL defender Chris Schulerclipped Luna inside the box. Midfielder Bruno Guarda would earn a caution for dissent shortly after the foul, but he was composed enough to bury the spot kick low and inside the right post seconds later to put Dallas up 2-0. Five minutes later the Hoops tacked on a third, as defender Mike Ambrose swung a ball in from the left wing to on-rushing striker Scott Sealy, who placed his re-directed header off the right post and in.
Tensions once again rose to the forefront in the 80th minute, when RSL Reserves forward Paulo Junior was shown a red card for a reckless challenge in the center circle against Top, followed shortly thereafter by Guarda's ejection for making contact with the referee in the ensuing scrum. The Claret-and-Cobalt's best chances of the day came in the 88th minute from midfielder Jordan Allen, but the RSL-Arizona Academy product saw both of his shots from within 10 yards blocked by a scrambling Richard Sanchez, who entered the match at goalkeeper at the halftime break and combined with starter Chris Seitz for the shutout.
After starting their season with five games in seven weeks, the Real Salt Lake Reserves will take the next two months off before resuming MLS Reserve League play at its America First Field home on Tuesday, June 12 (11:00 a.m. MT kickoff) against the Chicago Fire Reserves (2-2-0). The FC Dallas Reserves will resume play with a road challenge against Sporting Kansas City Reserves (1-1-1) at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on Tuesday, May 1 (7:30 p.m. CT). Click here for the full 2012 MLS Reserve League schedule on MLSsoccer.com.
Real Salt Lake Reserves Notes
- Today's match saw the debut of goalkeeper Lalo Fernandez in an RSL uniform, the recent Homegrown signing coming on in the 67th minute in place of starter Kyle Reynish.
- The Real Salt Lake featured a pair of players from its RSL-Arizona Academy in today's contest, with midfielder Jordan Allen entering at the hour mark in his third RSL Reserves appearance of the year, while central defender Carlos Salcedo played the final 15 minutes in his fourth "cap" for the Reserves.
- With their full shifts today, defender Leone Cruz and midfielder Yordany Alvarez remain the only two players that have logged the full 450 of MLS Reserve League play across RSL's opening five contests. Midfielder Jonny Steele has played all but eight minutes of the season, while Reynish's departure in the 67thminute in today's contest marked the first time he has not been on the field for the RSL Reserves in 2012.
MLS Reserve League Box Score
Real Salt Lake Reserves 0 : 3 FC Dallas Reserves
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
America First Field - Sandy, UT
FCD - Jonathan Top (Ruben Luna) 41
FCD - Bruno Guarda (penalty kick) 49
FCD - Scott Sealy (Mike Ambrose) 54
FCD - Ruben Luna (caution, Reckless Tackle) 34
FCD - Bruno Guarda (caution, Dissent) 49
FCD - Bruno Guarda (ejection, Unsporting Behavior) 80
RSL - Paulo Jr. (ejection, Reckless Foul) 80
Real Salt Lake Reserves (4-4-2): Kyle Reynish (c) (Lalo Fernandez 67); Terukazu Tanaka, Leone Cruz, Chris Schuler, Chris Estridge (Carlos Salcedo** 75); Yordany Alvarez, Enzo Martinez (Jordan Allen** 60), Jonny Steele, Sebastian Velasquez; Paulo Junior, Emiliano Bonfigli
Substitutes Not Used: Taylor Bowlin*, Luis Gil
FC Dallas Reserves (4-4-2): Chris Seitz (c) (Richard Sanchez 45); Alex Lee, Matt Hedges (Aaron Guillen** 88), Mark Barone*, Moises Hernandez; Jonathan Top (Flavio Guzman** 81), Bruno Guarda, Victor Ulloa, Michael Ambrose; Scott Sealy (David Robledo** 60), Ruben Luna
Substitutes Not Used: Bryan Leyva
*Guest player **RSL-Arizona/FC Dallas Academy player
Referee: Alex Krelo
Referee Assistants: Hamed Sadeghi, Alan Jimenez
4th Official: Brad Jensen
OFF MY SOAPBOX