It simply doesn't happen that Real Salt Lake gives up a 2-0 lead in a match, not once in their history, but a couple of mistakes and all of a sudden you have a very good but under performing LA Galaxy team take full advantage of those mistakes to not only tie the match up but to take a lead into the final minutes and despite an all out attack by RSL the Galaxy were able to hold on to their 3 goals and pick up a rare win in Utah as the final score of 3-2 gives LA just their 5th win of the season and RSL's 4th loss of the season, and their second at home to a LA based team.
It wasn't that LA was the better team, it was that they were able to capitalize on the mistakes made by RSL, it is hard enough to beat LA when you play solid soccer but when you gift them a couple goals it is almost impossible to beat them as was proven on Wednesday night.
What started so well with a 2-0 lead after just 24 minutes of the match, simply went wrong as first a bad back pass by Tony Beltran gave Landon Donovan a gift goal to make it 2-1, then a bit of bad marking by Olave and Mike Magee makes it 2-2, and then more defensive mistakes and bad communication let Landon Donovan finish off the match by getting a 3rd for LA.
RSL had the advantage in every category, passes, passing completion, possession, shots, shots on goal, but when you make mistakes and the other team makes you pay for them, well then you likely lose and that is exactly what happened.
more after the jump
So how do you review a match like that? Yuck, but let's be honest about some things.
First, Fabian Espindola and Alvaro Saborio did their job tonight, they created chances and goals. They forced mistakes from the Galaxy defense which is exactly what we expected of them.
Second, The midfield wasn't bad, 495 passes with a completion rate of 80%, and almost 60% possession, but if we are honest we know that RSL's defense is supported by the midfield in a major way and it looked as if too many guys got too comfortable with the push high attack that RSL played and forgot how dangerous the Galaxy can be on the counter attack. In the end we just didn't see the defensive bite from Kyle Beckerman and others in the midfield tonight that we usually see and it cost us.
Third, Mistakes will cost you and tonight RSL was punished for their mistakes on defense. There is plenty of blame to go around for sure, a bad back pass by Tony Beltran, some questionable positioning by Olave, a mistimed tackle or two, bad communications, failure to get back in numbers, and more can all be put on the heads of the RSL defense tonight.
Fourth, Bad nights happen, every team will have a night when things go wrong, for RSL almost all year they have gotten away without being punished for their mistakes, but not on Wednesday. It happens, for RSL fans remember it isn't the end of the world, we still have a great team and a great season going. When you have a bad day, there is only one thing you can do, look at what when wrong, learn from it, and move on. There is no time for heads to be down, we have an even tougher test coming into Rio Tinto on Saturday as the San Jose Earthquakes are coming to town.
RSL must recover quickly, and prepare for a San Jose team that will push and pull, play as dirty as they need to in order to get a result. We must play with confidence, and with common sense, we can't allow ourselves to make mistakes, and we can't allow San Jose to push us into making bad decisions.
For me, I hate the loss, but there is no time to mourn, there is only time to heal, to move on and to get ready for the next match. Bring on The Quakes.
OFF MY SOAPBOX