As with any great match (or awful match, or mediocre match — these are probably more apt descriptions), we had an opportunity to learn some lessons on Saturday during RSL's 1-1 draw with San Jose Earthquakes.
Abdoulie Mansally's unexpected start
I don't know that many of us particularly expected Mansally to start ahead of Chris Wingert, but start he did, and by and large, he did well enough. It's somewhat easy to think that maybe he should have been more involved in defending that awful San Jose goal, but given how incredibly against the run of play it was — which isn't saying we did well in that moment, but more on that later — it wasn't anything he could do much about.
Giving up a stupid goal
Yeah, the way we conceded was just miserable. Tony Beltran's throw-in centrally was unwise, Kyle Beckerman had a momentary lapse of reason (and awareness), and San Jose capitalized remarkably well. Could we have done better? Easily. We took a risk we didn't need to take and were punished for it. Some asked where Mansally was, given we'd tucked in — he was out wide left, where you'd probably expect him to be as we attempted to stretch play. After all, we were in possession, even if we didn't act like it.
Olmes Garcia and the benefit of the doubt
This one's a bit surprising. We may be a little biased, but that penalty we were awarded wasn't particularly clear-cut. Olmes Garcia looked to be taken down, but our available camera angles weren't entirely indicative of that fact. What we saw was that his reputation seems to have been restored a bit — and maybe his diving itself. Garcia's going down in the area wasn't just him trying to win a penalty; there was genuine contact and it looked to genuinely have made him fall. Whether it was genuinely a penalty is what we're questioning a little. But where pre-Olave-incident Garcia would have been publicly flogged for diving, post-incident Garcia was awarded a penalty.