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Good, bad and interesting: Three things from RSL's 0-0 draw with Portland Timbers

Real Salt Lake's 0-0 draw with Portland Timbers provided plenty of talking points, and we're taking a brief look at something good, something bad, and something that's just interesting.

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports


Defensive commitment from everybody in the lineup was at a maximum, with everyone — including forwards Alvaro Saborio, Sebastian Jaime, and Olmes Garcia — getting back extremely well. They picked good moments to go forward and good moments to fall back. While everyone could have used a bit more refinement in their play, there was an excellent level of defensive nous on display.

Specifically worth marking out for this is Olmes Garcia, who wasn't the most adventurous of attackers, but he was making a consistent defensive effort. This led to a few more fouls than was strictly necessary, but that's something that's fixable (and has improved over preseason.)


With a new formation comes a new problem: Seven years doing the same thing match-in, match-out breeds a drill-like rhythm, and when you depart from it, there's going to be some difficulty coming to terms. It was somewhat problematic when players would make unfulfilled runs or would pass into space that an attacker hadn't moved into.


Luis Gil's move to the right side of the bank of forwards saw him get a little more involved in build-up play while still giving him a sense of attacking freedom. That free role, which he didn't have too long in before he was substituted for Devon Sandoval, could be one to keep an eye on this season.

And on the note of substitutes, Devon Sandoval was excellent, and he had good moments on the defensive end and in the attack. That's nice to see continue.