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Breaking down the breakdown: RSL felled by first-half struggles in 4-1 drubbing by Montreal Impact

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake struggled in a big way against Montreal Impact, but while it would be easy to blame systemic problems for the away team, it's more accurate to look at individual mistakes as the source of RSL's woes.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Montreal Impact

Laurent Ciman celebrates after scoring.

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1-0: Laurent Ciman from the corner

Here, it's a pretty simple goal to break down. Alvaro Saborio hasn't marked Ciman particularly closely, and as a result, he's able to get up and send in a goal. It's a simple and avoidable problem, and it's been caused here by an individual mistake. A shame, really.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Montreal Impact

Andres Romero celebrates, too.

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2-0: Andres Romero with the chip

The big problem here starts when Montreal Impact gain possession on the right side of their attack, right before the final third. You'll see Demar Phillips is pressed up too far, forcing Elias Vasquez to push up even further. Jamison Olave is forced further left, too. Phillips' mark — Romero himself — starts bursting through the final third without him, forcing Kyle Beckerman to try to catch up, and he's not able to. Luke Mulholland drops back into Beckerman's spot, but he can't catch him, either. Olave has left his man, too, but you get the picture.

Here's the big part, though. Nick Rimando's caught in the middle of nowhere as a result of all this, and Romero — a very good player, it seems — completes a beautiful chip. It was some goal.

RSL was caught out in several ways here, but it's not really a systemic problem — it's again about individual mistakes and failing to get back to a proper defensive shape when losing the ball. Phillips has cleared the ball before this play started to build, but RSL didn't get back into position well enough.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Montreal Impact

Romero scores again. Sigh.

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3-0: Romero scores again — this time with a tap-in

Montreal has possession in the final third, and Jordan Allen's gone out to cover on the left side of defense. That's fine and not particularly a problem here. But you'll see that Demar Phillips is just sort of not covering anybody, while Jamison Olave is moving out to cover where Phillips probably should be. He starts to get down the left side to try to get in the way of an impending cross, but it's too late. Jamison Olave is left in space after this, leaving Vasquez to try to get back into position to cover Dominic Oduro.

Oduro, though, takes the shot before Vasquez can get there, and that leaves Romero free, and Tony Beltran's left to try to desperately mop up for the mistakes. Miraculously, Oduro doesn't score, and his shot hits Rimando and then the post. Beltran's trying to get back to cover Romero, but it's too late — he's already finishing the goal. It's hard to find any room to blame Beltran — he's in position to defend another player and leaves Romero, and the rebound off the post is a little unpredictable.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Montreal Impact

And, yeah, Dilly Duka celebrates, too.

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

4-1: Dilly Duka finishes off RSL

Rather than following the run of Jack McInerney or the player running centrally, both Elias Vasquez and Demar Phillips hesitate, unsure whether to follow their runs or step to the ball — but they're not quick enough to stop the pass into McInerney. Tony Beltran has started trying to get back to follow the far-post run, but Duka ends up a step ahead. Nick Rimando has managed to put a hand on McInerney's good shot, but he ends up pawing the shot right into the path of Duka. There's a little bad luck in this one and a lot of getting caught out with numbers forward. It's hard to be too upset about this one — these are the sorts of goals you risk giving up when you're attacking and down two goals.