Joao Plata scored a beauty of a goal on Sunday, finishing some sublime build-up between Tony Beltran and Burrito Martinez. How did Real Salt Lake come to understand such sublime beauty? We're breaking it down.
First, let's take a look at the initial build-up. It starts with one of those 'triangle passing' things that we've been talking about in recent weeks.
See, we're starting with Kyle Beckerman in a pretty normal position. He's looking directly to spring Tony Beltran, who is further inside than Burrito Martinez. This should be a counterexample to anyone who tells you that you need to play your full backs hugging the wing — it's his advanced position here that starts the goal.
You should also note Yura Movsisyan strolling around and the two players near Javier Morales. That's not because they're going to make a difference in this play — it's actually the opposite. They're notably precisely because they're not in any position to do so — but just wait until you see why. (You probably already know why — just let me have some fun with this.) You see, Tony Beltran,s about to move backward a bit and pass the ball off to Burrito Martinez. What happens next is magical, but it's also distinctly tactical.
Look at that. Burrito Martinez has taken the Orlando defensive posture and obliterated it. Brek Shea is no more. Brek Shea has ceased to be.
Burrito Martinez has drawn three players out of position, and Tony beltran is ready to capitalize on that. He immediately moves his run more inside, and he and Burrito have in essence flipped positions.
How Beltran knows that Martinez can do this is a little beyond me. This is an insane little dribbling session, and he's topping it off with a no-look pass directly into Beltran's impending run. But it's more than just Beltran who's spotted this — it's also Joao Plata and Yura Movsisyan, who are both setting off on their runs.
There's no reason to not watch this one over and over, so here's a Vine from the club.
Just look at that.
Let's end with the cross, because that's very good, too. By waiting until he's closer to the endline, Beltran is forcing the defense to recover. But here's the thing — Yura Movsisyan and Joao Plata are both fast with good explosive speed. That leaves the defenders struggling. Furthermore, the cross comes in a perfect area — I've approximated it with a yellow line. That's where the goalkeeper won't be getting to it, and it's where the forwards can run onto it.
It's a nice, simple finish from Plata that rounds us out, and we can't be happier about this one — even if the match ended badly.