Real Salt Lake’s rescued draw tonight against San Jose Earthquakes was fraught with disappointment, and there’s not really any getting past that.
Key among that? RSL isn’t shooting enough.
Real Salt Lake just can’t make their own luck
This is the thing plaguing RSL right now is not finishing — and while it might seem like there’s a bit of luck involved there, it’s clear that there’s more to it than that. For having a substantial share of possession (62.5 percent), the team didn’t take a similar percentage of shots during the match, leading only 14 to 12.
While taking more shots is clearly not always the answer, a few well-timed shots from distance will help force a team outward. The short-term effect Kyle Beckerman’s shot had on the match was significant.
Further, there was a significant lull not long after Luke Mulholland’s goal — RSL took only one shot between the start of stoppage time and the 71st minute. That’s simply not good enough.
Javier Morales is still a metronome
He might not be as goal-dangerous as he once was, but Javier Morales is still out there controlling games. Here’s his passing chart from tonight’s match — he’s right there at the base of the final third. Here’s the remarkable thing — he attempted 102 passes. Only four of them were long passes. Of his passes, 55 targeted the final third.
Four of those passes were key passes — passes leading to a shot. One was a beautiful, beautiful assist. No other player had more than one, and there were 10 on the night.
That’s not necessarily a purely positive thing. It’s just to recognize that Morales isn’t losing his influence on the game.
Luke Mulholland might be our best finisher right now
No words necessary.