Real Salt Lake’s first match against Minnesota United FC was an exciting one. RSL went down 0-2, came back to lead 3-2, but ultimately gave up a final goal in stoppage. The game was fun to watch, even if the draw felt like a loss after going up.
Unlike the 3-3 draw with Portland, this match saw no real drama. We did learn that Kevin Molino is still a great player and seems to be working well, perhaps too well in this game, with Minnesota. MNUFC is shaping up to be a real fighter in their inaugural season.
Our attack, both pre and post full team substitutions, looked good. Granted our starting attack’s only goal was from a penalty, they were still doing a lot right. The fact that non-starters like Velazco and Barrett are offering so much make me very optimistic about our season.
The biggest challenge for RSL was the defense and connecting passes. It is preseason and those issues are fixable, especially when you take into account that our starting backline and midfield haven’t played together, but it’s worth keeping a close eye on how we resolve those issues.
Howie Smith points out some issues connecting the defense to the attack:
Another bright point was Jordan Allen. He’s shifting the perspective on himself from Swiss Army Knife to effective edge of the attack. In the latest edition of Man of the Match, Junior Matos writes:
All the goals you do and don’t want to see
1-0 MNUFC Goal
Goal comes from a Maund giveaway and poor marking in the box.
2-0 MNUFC Goal
Another bad giveaway and poor man-marking lead to MNUFC’s second goal.
2-1 RSL - PK and Yura Goal
2-2 RSL - Barrett Goal
The attack kept pestering the defense, got the ball, and Barrett shot through traffic.
2-3 RSL - Brody Goal
A pressing attack, Barrett has in great space with a good shot that was blocked, but Brody was there to tab it in.
3-3 MNUFC Goal
Quick restart from Minnesota and their attacker was just beyond our defense.