I’m a bit perplexed after this one. I think many of us had reservations about RSL’s defensive line coming into the actual season. Now? I’m more concerned about today’s attack than today’s defense. There’s going to be a lot of knee-jerk response to this, our first actual match of the season (and there was much rejoicing). I’ll save space at the end for some hyperbole. We’re not really gifted with a plethora of actionable data at this point, but let’s talk about what we learned.
First, I’m going to break with many of my RSL Soapbox peers on this one and say that I think Giovinco’s penalty was correctly assessed. Was there gamesmanship? Sure, but it was a penalty. More than that, it all came out okay because of Nick Rimando. How about that. He’s saved penalty kicks from Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard, and now Sebastian Giovinco. Despite being one of the three oldest players in the league, he’s still got it. Someone buy that man a drink.
Where was our finishing? We made some chances, but it started to feel like we were just blasting long-range balls without much real purpose or power. Irwin had to work a bit, but I’m left wondering. Can we finish? Can we put in an attack that isn’t in response to going down a goal? That was our party trick last year. I’m hoping it’s played itself out. We need goals. Early goals. Many goals. Varied goals. Please.
To that end, I’m looking for some chemistry in attack. How is our midfield going to transition the ball to our forwards? How are they going to work together to score goals? They weren’t on the same page today, but hopefully it develops this season. Sooner rather than later.
But we did play to a nil-nil draw against a powerful team coming off a strong run with some serious talent and a huge bankroll of players. So let’s all cheer that we’re unbeaten at home in 2017!
Some knee-jerk hyperbole
I’m fairly certain Jozy Altidore and Joao Plata swapped masses. Altidore looked to be tumbling around the field like bowling pins. He’s a big dude and everyone seemed to be knocking him down. Plata, alternatively, stood his ground like a block of concrete. No one could knock him over.
Beltran might have an inner-ear infection. He seemed to fall down a lot.
We should just foul everyone once they get inside our eighteen with the ball and let Rimando handle the rest. We’ll be fine.