29 shots. Twenty Nine. It's like Bizzaro Real Salt Lake took the field and peppered the Minnesota goal with enough shots to win the game. Bobby Shuttleworth seemingly decided today was the the day to be a hero but only for 84 minutes and spilled the ball into the waiting feet of Yura Movsysian and his severe goal drought and not long after it was 3 points on the board for Real Salt Lake.
Mike Petke has rewritten the rules for Real Salt Lake this season and we've seen a number of things nobody expected. Luis Silva is quickly becoming our main striker, Acosta might be the answer at left back and Brooks Lennon might have stolen the spot Jordan Allen seemed destined to have in the line up. 'The King' himself Matt Montgomery said it right over on Twitter that we should all be happy and you know what, I am. I am glad to see Yura look so defiant, to see Plata showing is skills and to see Glad return to the line up, but this is your home to say what didn't go well so on we must continue with the three things to improve on!
You know … if some RSL fans would just calm down for a second and let themselves enjoy a win and a goal, I think we’d all be happier.— Matt Montgomery (@TheCrossbarRSL) June 18, 2017
Waste not, Want not
It's hard to complain about 29 shots on goal but I've found a way! 20 of those shots didn't test the superhuman Bobby Shuttleworth and that's kind of a hangover issue from the first third of the season. Too many wayward shots for a team struggling to get goals can lose you points faster than you can gain them and the thing is, there's no need to. I can't count the number of shots that were taken only for a player in the back of the camera shot to be screaming because they were open. Here's a good example of what I mean:
The passing isn't perfect but the passion is there and in the box the ball was moved around so well. One more pass and that was an early goal to put Minnesota on the back foot even more than they were. We're a creative team for sure and it showed against The Loons this week. People want to put themselves on the score sheet and that's understandable but the goals will come if we're patient about it and resist the urge to snatch at shots.
The Usual Suspects
Ok, this one is unfair but it needs to be said now. Keep a consistent line up in a consistent formation from now on. We've talked at length about who fits in where and who maybe needs to go soon but all of that is secondary to working out who should stay and more importantly, who is on the field. Jefferson Savarino has been a spark in the last two games and I'm excited to see him and Rusnak pair up even more. Lennon coming back has been welcome although I'm concerned that his rising stock means here's here for a good time not for a long time. We still have questions to be answered in midfield but you can see it coming together and more importantly you can see the Petke mentality coming through in the team and that has to stay. To put it bluntly, if the team is still the star then a few bruised egos on the bench doesn't matter if the 11 on the field are winning games.
The Yura Equation
Mike Petke still see's Yura Movsysian as the main striker in Real Salt Lake and rightly so. He's a top tier talent on top talent money and has all the God given gifts to excel in this league. His frustration at Yura and the rough patch of form has been well documented and in this press conference Petke spoke of the challenge he put in front of Yura, a challenge which was duly answered with an 84th minute goal that had more than a hint of luck about it. Good strikers know to be in the right place at the right time and Yura did just that. Silva played amazing though and I can't believe he doesn't have a goal to his name. The question becomes now "who do you start"? Yura did what was asked; come off the bench and score a goal. Silva played 70 minutes of football that would have seen him score twice if not for amazing goalkeeping. You can't really punish either of them now and against San Jose we need to have a player who will take advantage of the chances we may get because The Earthquakes have been much more consistent than Minnesota.
It's Fathers Day and so I am stuffed full of food. I don't really like the holiday, I'm more bothered about being a father than celebrating me doing what's right, but I'm never going to say no to a buffet lunch! That's kind of how I see Real Salt Lake's front line at the moment. A buffet lunch of talent up front with Plata, Yura, Savarino, Lennon, Rusnak and Silva all playing better and better to the point where we should be simply stuffed with goals with a plate Llapingachos from Plata, a healthy serving of Khash from Movsysian and good ol' slab of prime American beef from Lennon!
I'm so full!