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Big moments in RSL vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

Missed opportunities and flashes of brilliance made for a tense loss to Vancouver.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

6’ Justen Glad and an early desperation tackle

After RSL lost possession extremely cheaply in the midfield, with Sunny failing to corral a fairly routine pass from Kyle Beckerman, we were treated to yet another reminder that turnovers result in dangerous situations more often than not. We were also given another reminder that Justen Glad is the real deal™,

18’ Tony Beltran took his first shot of the night

Foreshadowing. Absolute foreshadowing. That’s all.

29’ Movsisyan’s delicate chip for Plata

I know it’s in vogue to criticize Yura Movsisyan, and I’m doing plenty of it today, but look — right here, he had a perfectly lobbed pass to Joao Plata in the box. He was actively involved in some good build-up play. That’s one of the things that’s really been missing from his game as of late, and seeing him show that gave me some hope that he’ll figure things out here and become a successful player again.

29’ Cristian Techera scores Vancouver’s opener

Gee — that was absolutely miserable defending from RSL, wasn’t it? ... a nearly good-enough save, but Techera was given the time and space he needed to beat Nick Rimando

37’ Chris Wingert scores his second MLS goal

Chris Wingert wasn’t exactly perfect in this game, but that goal was spectacular in so many ways. I mean, there’s the mere fact that his cross, which Yura Movsisyan so very nearly reached, was goal-bound. That it was so well-placed deserves some praise. But it was also spectacular because it looked so close to a Movsisyan goal and wasn’t, and there’s humor with denied expectations. And, of course, it’s funny that Movsisyan didn’t touch it at all, and it’s funny that it was Chris Wingert, of all people, getting on the scoresheet. I love it.

51’ Sunny gives the ball away extremely cheaply, Glad gives up a free kick

I’ve been a big believer in Sunny in the last two months, and I’d stand by that. But his best game, this was not. If we hadn’t given up a free kick here (and I think it was a smart foul from Glad), we wouldn’t have given up this goal in this way. Maybe we’d still have lost, but I would have liked the opportunity to find out.

52’ Waston finishes a rebounding ball that had just hit the post

Nobody really expected that ball to hit the post, but Kendall Waston was at least ready for it, with nobody following him after the free kick neared the goal. And that initial header from Tim Parker was just too good, too.

55’ Justen Glad nearly breaks Ousted while almost scoring a goal & 58’ David Horst nearly scores from a corner, too

A brilliant cross in from Plata found the lovely head of Justen Glad, then a well-placed corner found the head of David Horst. Both of them placed excellent headers that David Ousted only just saved. For all the talk about Vancouver’s dominance on set pieces, we weren’t slacking in the department.

61’ Plata comes back to defend and prevents a scoring opportunity

I know we’ve talked about the transformation of Joao Plata an awful lot — it’s my favorite storyline of 2017 — but this one bears mentioning a second time. He would have either given up on a defensive run four months ago, or he wouldn’t have even been in a position to try.


Joao Plata gave up possession incredibly cheaply with a slip. I won’t fault him too much on this, but it’s yet further evidence that when you give up the ball in defensive positions, you’re putting yourself in immediate danger of giving up a goal. This was no exception.


Papa Beltran (Big Daddy Tony, if you will) scored his first-ever MLS goal. And what a goal it was! He collects a superb cross from Jefferson Savarino, takes a magical touch (yer a wizard, Tony), and finishes at the near post with a calm-as-you-like shot. His lack of celebration is quintessential Tony Beltran. I know we didn’t win this one, but Beltran gave us hope late on. I hope his next goal comes in a win. (And that it comes soon. That would be great.)

85’-93’ RSL pushes late

This loss hurts in a lot of ways, but RSL never looked out of contention. We’ve come so, so far from that snow game against Vancouver. Obviously, we won that game, but we were in the midst of a mid-season collapse.

The hard part about this section of time? We also gave up good opportunities, and we gave away possession super cheaply. Heroic efforts from Justen Glad and Kyle Beckerman kept us from losing by a more dramatic scoreline, but Brooks Lennon failing to gain possession, combined with Luke Mulholland’s instances of giving up the ball inside the RSL half, made it incredibly frustrating.

Anyway, yeah. Better than earlier in the season, but not quite enough.