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RSL vs. LA Galaxy, preseason: What we learned

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It was the first semi-serious action of the season for the Claret and Cobalt.

Real Salt Lake   v Colorado Rapids Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Good

RSL Soccer is back! It is actually back! And while only pre-season, it is oh so sweet, and only made sweeter by the fact that we won.

Joao Plata was absolutely fantastic and looked hungry for a goal through the 45 minutes he played. If he maintains the hunger for the back of the net that was illustrated in this game RSL fans are sure to get their fill of Plata goals during the season.

Nick Besler hasn’t gotten any minutes with the first team so far, so it was fantastic to see a guy who most think to be on the fringes of even belonging on the first team to be able to nab a goal. He overall had a pretty impressive game, and if he keeps it up will be challenging for minutes in the midfield.

We have some height this year, and it seems that we are prepared to take advantage of it.

Aaron Herrera is very, very good.

The Bad

While perfect chemistry is surely not expected in the first pre-season game, it was certainly a lot worse than what many of us would have hoped for the first 45. The communication between the first wave of backline players was frankly awful. Things looked a lot better in the second half with a new set of players, but if RSL want’s to compete in the regular season this needs improvement.

While the tactical strategy for the upcoming year is surely going to be oriented around an emphasis on the quick counterattack - particularly the wingbacks ability to get forward. It seemed that was manifested most in the form of what resembled a Cassar-era long-ball strategy.

While there have been reports indicating that Sunny was not as fit as desired upon showing up to pre-season late, performance in this game turned report into fact as he collapsed on the pitch several times to catch his breath and ended up getting subbed off before playing his full 45 minutes.

The Ugly

Kyle, hair has not grown back yet. Yes, it’s still weird.

Jose Hernandez has yet to take the advice of every sensible person around him regarding the state of his hair. There was no love lost between the two teams and the existence of the long-running rivalry was evident as provided by the very physical game. Beckerman got in tight around one of the Dos Santos brothers early on bringing both players to the ground in what could probably termed a “coerced hug.” Perry Kitchen followed that up with the first yellow of the game with a horrible tackle on Jose Hernandez. While the the game would get a little less physical as it went on, both teams made it very clear that this was not a “friendly.”