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RSL loses 2-1 to Atlas in Leagues Cup Showcase

The real story is that Aaron Herrera scored a goal from the defensive third.

MLS: Leagues Cup Showcase-Atlas at Real Salt Lake Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

In a match that featured Axel Kei on the field for 45 minutes, Zack Farnsworth playing his first-ever first-team minutes after a really long injury layoff, and a first-half Justin Meram red card, the real story is this: In a 2-1 Leagues Cup Showcase loss to Atlas, Aaron Herrera scored a goal from the defensive third.

There’s more to the story, of course. That goal came early — the 17th minute — and it was just as perfectly placed a shot over the goalkeeper as you could ask for. It was a tremendous, audacious chip, and Herrera hit the target perfectly.

19 minutes later, Justin Meram saw red for kicking an opposition player in the chest. It wasn’t deliberate, in that he never meant to kick somebody in the chest, but the high boot was intentional, as he was reaching for a ball on the edge of RSL’s box and simply shouldn’t have been. As such, his sending off was fairly non-controversial, as it doesn’t really matter what reasons you have for kicking a player in the chest; it’s simply not permissible.

From there, RSL defended mostly pretty well, but a couple poor moments saw the midfield and the defense separated, and Atlas finished well, first through Edgar Zaldivar in the 31st minute, then from Lucas Rodriguez in the 71st minute.

Most notably of the young players involved, Axel Kei came on at halftime, putting in a strong shift as a solitary forward, and Jude Wellings came in with just minutes left in the occasion.

Anyway, I know why you’re here. Here’s a clip of That Goal™.