Evaluation: RSL @ LA
I’d say that Real did well to control the game and keep the ball. The only two instances that the Galaxy enjoyed enough possession in the final third to really attack RSL hard were around the twenty-seventh minute, when Landon Donovan sent a rocket against the crossbar and Mike Magee tried our a bicycle kick, and in the dying moments of the game, when they pressed and pressed and forced some spectacular saves by Rimando and the defense.
LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena took the blame for his team’s loss, but honestly, I believe that RSL simply knocked the Galaxy out with their 3 late goals and LA had nothing left in the tank to fight back with. If LA is so focused on Champions League play, then why would they put a full-strength line-up on the field against Real Salt Lake in a game that only accounts for 3.something percent of the season. They wouldn’t. Arena thought that this game against Real was more important than his upcoming CCL clash with Toronto. And that’s why he played his starters instead of resting them. They simply failed. No excuses.
The RSL youngsters that featured in the match did quite well. Chris Schuler was very solid across the backline aside from a really bad pass to Chris Wingert in the second half and a missed attempt to get a cross out of the danger area. He fit in well, but I wasn’t quite as impressed with his performance last night as I was with his preseason performance. Sebastian Velasquez was the very opposite. In the preseason he played well I thought, but I didn’t think he was really mature enough for the first team. He proved me wrong. Very wrong. He was a standout player on the field. He performed so well that I am absolutely positive that he will be starting for RSL for good stretches throughout the season. I think he’s a guy that could end up being an RSL great in the future if he stays with the club.
Ha ha! Oh, David Beckham! He always makes me laugh when he plays against Real! He is so lethal in the attacking third, yet he seems to lapse at just the right moment on defense and ends up getting scored on! Look at Real’s home opener last year. When Morales scored his wonderstrike from outside the penalty area, Beckham, who was supposedly marking Javi, was simply staring into space and not paying attention at all. Watch the highlights of that 4-1 win on youtube.com. On Javier’s goal, the camera will show a dazed Beckham realizing that Morales is running past him! And then last night. Again on Javier Morales’ scrappy goal, David was caught way behind the play after screaming at the official, Kevin Stott.
Well, overall RSL played well. And they also got the result they were looking for!