RSL Cup blog taking a long much needed break

I've been a fan of Real Salt Lake since it joined MLS and took to the field in 2005, and I've been a fan of MLS since it began in 1996.

However, over the past couple of years, and especially the last several months, I've began to see the ugly underbelly of this sport. Most likely it has always been there and I was just too naïve to see it, but I cannot not see it anymore.

I'm taking a much needed break from the sport of soccer. I may or may not be back. I may or may not update this blog, I don't know. It would be a shame since I've had it up and running for almost 10 years, but the fun I once had just isn't there any more.

Hopefully you fare better.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Real Salt Lake sloppy but effective in grind-out draw in El Salvador

(by James Edwards 9-15-15)

It wasn’t pretty, but Real Salt Lake got the result it needed Tuesday night in El Salvador.

Fielding a mostly reserve lineup in a CONCACAF Champions League group game against Santa Tecla, the visitors escaped with a 0-0 draw to move to the top of the group and into the driver’s seat while advancing to the quarterfinals.

RSL played the final 11 minutes down a man after John Stertzer picked up a red card in the 79th minute, but Santa Tecla couldn’t capitalize on the advantage.

A big reason why was RSL’s substitutes. In a relatively sloppy match most of the night, RSL coach Jeff Cassar helped settle his team down by inserting Javier Morales and Joao Plata into the match in the 71st minute, and then Kyle Beckerman in the 81st minute after Stertzer’s red card.

The veterans helped RSL see out the road draw, which is always a good result in CONCACAF.

Had Luke Mulholland not squandered a great chance in the 40th minute, Real Salt Lake could’ve easily escaped with the full three points.

Instead, it sits on four points through two group games, tied with Municipal (Guatemala) which also has four points. Municipal, however, has played three of four matches, while Real Salt Lake still has two home matches remaining.

It hosts Santa Tecla on Sept. 24 and then Municipal on Oct. 20. With a win over Santa Tecla, Real Salt Lake would need only a draw against Municipal to advance.

With better finishing on Tuesday in El Salvador, RSL could’ve avoided any potential drama in that last group match, but not anymore.

RSL had more than enough experience on the field to get a positive result, particularly with regulars like Mulholland and Tony Beltran starting after missing Saturday’s match at Houston with yellow card accumulation.

Nobody else on the field could be considered first choice, but between Jeff Attinella, Devon Sandoval, Aaron Maund, Abdoulie Mansally and Luis Gil, they’ve played in a lot of big matches this season already.

The group could never settle into much of a rhythm on the turf at Estadio Las Delicias, but the draw was good enough considering the circumstances.


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