Real Salt Lake scored three goals en route to a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Impact Thursday. Here are five thoughts I had on the match.
1. Result Comment
Real Salt Lake came into this match desperately needing all three points. The side got them, though the match was a bit tougher than the records say it should have been. Still, the side accomplished the task of the moment and build some offensive momentum after a slow stretch.
“However you need to get the three points, that’s the focus,” midfielder Ned Grabavoy said. “When we have teams that are not confident in the way that they play, we need to win those games. So we took care of that tonight.”
2. Olmes Gets a Brace
After a great year in 2013, many of the youngsters on RSL have had a rough start to 2014. Olmes Garcia, more than just about any other player, embodied this problem. In 2013, he recorded five goals and four assists. Before Saturday’s match, he hadn’t scored or assisted in 2014. That’s a big problem because Salt Lake really needs a bigger target-like forward to step up in the absence of the injured Alvaro Saborio.
Olmes has both the speed and size to be the ultimate forward. That’s why RSL spent a small fortune purchasing his contract and signing him to a five year deal. His regression this season had been troubling, which is why it was particularly heartening to see him score a brace. The hope is that this will build momentum moving forward and he’ll continue to be a threat.
“[I’m] really happy for Garcia,” Grabavoy said. “Hopefully this gives him some confidence going forward and gives us a different option – whether he’s starting or coming off the bench.”
3. What Happened to the Defense?
Nick Rimando has been waiting to get his 112th shutout since before leaving for the World Cup. Number 112 would tie the all-time MLS record held by Kevin Hartman.
Four of the five players that comprise the back five today were starters on the record setting 2010 squad that allowed the fewest goals in MLS history to that point. Jamison Olave was good, but he wasn’t that good. So what has happened?
The side continues to be plagued by little mistakes that compound themselves into goals for opponents. Fortunately, it is still midseason, so the side can tighten those things up. However, it needs to get things corrected quickly if it wants to have a chance at the Supporters’ Shield.
“It’s been awhile [since we got a shutout]. It’s something that we’re talking about,” coach Jeff Cassar said. “It’s something that we’re definitely cognitive of and need to do better at.”
4. Luke Mulholland Strikes Again
It is getting hard to argue with Jeff Cassar when he starts Luke Mulholland over Luis Gil. Mulholland just keeps scoring and making big plays. This match was no different as Mulholland rewarded his manager for the start by scoring in the 3rd minute.
Cassar is known to be very high on Luke, and the English midfielder continues to reward Cassar’s trust. He fits into the system Salt Lake plays quite well and is a prospect for a Ned Grabavoy-like long term role with Salt Lake.
5. Goal Responsibility
Coach Jeff Cassar actually described what happened in the press conference. I’ll defer to him as this one was more of a team problem than one individual player.
“We gave away service twice. We let Krohl come inside hit a long diagnanol ball, and then we got stretched from there.”
Category: Five Thoughts