Road games this year for Real Salt Lake have been hard to watch at times and that trend continued as RSL lost to Orlando City 3-1 away from home. After a promising first 45 from the away team, they found themselves leading 1-0 at the half. However, for the second consecutive week, at around the 60th minute it felt as though the game was changing and it did with Orlando scoring twice in a matter of 3 minutes. They never looked back, adding another goal to the tally and another win to their impressive start to the season. Jason Kreis now has won 6 games on the trot and has his men playing a very impressive brand of football. On to the next for RSL as they look to assert home field dominance against D.C United.
Here are my takes:
Corey Baird has found himself a role:
Point striker it is for Corey Baird who was incredibly lively against Orlando. Scoring in the 12th minute and smacking the woodwork later in the game, Baird was unlucky to not have a brace next to his name by the time it was all said and done. Defensive pressure and persistence have been something that RSL have lacked so far which is why I think Baird will maintain his starting role next Saturday night against D.C United. The young man has energy, he is a terrier and thrives in that role, he also showed class with the chip over the keeper to put RSL up 1-0 early. He was RSL’s best player and it was not even close in my opinion.
Adam Henley at RB, please?
Here is the problem you see, I am not sure if you recognized it but Orlando was pushing the ball up their left-hand side, in fact, they rarely attacked Pablo Ruiz at LB. Brooks-Lennon was getting bombarded and unfortunately the persistance paid off for Orlando as they found the back of the net on three different occasions in the second half. I respect the work that Lennon has done at RB and understand that at times he has shown glimpses of brilliance there, but, I think it is time to play Adam Henley at his preferred position and allow Lennon to return to the wing. Lennon last season was incredibly dangerous coming off the bench and replacing either Savarino or Plata, in fact, the energy he brought to the team whenever he entered the match was electrifying and was a big reason RSL went on the winning streak to end the season. Let’s stop getting fancy…play the lads at the positions they play best at and for Lennon, it’s LW or RW.
Here is what the gaffer had to say after the game:
"It's tough to look at the positives, but we created some clear cut chances." pic.twitter.com/ZbAmM05VOf
— Real Salt Lake (@RealSaltLake) May 7, 2018
Who is up next?
D.C United come to Rio Tinto Stadium to take on the Claret and Cobalt in a big game for both clubs. United sit in last place in the Eastern Conference with just 5 points to their name where as, RSL sit in 9th spot in the Western Conference but are coming off two consecutive losses and are in desperate need of a win. There is often a lot of conversation surrounding momentum in sport, this could be the game for RSL that they reach a level of momentum that catapults them forward. Petke and his players must be devasted that they didn’t get more from their road trips to Vancouver and Orlando, especially considering they were right there in the game with a half to play, and so now work must be done and 3 points must be picked up at home. It is that simple.
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