The biggest question for RSL when playing without leading goal scorer F Álvaro Saborío is where the goals will come from. In his post game comments, coach Jason Kreis admitted to challenging the forwards to score goals tonight, and putting pressure on the team to provide a big response. Coach Kreis also said that the extra pressure may have caused the team to be too amped up and trying to do too much. As a result, the play of the first half left the fans wondering if they would see any goals from either team.
That question was answered early in the second half. In the 47th minute GK Nick Rimando sent a perfect goal kick to the streaking F Joao Plata. Plata sent a crossing ball in for MF Luis Gil, who was trailing the play. Plata threaded his ball perfectly between the Vancouver defender and keeper to find the head of Gil who nodded it off the right post and in for the first goal of the match. Vancouver continued to put up a good fight and came very close to scoring on a shot that squirted away from Rimando and had eyes for the goal, only to be booted away by D Nat Borchers. Hope to see Borchers receive a Save Of The Week nomination for that one. RSL would strike again soon after on a nice through ball from MF Sebastian Velasquez to PLata, who crossed it to MF Javier Morales, who one timed it past the Vancouver keeper. Although Plata was unable to score himself, his two assists tonight bring his assist total to four, making him the MLS assist leader.
RSL hits the road with two games next week. The team faces the New England Revolution (2-3-3, 9 points) Wednesday night, and Montreal Impact (5-1-2, 17 points) on Saturday afternoon. Follow the coverage of Wednesday nights match here. Click here to see the complete coverage of tonights match against Vancouver.
RSL v Vancouver Match Stats