First off, click HERE to see all of my pictures from the game.
I couldn’t wait for the first home game of the season like many of you and what better way to start it off than against our rivals from the other side of the mountain. First thing I do when I get to the stadium is head out and grab a picture before all of the fans get there. As I was heading out I saw Nat Borchers dressed in casual clothes greeting a few people. He told me he’ll be 100% soon and judging by his performance in Saturday’s reserve match, that won’t be long. The pregame was a lot of fun and the Salt City United Supporters put together an awesome banner displaying the domination by RSL over the years.
The game finally began and it didn’t take long to start attacking. One of the highlights came from a blast by Captain Kyle Beckerman that was tipped just over the crossbar by COL goalkeeper Matt Pickens. It was shortly after that when Pickens would go to clear a ball played in and collide with Kwame Watson-Siriboe and break his arm. I was able to snap a decent pic of it and if you look closely you can see the arm bending in a very unnatural position. (It gives me the chills) You could tell that the injury was bad and although he is one of our rivals, we wish him a speedy recovery.
As you know, we gave up a goal in the 37th minute. It was very unfortunate to dominate the first half as we did and then lose focus for one second and find ourselves down a goal. RSL became much more of a threat in the second half and began to press the issue. I was impressed by the stellar play of Luis Gil and Sebastian Velasquez whose creativity and hustle worked well together. Also, I wanted to note the effort on the part of Robbie Findley who seemed to work extremely hard for the ball but was either dispossessed or came up empty handed in the end. I sure hope he finds the score sheet soon because the work ethic is there. However, it wasn’t until Sandoval and Plata came in that RSL began creating a lot of chances which led to Sabo’s late equalizer. It was a clinical finish and the stadium erupted in cheers. It was extremely loud.
Overall I felt that we played well enough to win that game very easily if it wasn’t for that one defensive mistake. Hopefully as time goes on we can get sharper on both sides of the ball and remain healthy. I must also note the great play of Ned Grabavoy who came on in the second half to make his 2013 debut after dealing with some family issues. There was an intentional “S” put on the back of his jersey to show the club’s love and support for him and his family.
See you next time at the RIOT. Click HERE to see all my pictures from the game.