RSL report card: Substitutes shine in dramatic 5-2 U.S. Open Cup extra-time win

Published: Thursday, June 13 2013 8:44 a.m. MDT

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Starters: Nat Borchers, Aaron Maund, Chris Wingert, Tony Beltran

Substitution: Joao Plata (forward) for Maund

Tactical Shift: Upon Plata’s substitution, RSL shifted to 3-4-3. Following Sandoval’s goal, Grabavoy dropped from midfield to defense, restoring the 4-4-2 formation.

Jason Kreis presented Maund with a big opportunity to show his skill and earn more minutes in the defensive rotation Wednesday night. He didn’t do himself many favors.

“It wasn’t the best, to be honest and frank,” Kreis said. “He looked a little hesitant both with decisions when we didn’t have the ball and when we did have the ball. It’s a learning experience for him. We’ll be looking for teaching moments and improvement.”

Though not directly responsible for Charleston’s two early goals, Maund struggled with positioning and passing, crucial parts of RSL’s defensive strategy. He didn’t handle Charleston’s three pressing forwards very well, and Charleston obviously knew it and took advantage early.

Besides Maund, the rest of RSL’s defense performed admirably. Those players kept their shape and functioned well as a good release for pressure from the midfield. Other than a dismal 15-minute stretch in the first half, the defense didn’t allow Charleston to seriously test Josh Saunders.

That is not to say, however, that Charleston really tried much after getting its second goal in the 18th minute. Furthermore, by the time extra time rolled around, the Battery’s forwards were spent.

Grade: B+
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