Real Salt Lake vs. Philadelphia Union report Card

Published: Wednesday, July 3 2013 11:36 p.m. MDT

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Tactics: Kyle Beckerman is away with national team duty in the Gold Cup. Last week's goal scorer, Yorday Alvarez, filled in for Beckerman. Kreis went back to a 4-4-2 formation from his 4-3-3 that harried Toronto's back line last week.

Ned Grabavoy: Grabavoy played two positions Wednesday night, attacking wing and holding midfielder after the Alvarez sub. He was excellent at both positions. His play at holding mid was the difference in the second half, allowing Javier Morales more freedom to roam and attack along Philadelphia's back line and exact an assist and a goal on the visiting Union.

Javier Morales played solid soccer in the first half, but he seemed possessed by both the officiating and the ejection of Lovel Palmer in the second half. The addition of Luis Gil and the repositioning of Ned Grabavoy to the holding midfield spot gave Morales much better service out of the backfield and that, combined with terrific individual skill and effort, put RSL back into the game during the final 30 minutes of the game. But without 11 men on the field, it would have taken much stronger play from the entire team during the second half to keep RSL tied up after Luis Gil's goal. But that didn't phase Morales. The RSL all-star found himself at the penalty spot in the 94th minute after a Raymon Gaddis handball in the box and pinged one in off the right post to bring RSL level to stay unbeaten in their last seven games across all competition and win Man of the Match.

Yordany Alvarez looked rattled at times during the first half. Philadelphia played a very high line of engagement and the pressure gave Alvarez fits. He struggled to link up with Javier Morales and the forward line and RSL struggled to find much rhythm during the first half.

Khari Stephenson struggled to find a way into the attack without Kyle Beckerman directing play in the midfield. His positioning was too shallow much of the game, though his touch and physical presence were decent quality. He did have a shot from distance in the 44th minute that gave fans some hope, but it skidded low and wide left to no avail.

Luis Gil (Sub '58) Jason Kreis had enough of Alvarez's struggle at defensive mid and subbed him out in place of Luis Gil, who moved into Ned Grabavoy's spot to get into the attack. He made a massive impact, scoring off a Javier Morales corner kick in the 75th minute to even things up — his third goal of the season, all three scored with his head.

Sebastian Velasquez (Sub '71) had an immediate impact, putting a beautiful stopover move on Philly's right back Raymond Gaddis, taking him out of the play completely and taking the attack into the box to Plata, who played it back to him for a near goal but for a fingertip save. He was pure magic with his feet much of the night, including his pesky play in the box in the 94th minute that threw Philly defender Raymon Gaddis off enough to throw up his hand and deflect the ball that put Javier Morales at the PK spot.
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