Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting Kansas City Report Card
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Tactics: Once again, with Alvaro Saborio out playing for his national team in the Gold Cup, Kreis elected for speed, clearly hoping Joao Plata and Robbie Findley could use that speed to get in behind Sporting KC's high line of attack.
Robbie Findley has all the tools. Speed, vision, athleticism and great skill on the ball. But since returning to RSL after two seasons in the EPL, Robbie has struggled to be consistent. At first, it was due to injury, but recently Findley seems to be waiting for the offense to come to him. And in a way, that's what made the difference. Findley found himself in the mouth of the goal on a Javier Morales free kick as Nat Borchers worried Kansas City keeper Jimmy Nielsen enough to flub the punch, and Findley was immediately in the air, adjusting mid-flight to pull his head back and snap the ball into the empty KC net. Strikers need goals to build confidence, and hopefully Saturday's will do just that.
Joao Plata was a menace Saturday night to Kansas City's back line. He had the only truly dangerous shot on goal in the first half and his ability to use his speed and small stature to frustrate the likes of Aurelian Collin and Ike Opara turned out to be RSL's best threat on a night when RSL needed some offensive players interested in countering Kansas City's high line of attack with speedy counterattacks.
Olmes Garcia (SUB) Once again, Garcia was a shot of power in the final 30 minutes. And it nearly changed the game in the 89th minute when he muscled past Collin to streak down the left side and power a shot goal ward that KC keeper Nielsen saved on a tremendous reaction dive.
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