So I have to be honest I am very bummed that I had to leave after the first half of the reserve match between RSL and Houston this afternoon, but the day job had to be dealt with. Still there were some very interesting things from the first half worth taking notice of, first up is that it was the official debut of David Viana who signed with the team last month on the last day of MLS roster moves. He started out playing on the left side of the midfield and I thought his partnership with both Justin Braun and Kenny Mansally who were also focused on the left side of the pitch was very good. He showed some good quality on the ball and was able to make some very nice passes, he seems have a great vision for the game and a very accurate shot. He scored RSL’s second goal of the match, and a great shot from just outside the top of the area.
The scoring started when Emiliano Bongfigli found himself with the ball inside the area and was able to put it past Tyler Deric, who was in goal for Houston-
Then a rough tackle by Kenny Mansally lead to a PK call for Houston and Cam Weaver would step up and score his first goal of the match (he would end up with a hat trick, as would Emiliano)
It would be RSL that would answer back as David Viana was able to get a blistering shot off from outside the area that beat the keeper and would give RSL the 2-1 lead in the match, that is the picture at the start of the post. I had to leave at halftime but here are my thoughts on what I saw.
I thought the first half was very solid from the RSL reserves, it was good to see Kwame Watson-Siriboe back in action, even if it was only for 30 minutes. I thought Chris Schuler did a great job of organizing and commanding the team from his center back position, I could hear him clearly at the opposite end of the pitch. While he hasn’t signed with the team yet, Carlos Salcedo of the RSL academy again looked solid both at outside back and when he moved to center back when Kwame left the match. Kenny Mansally was very good in supporting the attack and I was impressed how he was able to use his pace to get into very good positions on both defense and offense.
The midfield started with Enzo Martinez, Yordany Alvarez, Sebastian Velasquez, and David Viana, Enzo would move to right back when Kwame left the match and Nico Muniz would join the RSL midfield.
I like Enzo and his commitment on both side of the ball was excellent, Sebastian was a workhorse as he tried to play provider as well as being disruptive when Houston had the ball
Up top was Justin Braun and Emiliano Bonfigli who both worked very had and were able to create some great chances consistently throughout the first half. It was great to see both of them willing to also do hard work on the defensive side of the ball, often coming back deep into the midfield to help out. A lot of energy and hard work from both of them.
Overall I was very impressed with what I saw from a number of players that could be contributing to the main RSL squad at any time. Now I am not sure what happened in the second half of the match but giving up 4 goals seems like something broke down, but with 3 more RSL goals the match ended up 5-5 in what was a very entertaining match for the couple of hundred RSL fans who stopped by to check out the action.
That’s How I See It