So this morning in Tucson the first team for RSL, likely starters for next weeks CCL match, played a 45 minute scrimmage vs FC Tucson and while I got there a few minutes late it was clearly the Plata and Burrito show as Joao found the back of the net 3 times and had an assist on Martinez’s goal (Burrito had the assist on Plata’s first goal).
Now one should expect that RSL’s top guys should have been able to handle the amateur side fairly easily, and they did but FC Tucson pressed hard and played well as to give RSL a good workout. RSL focused on their positioning and communication as you could hear Nick Rimando constantly reminding guys to communicate.
A couple things stuck out to me, one was that Demar Phillips looked very involved on both sides of the ball, his positioning seemed very in flow with the match, going forward at the right time and being in position on defense whenn second was that Joao is ready to pick up where he left off in 2014 when he had a breakout year. Joao’s runs were well timed and he was able to find gaps to work in often with some great balls played to him by both Juan Manuel and Javier Morales.
Another thing of note was the play of Amass Amankona who came on for the final 20 minutes, he seems to have a real nose for the ball and often found himself in the middle of the action. While I still expect he will start the season with the Monarchs, I do think he is a player to keep an eye on as he is a lot of fun to watch.
You can check out my pictures from this morning here.
This evening I expect we will see the “2nd team” in action vs the Columbus Crew but it will provide guys with a chance to shine and catch the eye of the coaching staff as everyone is going to be fighting for minutes. As the guys who played this morning rest up and get ready for Tigres.
On the injury front, the only player who seems to still be sidelined is Luke Mulholland who is day to day.
That’s How I See It