Keys to digging out of a 0-2 hole in Champions League

In RSL’s history in CONCACAF Champions league they have found a way to get some impressive wins at home.  The last time we were in the knockout rounds, RSL got a 4-1 win in the second leg over the Columbus Crew to move on to the semifinals.  In their home leg of those semifinals, they picked up a 2-0 win at home over Saprissa.

In the 2010 group stage, there was a 4-1 win over TFC at home and a 3-1 win over Cruz Azul (that wouldn’t be good enough on Wednesday), in 2012 there was a group stage there was a 2-0 win over Tauro.

In MLS action RSL had 20 home wins in the last 5 seasons where the score would have been enough to advance them or at least push the 2nd leg to extra time.

So for those who doubt the ability of RSL to comeback, there is more than enough evidence to suggest that the team is capable of turning this series around and moving forward.

It won’t be easy, but if you watched the first match last week you know the two things RSL must do:

  1. Capitalize on chances – Of the 12 shots RSL took, 3 of the 4 off target shots were actually taken inside the area where finishing must be clinical. There were 5 shots on target but 3 of them were from outside the area where traditionally few goals are scored from, all 3 RSL shots that were blocked were also from outside of the area.  To score goals you must capitalize on opportunities be they ones you create or mistakes made by your opponents.  RSL needs at least 2 goals, so without scoring moving on will be impossible.  This is why RSL took the time and spent the money to bring back Yura Movsisyan and bring in Juan “Burrito” Martinez last year, the spotlight if firmly on them.
  2. Defend, defend, defend – Both goals scored last week were off mistakes made on set pieces, that can’t happen again and is something RSL must work on all season. Beyond the goals were far too many opportunities for a team that scores a lot of goals (see their 4-1 win over Club America this weekend as an example), if we are honest about things RSL could have given up 4-5 goals if Tigres had been able to take advantage of their chances.  I haven’t heard any injury reports on RSL, but I will be out at practice on Tuesday so I will get some updates then.

While I loved the move to bring back Yura, and Sunny looks like he could be a good pickup, the biggest question out of last season was our defense and heading into the second leg of this series it remains the biggest question in my mind.

That’s How I See It

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