Tag Archive for TFC

Let the matches begin RSL vs TFC – match preview

For only the second time in club history and first time at Rio Tinto, RSL will open the season at home as they take on Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon. Facing teams from the East are often fairly easy affairs at home, I mean RSL is 7-1-0 vs TFC in Utah and 7-0-0 at Rio Tinto. RSL holds a +11 goal differential at home vs the defending Eastern Conference Champs, but we have to remember RSL hasn’t won a match in 7 months while TFC is coming off the shortest break in MLS history between MLS Cup and opening day.

This has the potential to be a thrilling match as both clubs showed last year that the traditional score first and win rule in MLS doesn’t apply to them, there is no safe lead against either of these sides.  This TFC side will look very similar to the one that played for MLS Cup in December, but for RSL there will be some very glaring differences from last year.  No Javier Morales, no Burrito Martinez, no Olave and while those players are gone it is likely RSL will also be without some regular starters from last year due to injuries and callups as I expect Kyle Beckerman, Aaron Maund will no start (or likely play) due to injury, Justen Glad will be with the U-20s (along with Sebastian Saucedo, Brooks Lennon and Danilo Acosta).  So it will be interesting to see what the starting XI and bench looks like on Saturday afternoon.

Keys to the Match:

There are a few keys to beating TFC, first of which is make someone other than Sebasitian Giovinco beat you.  You start the match with Luke Mulholland man marking him everywhere, when Luke gets a yellow card, you swap out Sunny on Gio, and if he gets a yellow you bring in Omar Holness to man mark him.  You don’t let him get behind you but you also have to no commit fouls in stupid places and let him beat you on a set piece.  Last year Giovinco accounted for 32 (15 goals, 17 assists) of TFC’s 51 goals, so over 60 percent of their offense comes from one guy. So to stop TFC, stop Gio.

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RSL recovers from LA match and prepares for Toronto FC

It is kinda funny that in 3 of the first 4 weeks of the MLS season RSL is facing a team built by Tim Leiweke, if you don’t know who Tim is well then you haven’t paid very close attention to MLS for the last 10 years or so.  We will talk about Tim in a bit.  So last Saturday RSL kicked off the home portion of their 2014 season, and while it didn’t go the way RSL players or fans wanted, the 1-1 draw was probably a fair result on a night that saw both sides suffer some big losses due to injuries.  We can relive the many bad calls that were made or not made but in the end there isn’t anything that can be done about that.

The loss of Joao Plata to a hamstring injury clearly impacted the rhythm and style that RSL wanted to play in the match, but in the end it may have been the elevation that drained both teams and turned the match into something resembling the Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug.  You know spots of excitement, but lots of “meh” to get to those spots. I will say this, Sabo’s goal was a great one but the highlight of the night had to be the capacity crowd that was loud, dedicated and rocking the entire match.  TIFOs, banners, signs, and flags were all around the stadium, enough so that Brian Dunseth reports several national soccer folks reached out to him to compliment the RSL faithful for their outpouring of team pride.

So with the Galaxy in the rear view mirror, sights are now set on Toronto FC that are coming to town, but this isn’t the same TFC as in years past, as I said RSL will be facing a Tim team for the 3rd time in their first 4 weeks of the season.  So I guess I should explain who this Tim guy is to those of you who may not know about him.

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