On Saturday night RSL got back to their winning ways with a dominate 2-1 win over the Seattle Sounders. The match saw the return of Javier Morales to the pitch as well as a coming out party for Devon Sandoval who had his first MLS start.
There were so many good things that came from this match. If it wasn't for the brilliant play of Seattle keeper Michael Gspurning, RSL might have had five or more goals. The offense played at a level that we have not seen in a long time. It was great to see Robbie Findley get a goal, but then it was heartbreaking to have to see him leave the game so quickly afterwards.
The play that lead to Gil's goal was a thing of beauty. I was really happy that Gil was able to put one away as it has seemed that every match he has had a least one good chance on goal. This might be the thing that really gets him going.
I thought the midfield play overall was wonderful. Unlike against Dallas where it seemed like we were bypassing the midfield completely, in this match the midfield simply dominated. I thought that both Grabavoy and Velasquez both had a very good match. The back four played solid as well with Mansally having what I thought was his best match in an RSL uniform.
The highlight of the night for me was the play of Devon Sandoval. He has impressed me every time I have seen him play and he really stepped up for his first start. His work rate is outstanding. As I have said in the past, his positioning is great for such a young player. The way he plays with his other teammates on the pitch is also wonderful. He is always making that last little pass that springs his teammates in on goal.
The only down side that I saw in that match was from Joao Plata. Don't get me wrong, I think he did play well. But he had two one-on-one's with Gspurning and was unable to put either one away. He has to do a better job with those. I think the thing that bothered me the most was that after those two chances he almost became too determined to score. It got to the point that he was taking poor shots when he should have looked for his teammates instead.
This was a huge win in the early season for RSL. They really needed to get three points at home against a struggling Seattle team. With the heavy road schedule at the first of the year for RSL, it is very important to get as many points as they can from their home matches.