Welcome to From The Upper Deck, my blog about RSL and soccer in general. I have a lot of passion for the beautiful game. I am just a fan that likes to sit in the upper deck and take it all in.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

End of Year Review- Minutes per Team Goal

I wanted to start writing end-of-year reviews looking at many of the stats that I have kept track of over the past year. In part one I take a look at what is probably my favorite stat to keep, minutes per team goal (MpTG). Although it is not a perfect stat, it does show trends on how well the team plays when a particular player is on the field compared to when he is not.

Last week's Chivas match was a perfect example of why I created this stat. No one can deny the effect that Javier Morales had on the team when he came on in the second half. It wasn't too long after that RSL scored not one but two goals. But if you look at the official stat sheet, Morales' name is no where to be found. According to official stats he had no affect on either goal. But that is not correct. He might not have scored a goal or got an assist but his positive play did help others to score those goals.

This is where MpTG comes in. It gives Morales credit for being on the field when the team scores the goals. When you look at this stat over the course of the whole year you can really see trends of which players affected the offense in a positive way and on the flip side which players caused the offense to struggle.

As a whole, the team played 3060 minutes over the course of the season scoring 57 goals. This comes out to scoring a goal every 53.68 minutes. Here is how each player did while they were on the field. Since this is an offensive stat I did not include any players that played on the back line or in goal. I also did not calculate stats for Grossman or Stertzer due to their limited minutes played.

Player Min Goals MpTG
Morales 2282 51 44.75
Garcia 995 22 45.23
Velasquez 892 18 49.56
Plata 1645 32 51.41
Grabavoy 2688 52 51.69
Sandoval 885 17 52.06
Beckerman 2281 42 54.31
Stephenson 790 14 56.43
Gil 2061 35 58.89
Saborio 1346 22 61.18
Findley 1260 19 66.32
Alvarez 981 13 75.46

There are a lot of interesting things to take note of when looking at these numbers. Garcia had been leading the team in MpTG for most of the season but at the end he started to slump and Morales' numbers dropped enough for him to lead the team. It is even more impressive that Morales led the team as a starter. Due to the nature of more goals being scored later in matches, many times players that are substitutes tend to have lower MpTG. 

I also find it very interesting that Saborio and Findley have higher MpTG. Statistically speaking the team as a whole scored better when they were off the field  than when they were on the field. 

Now lets take a look how the team did when each player was not on the field. 

Player Min not played Goals MpTG
Gil 1003 22 45.59
Findley 1800 38 47.37
Alvarez 2138 44 48.59
Saborio 1709 35 48.83
Beckerman 779 15 51.93
Stephenson 2180 41 53.17
Plata 1416 25 56.64
Velasquez 2078 35 59.37
Sandoval 2086 35 59.6
Garcia 1971 33 59.73
Grabavoy 372 5 74.4
Morales 778 6 129.67

In many ways this number is more eye opening than the first set of numbers above. I was really surprised to see that the team had the highest scoring rate when Gil was not on the field. Again Findley and Saborio does not show as well as expected in these numbers. The number that sticks out the most to me is the bottom one. RSL played 778 minutes without Morales and only scored 6 times. 

Finally here is the difference between the two numbers above. The higher the number, the longer it took the team to score when they player was not on the field compared to when he was. 

Player Difference
Morales 84.92
Grabavoy 22.71
Garcia 14.5
Velasquez 9.82
Sandoval 7.54
Plata 5.23
Beckerman -2.38
Stephenson -3.26
Saborio -12.35
Gil -13.29
Findley -18.95
Alvarez -26.87

I can't believe that it took RSL 84 minutes longer to score a goal when Morales was not on the field. There is no doubt in my mind that Morales was the team MVP this year and this stat really shows why.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Eye on the Academy- Coaching Development

By Pat Eyler

RSL’s academy is something special, but there is always room for growth.  Some of that growth is because of things the academy does on its own.  Some of it comes from the senior team.  I recently found out about a league-wide program that looks poised to help all of the MLS academies.

"On Feb. 25, MLS announced a partnership with the French Football Federation designed to bring the 19 MLS teams’ youth academies to a higher level by enrolling one coach from each in the 16-month Elite Formation Coaching License course. Eight weeks of classroom and field instruction culminate in several weeks of observation at the academy of a premier European club with the course completing in May 2014."

Since I haven’t been able to find much more about this program, I went to Grande Sports Academy to see what I could find out.  Coach Freddy Juarez is RSL’s participant in the program.  He was kind enough to talk to me for a few minutes and share his thoughts.

Why is the league doing this?
MLS wants to be one of the best leagues in the world, and they know that they need to make those improvements from the bottom up.  We know that the French Federation is one of the best in the world with respect to player development.  They export the most players in Europe to the professional leagues.  This is a chance to educate us in how they do things.

How have you been involved so far?
Well, it’s an eight week course, it’s very demanding.  We will put in over 900 hours of work by the time the course is over in classroom settings and on the field.

Back in March, I spent the first week of the course, 9 days, in Clairefontaine, France.  After that, I spent time at the Athletic Bilbao's Academy observing their program.

In June, we spent 10 days in here in the States.  And I just got back from 12 more days in Clairefontaine, followed by an observation period at Bordeaux.

There will be two more sessions, the next one will probably be domestic and the last one in Clairefontaine.  We’re supposed to finish next October.

It is great to see the league doing a program like this and that an RSL coach gets to participate. We will continue to follow Coach Juarez and this program and will check back in with him at a later date to see how everything has gone and will report back here.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Crunching the Numbers- Chivas

The season has now come to a close for Real Salt Lake. They ended on a high note defeating Chivas 2-1. With the end of the season, I will now start crunching through all the numbers, and over the course of the next few weeks will be posting many end-of-year reviews of different statistics. But, before I get too far ahead of myself let's take a look at some interesting numbers that came out of the Chivas match and some end of the year team stats:

  • RSL finished the season scoring 57 goals which was 11 more than the previous club record. That averages out to a goal every 53.68 minutes.
  • The team gave up 41 goals on the season or a goal every 74.63 minutes. This comes out as ranking 5th out of the club's nine year history.
  • RSL scored 31 goals at home and 26 goals on the road. They gave up 16 goals at home and 25 goals on the road. The team ended with a goal differential of +16. 
  • The team scored 38.60% of their goals in the first half and 61.40% of their goals in the second half. They gave up 39.02% of their goals in the first half compared to 58.54% of their goals in the second half.
  • RSL was most productive in the final 15 minutes of matches scoring 19 times or 33% of all their goals. They were least productive between the 15-30 minute of matches only scoring 5 times (8.77%).
  • RSL gave up the most goals during the final 15 minutes of matches, giving up 13 goals during that time (31.71%). They gave up the least amount of goals between the 15-30 minute of matches giving up 4 goals during that time (9.76%).
  • This season RSL scored 51 times when Javier Morales was on the field or a goal every 44.75 minutes. When Morales did not play, RSL scored 6 goals or a goal every 129.67 minutes. 
  • RSL was a +18 when Morales was on the field. This is the highest +/- on the team just edging out Tony Beltran who was a +17. 
  • Nat Borchers and Chris Schuler played 900 minutes together this season. During that time RSL gave up 8 goals or a goal every 112.50 minutes. Statistically this was the best center back pairing on the season for RSL.
  • Alvaro Saborio and Joao Plata played 441 minutes together this season. During that time RSL scored 13 times or a goal every 33.92 minutes. Statistically, this was the best forward pairing for RSL. 
  • RSL had 8 players on the team with 4 or more goals. 
I find a lot of the above numbers fascinating. The thng that stood out to me the most were the numbers dealing with Morales. I have been pointing out the difference from when Morales plays and doesn't play for a while. The Chivas match really highlighted this. The match changed dramatically as soon as Morales came in. This match also shows why a stat like Minutes per Team Goal (MpTG) is so important. Morales did not show up on the stat sheet for either goal scored. But, everyone that watched that game knows that Morales positively effected both goals.

Although Plata is better coming off the bench than starting, I think that the starting strike partnership going into the playoffs has to be Saborio and Plata.  As noted above, when Sabo and Plata play, RSL scores every 33.92 minutes. Now lets compare that to when Sabo and Findley play together. When those two play, RSL scores every 103.80 minutes. That is a pretty big difference.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Eye on the Academy- The Alums

By Pat Eyler

RSL's academy has 40 alumni playing at various levels of college soccer this year.  I’m not even going to try to track all of them, but there are some that really seem to be doing well and I think those are worth focusing on. Lets start with a non-field player:  Matt Bersano, GK, Oregon State University: 12 games, 12 starts, 12 goals allowed, 5 clean sheets, 51 saves - those are just crazy numbers, a 1.0 GAA and 4.25 saves/game. RSL seems to have a real gift when it comes to keepers.

I think there are eight players that deserve some attention and five of those are freshmen.  Even with a defender in their midst, they have accounted for 17 goals and 25 assists so far this season while playing for pretty good teams. In fact, I’m going to point out Eti Tavares as well. Based on his production, could he could stand to play against higher level opponents.

Player (Yr Pos Games/Starts)
Jordan Allen (Fr F/D 13/13)
Andrew Brody (Fr M 13/13)
Ive Burnett (Fr D 13/13)
South Carolina

David Flores (Jr M 5/0)
Loyola Marymount

Phanuel Kavita (Jr D 14/14)

Riggs Lennon (Fr F 13/6)
Coco Navarro (Fr F 13/13)
Ricardo Velazco (So M/F 13/13)


Eti Tavares (So F 20/20)
Arizona Western

The 5 freshman all show up in Top Drawer Soccer’s midseason ranking the top 100 freshmen in college soccer: Jordan Allen (#3), Andrew Brody (#8), Coco Navarro (#31), Riggs Lennon (#37), and Ive Burnett (#97).

Several of these players have put in reserve stints for RSL and impressed there.  Some have seen Junior National Team minutes as well. I wouldn't mind seeing some of these guys playing for an RSL run PDL team during their college summers, and someday maybe wearing the jersey of the full team.  I wonder what their college coaches would think of them getting more of the RSL family grooming that helped them hone their games thus far.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Crunching the Numbers- Portland

With the playoffs quickly approaching, the post season picture is beginning to become a little clearer for RSL. The chances for the Supporters Shield appear all but gone after the 0-0 result in Portland. The good news is that RSL did clinch a playoff berth for the sixth consecutive season. Also the RSL defense which had been struggling put in one of their best performances of the season.

Some people might think that there are not a lot of stats that would come out of a 0-0 result but I did find some things that I find very interesting. Lets take a look:

  • RSL has scored 55 times on the season or a goal every 54.00 minutes. This continues to be the best in the league.
  • The team has given up 40 goals or a goal every 74.25 minutes. 
  • Over the past 5 matches, RSL has only scored 3 times. This comes out to a goal every 150.00 minutes.
  • Over the past 3 matches the team has only given up 1 goal or a goal every 270.00 minutes. 
  • Chris Schuler has played 1350 minutes. During that time RSL has given up 14 goals or a goal every 96.43 minutes (best on the team). When Schuler doesn't play RSL is giving up a goal every 62.31 minutes. 
  • Schuler and Nat Borchers have played 810 minutes together. During this time RSL has given up 7 goals or a goal every 115.71 minutes. Statistically, this is by far the best center back pairing on the team. 
  • When Javier Morales plays RSL is scoring a goal every 45.65 minutes. When Morales doesn't play that number drops to a goal every 122.17 minutes. That is a difference of 76.51 minutes longer for goals to be scored when he is not playing!
  • Alvaro Saborio and Robbie Findley have played 491 minutes together. During that time RSL has scored 5 goals or a goal every 98.20 minutes. Statistically, this is the worst on the team for all strike partnerships. When that pair does not play RSL is scoring at a rate of a goal every 49.58 minutes. 
The return of Chris Schuler has been just the thing that this defense has needed. He has been dominate in the three games since his return. His aerial presence is something that has been sorely missed by the team at times this year. He just seems to win every ball that comes his way in the air. Since his return, the team has only conceded 1 goal. And that goal was when RSL was down a man. Before his return, RSL had given up 2 or more goals in 9 out of their last 12 matches. 

I find it really interesting (ironic?) that as our defense comes into form our offense is grinding to a halt. RSL really struggles to score when Morales is not on the field. As he is battling a knock received in training let's hope that he is healthy to go by the time the playoffs starts. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Eye on the Academy- Lagerwey and Kries

By Pat Eyler

I know I said that I’d be writing about academy alums now playing at the college level (and that’s still percolating) but something came up while I was away on vacation that I thought deserved some discussion.  Grande Sports Academy posted to interviews to their blog with Jason Kreis and with Garth Lagerwey. Both are great reads and you really should go take a look at them.

I saw three really interesting things that I’d like to chat about:
  1. A focus on continued improvement and not sitting on their laurels.  Garth said, “One great mistake they could make was to decide they have arrived now. We want to consistently compete for champions, but also for the personal and professional [development] of the kids. If they do that we will continue to see better and better players for Real Salt Lake.” He also made this comparison, “Why can’t we aspire to be Barcelona? Are we there yet? Are we close? Of course not. But if we can continue to recruit the players in that training environment with that staff and with the support they have there is no reason to set any limits on ourselves. That’s how high our expectations should be.”  With a vision like that, I’m more excited than ever about the academy program.
  2. A focus on development, not results. Again, Garth puts it well, ““It’s funny. The Reserve League games make the players visible . But what’s more important to us is how they train with us.  . . .  I’m less concerned at how they play Reserve Leagues game at 15, 16, and 17 years old.  . . . It’s how they train and there is no question that the training has improved since the advent of the academy.”  This has been something I’ve thought important all along.  It’s great to see nice results, but it’s more important to see growth in the players.  It’s also one of the hardest things to do with a distant academy - fortunately, the GSA folks do a pretty good job of posting information.
  3. (This is the most speculative.)  Combining some things that Jason and Garth said, I think we can get a glimpse of the future of RSL’s development.  Several things stood out to me her:
    1. JK talks about the difficulty of having the academy further away and the desire to bring players into training every day - RSL has talked before about a SLC based arm of the academy.  I think we’ll see this sooner rather than later
    2. Garth talks about finding players even younger and engaging them in the RSL system sooner.  Could we see a U-15 team at some point?
    3. Jason also mentioned sending younger full team players down to a U-21 team.  The academy (and as far as I can tell, the USSF academy program) don’t have a U-21 program.  This is exactly in line with the PDL league structure though.

If I carry out the speculation in #3 far enough, I get to a really interesting place.  Could RSL support a full academy and team in SLC, a PDL team in Ogden, and a USLPro team in Utah County?  Would that spread the geographic reach of the RSL franchise? Or, would it be easier to support all of those teams from a single SLC base?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What Might Have Been- Missed Chances for the Shield

Last night broke pretty well for RSL's slim chance of winning the Supporter Shield. Seattle's loss was a huge help and KC only getting a draw against Houston helped as well. Currently there are seven teams within five points of the Shield leader Red Bulls. Every point is crucial right now.

As I was looking at the updated standings I kept thinking how I wish we had even one more point. One more point would greatly increase our chances of winning the Shield. Now in every season there are going to be games that you get a late goal to win or at least get a draw. There will also be those heart breaking games that the opposing team scores late and you lose out on points. The hope is that your team has the former happen a lot more than the latter. At the very worst you hope they even out. The last thing that you want is to be a team that is giving up many late goals so that you are dropping a lot of points. Unfortunately that is exactly where RSL has been this year.

I went through and reviewed RSL's season and discovered they have been poor at finishing out games. Not only poor, very poor. To make matters worse, they have not been particularly good at coming back to salvage points from a losing position.

RSL has been very good at jumping out and taking early leads in matches. In 21 of RSL's 32 games played they have scored the first goal. That is 65%. Not bad at all. The problem is that RSL is not holding on to those leads.

There have been four matches where RSL has had the lead and the opposing team came back to get a draw. That is eight lost points for RSL. There have been four more matches where RSL has had the lead at some point in the match and the opposing team came back to win. That is another 12 lost points for RSL. If RSL could have held on to all of their leads they would have 20 more points in the chase for the shield. 20! Could you imagine if RSL currently had 72 points?

Now as I said above, no team holds on to all of their leads. Every team is going to have dropped points. But you hope that you came back in more games than you let slip away. This hasn't been the case for RSL. There have been four occasions where RSL was trailing and they came back to salvage a draw. That is not too bad. It matches up with how many times other teams came back to get draws against RSL. The team has only come back one time from being down in a match to end up winning that match. That hurts compared to the four times other teams have come back to win.

So let's just throw out the draws as a wash. RSL dropped four and gained four. All of RSL's problems comes from the fact that four times they held the lead and then ended up losing the game. Since RSL did come back to win a match from a losing position that is still nine points that RSL dropped. Nine extra points right now would be huge! Three of those four losses came to goals scored in stoppage time. And all four had multiple goals scored after the 65th minute for the opposing teams.

And then there is the disaster in DC; currently DC United only has 15 points on the season. That is pitiful. Three of those points came from their victory over RSL in the beginning of the season. Now granted, RSL was never leading in that game, so it is a bit different than what I was talking about above. But how painful is it to think that 20% of DC's total points came from their win over RSL? (and I won't even bring up the USOC Final) How nice would it be for RSL now if they would have gotten a win or even just a draw against the worst team in the entire league?

As things look today there is a good chance that the NY Red Bulls will win the Supporters Shield. If they do win the Shield they will have RSL to thank for it. Or more appropriately, a five minute stretch against RSL to thank for it. If you think back to July 27th, in the 89th minute RSL was leading NY 3-2. Five minutes later the final whistle was blown and NY walked away with a 4-3 victory. What would today be like if RSL could have just held on for the victory? They would be currently sitting with 55 points and a three point lead over the rest of the league in the race for the Shield. And the odds of NY winning the Shield would be slim to none. That is a huge difference than what we have today.

There is a chance that I am writing this article premature. RSL might win their last two matches, get some breaks along the way, and they will take home the Shield. I hope that this will be the case. But if RSL does end up losing out on the Supporters Shield (along with the US Open Cup) we will always look back at this season and think what might have been.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Crunching the Numbers- Dallas

It was not the best of weeks for RSL. After the disappointing loss to DC United, the team really hoped to bounce back against FC Dallas. The early red card made that a little hard to do and RSL came out with  a decent 1-1 result. The offense continues to struggle to put up the numbers that it was producing for most of the season. In league play RSL has only scored 3 goals in their past 4 games (plus not scoring any goals in the USOC Final either).

Here are some more interesting numbers coming out of the match:
  • RSL has now scored 55 goals on the season or a goal every 53.36 minutes. They are still leading the league in goals scored.
  • The team has given up 40 goals on the year or a goal every 71.00 minutes.
  • Alvaro Saborio now has 11 goals in only 14 games played. He is scoring at a rate of .85 goals every 90 minutes that he plays. 
  • Saborio and Robbie Findley have played 419 minutes together. During this time RSL has scored 5 times or a goal every 83.8 minutes. Statistically, out of all the RSL forward pairings, the team scores the least when Saborio and Findley play together. 
  • Chris Schuler has now played 1260 minutes on the season. During that time RSL has given up 14 goals or a goal every 90.00 minutes. RSL has played 1620 minutes without Schuler in the lineup. In that time the team has given up 26 goals or a goal every 62.31 minutes. 
  • Schuler and Nat Borchers have played 630 minutes together as a centerback pairing for RSL. In that time the team has given up 6 goals or a goal every 105.00 minutes. This is the best for any RSL centerback pairing. 
  • RSL has an incredible record of 35-6-9 when Saborio scores a goal.
  • The team has scored 29 goals at home and 26 goals on the road. They have given up 15 goals at home and 25 goals on the road. 
Statistically, Saborio is having a great season in the limited games that he has played. Not only is he leading the team in goals scored but he also leads the team in shots on goal and is third on the team in shots taken. He has done all of this in only 14 out the the 32 games that RSL has played this year.

Even with all of these stats I still question if Saborio is too much of the offense when he plays. I originally took a look into this about a month ago and since that time I am still undecided if the team really does play better with or without Saborio. Here is one last stat on the subject. When Saborio plays and he does not score a goal, RSL has a record of 19-28-17. That is a big difference than the 35-6-9 when he does score.

One huge plus to the team has been the return of Chris Schuler. He has been outstanding since returning from his foot injuries. Since returning to health the team has only given up 1 goal in the three games that he has played in (two MLS matches and a reserve league game). He has been dominate in the air and that was something that RSL has seemed to be missing. Hopefully he can stay healthy for the final stretch of the season.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

RSL Family- Garth Lagerwey

What is a family? Your family are people that are always there for you. They are there in the good times and in the bad. They are there to pick you up when you are down. As I write this, I am down. I am still reeling from the gut punch that was the US Open Cup final. My original plan was to write a different blog post today. But I just couldn't get motivated to write anything. So I am turning to something that will lift me up. I am turning to the RSL Family.

This series of posts that I have written has brought me a lot of joy. I love to hear people's perspectives on something that I have come to truly love. The last area of the team that I have yet to hear from is the front office. Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to talk with the General Manager of RSL, Garth Lagerwey. I asked him the same question that I have asked everyone else up to this point. What does the RSL Family mean to you? I also asked him if what we have here is unique?

Before I came out and took the job in 2007 I had been in Utah for one day. Jason (Kreis) and I went four wheeling after a game I did as a television announcer for DC United. So I knew nothing about the state and I had spent my life in the Midwest and the East Coast. I grew up in Chicago and professionally I had been in DC. I had probably a lot of the stereotypes that the East Coast types had about Utah based purely out of ignorance. The thing that has meant a whole bunch to me is that since I have moved here and got married and had a kid it has been just a wonderful experience for my family. The community has been so welcoming, so hospitable, and they have so embraced our team, it has just been a wonderful personal experience.
And to do that in the context of the coaching staff where Jeff (Cassar) Jason and I have worked together for six years. And Miles (Joseph) and CJ (Brown) a little bit less. We are so tight on the technical side as well. That has been a very cool strength to have. Jeff and Jason are guys that I have known for 20 years and that is a big deal. Actually 25 years for Jason. But it has become more than that on the technical side where we have worked together and have gone through so much together where it is now a really tight knit group. So to have both the community side and the staff side has been really neat. 
I think it is unique to have a staff the way we have a staff and I think being able to start in a smaller place like Salt Lake gave us a chance to build what we wanted to build. I think we would have had more scrutiny and harsher media attention in a larger city. Now I say that but in 2007 most people were not very kind to us. Certainly when we were hired there were not a lot of people that heard of Jason coming straight off the playing field and had never heard of me, understandably. So we felt we had a lot to prove and we turned that into a strength because we were very very hungry and we were willing to work very hard to prove everyone wrong. But I think this community enabled that to happen. The other person that deserves credit too is Dave Checketts because he is the guy that hired us and stuck with us and gave us time to develop and figure it out. Lots of things contribute to success and I am just really grateful for the progress we have been able to make. 
The thing we tried to do is to figure out what we believed in and put it on paper. Jason was the driver of that and deserves a lot of credit for that. And I viewed our job in terms of linking soccer to the community which is a general description of my job, my off the field soccer job. We tried to make the things we believed in like "the team is the star" to make a reflection in the community. We have tried very very hard to do that and I think our fans have embraced it and it has resonated and that is what is what has contributed to everyone feeling a part of this. Is it unique? I don't know if it is unique, that might be too strong of a word but it is special. 
 At this point I mentioned how I believe that the RSL Family, as we know it today, really started to form as the fans and community rallied around Andy William's wife Marcia when she was fighting leukemia.
I think that is a great point. Marcia still sits in my box every game with Andy. I still wear my wristband for her. That one means a lot to me. I am just so grateful for every day that we have Marcia. I think that is astute and probably right. It is probably no coincidence that in 2009 we needed perhaps a little something to put us over the top. And if you ever had a rough day you could always look over at Andy and see what he was going through and know that somebody has it worse. 
I think Garth hit the nail on the head when he said we have something special here. I totally agree with him. We do have something special. This fact is so much more clear to me than it was prior to me starting these blog posts.

But why? Why is it so special? One reason has to be the people involved. There are so many good people involved in the RSL Family. Brian Dunseth mentioned that when I spoke to him. He specifically talked about how all the players are just good guys. He is right. And we, as fans, can see that and it makes us love them even more. I have not interacted with one person in the whole RSL organization that has not been great to work with. Garth is no exception. He has been great to me the few times I have talked to him and just seems like a really good guy.

I am grateful for my RSL Family. Once again it has lifted me up when I was feeling down.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Man in the Middle- US Open Cup Final

By Alan Christensen

Referee Preview:
 Juan Guzman

Tuesday October 1st 2013

Rio Tinto Stadium

RSL vs DC United

Total Matches 33
Total Avg Yellows 3.27
Total Avg Reds 24
Total RSL Matches 6
Total DC United Matches 2

2013 MLS Matches Ref 15
Total Y’s 42
Total R’s 6 3rd highest
PK’s 1
Seasons Pro Ref 3
2013 DC United Refed Results: 6/2 DC United  0-2 Fire

2013 RSL Refed Results: None

With the 3rd most red cards among referees this year, will we see another red tonight?   Guzman is still fairly new to the league, in his 3rd year, and has not been a Center Official in a MLS playoff match.

Is this a “Trap game” as Brian Dunseth thinks?  I don’t really see it that way.  With an earlier loss this season to DC United and the CCL Final loss at the Riot should give RSL extra motivation to win the match and hoist another piece of hardware.