Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Shrader's Spin: Blind-sided on Opening Day

March 28, 2010: Blind-sided on Opening Day

So, we didn’t see that coming. Nobody did.

Not Jason Kreis, the coach of Real Salt Lake. (They won only two games on the road all last season, until they won two games on the road in the playoffs.) 

Not coach Frank Yallop of the Earthquakes.

Not the players. Not the media. Not the fans.

Opening night was a stinker for the Quakes, not much of an argument from anybody, except maybe that group of drum-pounding RSL fans in the southwest corner of the stadium. 3-0 RSL, says the scoreboard.

“There’s not much that I can say, positively, defensively,” said Yallop, always the standup guy. “It looked like defensively, we were a shambles.”

Yallop was forced to take two of his high-profile guys, midfielders Bobby Convey and Javier Robles, out of the game at halftime.

After the Quakes were reduced to ten men–when Chris Leitch was red carded on the play that helped set up the Morales free kick goal–the Qs seemed to gain some footing, and had some decent chances to score (from Cornell Glen, Arturo Alvarez and Andre Luiz).  The team that is getting outplayed, though, doesn’t seem to get many lucky breaks. On this early spring night, that opened under clear skies and with much optimism, that aphorism remained true.

Now, let’s step back from the emotional outrage and watch those highlights one more time. They include two of the most brilliant MLS goals ever scored in Buck Shaw Stadium, both by Javier Morales.

One of them on a 30-yard blast on the short hop in the first half: A shot that sliced into the upper right hand corner of the net. Joe Cannon didn’t have a chance. The other: A 19-yard free kick in the second half that curled into the upper right hand corner. Joe Cannon didn’t have a chance.

Chalk it up to one night at the park, or better yet, look at the historical relevance of the game, not the final score. When Morales wins ‘Goal of the Year’ you can say ‘I was there’.

Here is some good news:
……10.589 at Buck Shaw, and they wanted to have fun. They were into the game……
……Rookie defender Ike Opara seemed to get more comfortable as the game wore on, after what he admitted was a shaky start……
…..Beer in the stands….. it helped the patrons leave with a better taste in their mouths……
……A week off before a trip to Chicago, and then back to take on New England. This leaves plenty of time for the coach Frank Yallop and the general manager John Doyle to get the attention of every member of the team……    
…….29 games to go in the regular season……..
……and a fine debut on the radio Saturday night for former Quake Kelly Gray….

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