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Real Salty: Maikel Chang Haters Need To Get A Life!

Real Salty: Maikel Chang Haters Need To Get A Life!

Without Chang in the lineup, it's highly doubtful Real Salt Lake would have tied the game at Vancouver or eventually won, 2-1. What were Jasper Loeffelsend and Braian Ojeda doing though?!?

Real Salty: Maikel Chang Haters Need To Get A Life!

Kickoff: Did anyone check out a certain Real Salt Lake winger Saturday?

Of course you did. You watched Maikel Chang boss the right wing. He:

  1. Played from box-to-box

  2. Won the majority of his duels

  3. It allowed Andrew Brody to make forward dribbling runs

This Just In: Maikel Chang was not the problem Saturday, as was clearly stated by the Cuban in exile on this short corner, when his right boot floated a ball toward the far post of Vancouver’s goal.

Everyone and their dog [at the dog park, like I said last week] will say this goal was the byproduct of Justen Glad [who in his own right is becoming THE premier goalpoacher among all center backs]. But, it wasn't; if not for Chang bossing that side of the pitch this play doesn't happen.

ICYMI: and you probably did, there was a tactical adjustment that RSL head coach Pable Mastroeni made in the 37th minute that changed the complexion of this game. After seeing how badly RSL’s partnership of Chang and Brody had been bossing Vancouver, Pablo moved Chang up as a false 9 and really put the pedal to the metal by putting Anderson Julio out on the right wing. It resulted in the first shots on goal in the game for RSL—though it didn’t result in an actual goal. That said, it gassed an already-beleaguered Vancouver back line in the first half.

What In Fresh Hell Was Jasper Loeffelsend Doing?!?

Great Question: Granted, this was a chippy game on a field that was brand new and slippery as hell [even the Whitecaps had only played on it, twice] but JL had a bad game. There’s no two ways about it. But what JL did is the kind of chump move that gets you traded. You can tell from the video that Coach Pabs was having none of it—though JL was probably trying to spit out gobs of black tire pellets from the recesses of his mouth.

Between Jasper and Braian Ojeda, the duo locked down the center of the park about as well as two blind squirrels trying to find a nut. It’s a miracle Vancouver, behind the tactical genius of its socialist Director Of Football Madness & Skintight T-Shirts Director Of Methodology didn’t score more than once in this game. To wit: one bad pass back by JL in ‘46 led to a ferocious counterattack and comedy of errors:

  1. Bad giveaway by Ojeda in 50’ led to a Vancouver shot on goal

  2. Bad read by Ojeda in 51’ led to an Oviedo mistake & another SOG

  3. Bad read by JL in 52’ led to a mishit by Andrew Brody & yes, a SOG

In all, this RSL midfield gave up five shots in the first seven minutes of play during the second half. If got so bad that Pablo actually had to move Chang back to the right wing from the false 9 at 52’, and so naturally the play of that midfield solidified the very moment that Chang returned to his rightful spot. [It was a calculated risk that a coach sometimes has to make in order to wear down an opponent.]

That harrowing seven minutes from minutes 45-52, however, left RSL fans praying for the return of Pablo Ruiz and perhaps the debut of one Moses Nyeman.

It was not Chang’s fault that the boys in dijon mustard victory gold fell behind early, 1-0. If not for Chang though, there is no telling how badly this game could’ve went.

Over the first 75 minutes: mistakes along the left side of the pitch were rather non-existent after looking at the game film. Oviedo made ZERO technical errors in the first half at left back—same for Jefferson Savarino. The two pivots in the center of the park on the other hand made so many that you could literally make a video teaching kids how not to play in that area of the pitch. JL made fewer than Ojeda by a country mile—but his yellow card was beyond stupid and he is damned lucky several other challenges didn’t result in a red.

Savarino’s deft touch led to the game-winner by Damir Kreilach, in the 74th minute. I break down how that play came to be—during a crucial first-half sequence. And then you get the Sheena Show explaining how she thought the game went, in the second segment of this podcast, and we talk about Apple TV’s arrival at Major League Soccer.

Breaking News: Carlos Andres Gomez played on the right wing

But his first three touches after coming on for Maikel Chang in 74’ [after RSL’s second goal] were an adventure:

  1. Resulted in a bad giveaway in 76’

  2. Handled 1st touch OK—but then lost the ball tryna juke his defender in 79’

  3. Resulted in a Vancouver shot on goal in 83’

Then Gomez settled down and showed signs — albeit small ones — that he can ball out like the record signing he was. He stepped well in 84’ and tackled the ball away on a challenge, and his deft little pullback after winning the ball in 94’ and subsequent milking of the clock sealed the 2-1 victory.

In Sum: Keep your eyes peeled for three things as the week goes on.

  1. Pablo Ruiz has to come back this Saturday for RSL to have any chance at Seattle. That pairing of MFs Jasper Loeffelsend and Braian Ojeda was not good.

  2. Zac MacMath went down with a knock at Vancouver. We all hope and pray he can play Saturday, because we don’t know who tf the backup is.

  3. Anderson Julio didn’t cut the mustard, I mean, victory gold. Let’s hope beyond all hope that Rubio Rubin is back at the 9.

Next up: At Seattle Sounders FC, Saturday.

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