Tag Archives: Joao Plata

RSL, I love you but you’re bringing me down.

Ambrosia Tonkovich - Real Salt Lake/mlsfemale
Official Real Salt Lake Reporter

By Ambrosia Tonkovich // @heyambrosia

Well hello there, it’s been a while. Life and all that fun stuff.

Let’s just jump right into this fire we’re fighting, shall we?

Mike Petke in his latest post-game interview has summed up the anger pretty well: 

…yep.

Petke is now in his first full year as coach. After taking over the team last year when Cassar was let go, we all knew that come around July, we would start seeing more improvements in the team, whether it was communication, play style, or formation changes. So this year I’m pretty hopeful. Our team has now had offseason and preseason, all under Petke’s direction. In addition to that, we have signed A LOT of new players, and let a few go as well. So how have we been doing this year?

Well… not very good. Since I’m a little late in the writing season, I’m going to do a bit of overall coverage for the past few games with some stats.

We have had a total of four goals this year (five if you count our own goal), two of them scored by Joao Plata in the first two games. Kudos to Plata for stepping it up after Petke and he seemed to have some disagreements last year in regard to Plata’s commitment level. He has made me proud this year. One goal has been scored by Albert Rusnak (and what a pretty PK it was, that slow sneak into the goal was satisfying to watch) and Corey Baird scored his first MLS goal in the game against Toronto FC on Friday!

Nick Rimando. Can we just take a second? I am still so glad he’s here with us. His stats are impressive.

The number of goals we would have had scored on us even just this year if we didn’t have him… it’s scary to think about. We allowed 8 shots on goal just this last Friday against Toronto, let alone all of the other games that could have turned out MUCH worse had he not been in the box.

The good news – we’re doing better than last year. We had five straight winless games in a row last year, and I’m sending thoughts and prayers that we don’t repeat that again. I hope that Petke’s push to change the team’s mentality after the last loss (3-1, Toronto) is going to be beneficial.

Losing to a new MLS team at home 5-1 (LAFC) is devastating enough, so we need to pull back, and pull back hard. We’ve had one win and one tie. And two devastating losses that I really hate to think about.

My takeaways from the team right now – we have poor communication and shaky teamwork. We are unsure of ourselves. Justen Glad is a damn fine defender, and I can’t wait to continue to see him grow and succeed. I will be there in the rain for the game this coming Saturday, cheering as loud as always, because I do love and believe in my team, no matter what the hardships are. I recognize we haven’t done well, but I do look forward to the rest of the season, and still bleed Claret and Cobalt.

Featured image courtesy: @RealSaltLake

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @heyambrosia

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

Real Salt Lake scores all the goals

Ambrosia Tonkovich - Real Salt Lake/mlsfemale
Official Real Salt Lake Reporter

By Ambrosia Tonkovich // @heyambrosia

Saturday, March 3, 2018: 1-1 Draw

Real Salt Lake finished their first season game with an opener against FC Dallas, ending in a 1 v 1 draw, where RSL effectively scored every goal on the roster, including the one counting against us. Too excited, I guess. But I’ll take the point. Let’s dig in.

First of all, let me say, WHOOOOO the season is back and wow, I didn’t realize how much I needed it this year. While it’s been a very interesting offseason for the team, signing a bunch of young new players, it has been an interesting one for me. I feel like a different person, cheering on a different team, and I, for one, welcome our change overlords.

Within 11 minutes of the game, I realized why it is I loved Mike Petke so much last year. It’s not that that love died, it’s just that I hadn’t seen him coaching a regular season game for so long, I hadn’t seen that fire and passion in his eyes while he sticks up for his players, and yet tells them exactly what’s what all at the same time.

Newly restored faith and love had my heart soaring this game, and I couldn’t have been more elated with the early goal by Joao Plata in the 25th minute. This little dude is FAST and I didn’t see it a lot last year. Seeing him sprint toward that ball and completely confuse Reggie Cannon while he fires it in was just the RSL I have been waiting for.

The weird thing I want to mention was this referee. I am very comfortable saying that there were some fouls on BOTH sides that should’ve gotten more than a slap on the wrist. I appreciate that for the most part, the flow of the game was hardly stopped due to potentially unnecessary stops that would usually happen in another game, but we fouled them, they fouled us, and I feel like at least a yellow or two should’ve been called on each side.

We were grabbing and pulling a player’s arm back at one point – they were grabbing and pulling our player’s jersey to try and keep from scoring (which he didn’t ever go down, so I do get why nothing was called). BUT. I can’t complain too much, honestly. Nothing that wasn’t called would’ve cost the game one way or another.

And now, the sad part. While we had gone most of the game with the 1-0 lead, on the road, against a team that has been playing in the CCL for the past little while so is a little more solid as a team, and against a team that destroyed us the last time we were there – they scored on us. Well, more specifically, WE scored on us.

Apparently, we were so anxious to score some goals, we got one for ourselves, against ourselves. Honestly, there was nothing that could’ve been done against this. Maximiliano Urruti lobbed one in and Marcelo Silva, trying to defend us, slid right in and hit the ball into the net himself. Obvious upset and frustration were seen on his face, and my poor neighbors heard some words they haven’t heard in about 7 months.

Highlights worth mentioning – Damir Kreilach and Shawn Barry played their first season games with the RSL jersey on. Kreilach got pulled off in the 78’ while Barry stayed on for the entire 90+ minutes. I think they both did pretty damn well, and I am going to continue keeping an eye on them.

In addition, Justen Glad. We don’t deserve him, but my god he helped our defense so much this game. This is a kid that I hope continues to grow with our team. I am ridiculously proud of him so far, and he’s so young. He still has a lot to offer.

Also, let’s praise whatever soccer gods are still listening to us out there – Nick Rimando put in a full year’s work just this game. FC Dallas wasn’t ready for him, and our defense wasn’t ready for FC Dallas. Luckily, as usual, Rimando came in strong from the beginning.

Next week we have our home opener against LAFC (who won against the Seattle Sounders, 1-0), I’m looking forward to seeing what Petke can continue to roll out on the Claret and Cobalt carpet for our young players, and our team as a whole.

Featured image courtesy: @RealSaltLake

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @heyambrosia

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

Evening The Score

Ambrosia Tonkovich - Real Salt Lake/mlsfemale
Official Real Salt Lake Reporter

By Ambrosia Tonkovich // @heyambrosia

Wednesday, July 19: 1-4 Win

When you wish upon many red cards…

After four losses and four draws against the Portland Timbers the last 8 times we played against them, Real Salt Lake finally managed to defeat them, 4-1 in Providence Park.

Alright, I’m gonna set you a scene.

I am the third week into my new job. The pressure is REAL, guys. This is not a ReAL pun, I promise. REAL vs ReAl etc… I dunno. Although if I were more clever I would probably make one right now. But it’s been a pretty busy few weeks (sorry for my absence) and I have to start the game off with the announcers asking our previously beloved Nat Borchers how he thinks both teams will do. Have you ever had stabby pains in your heart? That was a thing. Dang, announcers. Why do you have to do this to me before the game even starts? That was cold announcers, that was cold.

Alright. Let’s move on. We’re coming off of a friendly against Manchester United. We didn’t win, but I mean… we gave up 5 goals to Houston and RIGHT AFTER THAT gave up 6 goals to FC Dallas so… I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting us to do as well as we did. The fact that we scored on Manchester United first in the beginning was a shining light in my evening. But this isn’t about *that* game (although let’s just call me out on not writing about that game, eh?). So hey. We’re two days out of a friendly against a pretty big team. We go against a team that we’ve been very evenly matched against. Heartstrings already torn, we open the game.

10 minutes innnnnnnnnn. I hope the multiple “n”s will express to you that this, in fact, was a sing-song moment. Oh captain, my captain. Kyle Beckerman kicks a goal in from 30 yards away, weirdly out of nowhere. I honestly didn’t see it, and it seemed like no one really did until it was happening. But there it was. The first time I’ve ever said ‘Wow’ out loud for a Beckerman goal in a long time. Definitely his goal of the year. And it put us in the lead for the entire first half,  1-0. This is his 421st game, and way to go, Beckerman.

Honestly, even with that early goal Portland did keep up the pressure. They were down quite a few players, and even with that they were still able to create some chances for themselves, ultimately not able to follow through with the first half ending 1-0 Salt Lake, along with both teams collecting a yellow card or two.

The card-packed, controversial (I’ll get to that in a moment) second half opened up with a yellow card with the first minute, against Danilo Acosta who had just barely been put in the game at half time. With this second half off to a slow start it seemed unlikely that we would be seeing scores so soon, but a PK was rewarded to Real Salt Lake, with Joao Plata hitting into the net at the 50’ mark.

From there, it seemed chaos took over. At the 53’ mark Arboleda gets a red card for (imho) what looks like a pretty clear elbow to Plata’s neck. Not only was it out, but it was out, and up, and followed through. I will say that was a pretty solid red in my opinion. So now Portland is down a man in the 53rd minute while they’re also down by two points. Not a good place to be.

But oh. Things get so much worse. For both teams. Simultaneously, and very fast.

Insert unpopular opinion here: Kyle Beckerman definitely should have gotten a card here. A red…. Eh? If what he did deserves a red then there have been a LOT of missed red opportunities over the years of MLS being a sport. Games would end short-handed literally every single game. I will say this – Kyle did this on purpose. He agitates, and every other team knows this (I told you this is an unpopular opinion).

BUT. Here’s where things get hairy for me: Fanendo Adi comes up to Kyle and straight up chest bumps him down to the ground. While Toledo (ref) marked down Beckerman’s elbow as ‘Violent conduct’ he also gave both Kyle and Adi the SAME disciplinary time away from game play. That seems a little uncouth to me. Adi straight up knocked a dude to the ground while Kyle threw an elbow that ultimately left Adi running, even after he was hit, until he decided to let his anger get the best of him and make him turn around. One of those things is definitely not like the other.

As an update on that, RSL did try to appeal the red card and the appeal was denied, so Kyle will be out for the July 22nd game against Sporting KC.

I digress. After a double red with that play, both teams missing men (Portland down to 9, RSL down to 10) we quickly scored two more goals. The 3rd goal was awarded to Albert Rusnak but was first marked as an own goal on Gleeson.  Either way it was a fast one, and Albert’s 5th for the season so far. This kid is impressing me so much. Wow.

Our last and final goal of the night (from RSL) was another one from Plata, right at the 80th. He’s coming back strong after that surgery. We’ve now scored an equal number of goals in these last two MLS games combined than we had in the past 12. So it’s safe to say we’ve been needing this.

Here are the game highlights:

10′  Goal Kyle Beckerman 0-1

28′  Yellow Card Lawrence Olum

41′  Yellow Card Zarek Valentin

42′  Yellow Card Albert Rusnak

45′ + 1′  Substitution: Out: Chance Myers In: V. Arboleda

45′ + 4′  Substitution: Out: Demar Phillips In: Danilo Acosta

45′ + 5′  Yellow Card Diego Valeri

46′  Yellow Card Danilo Acosta

50′  Penalty Goal Joao Plata 0-2

53′  Red Card V. Arboleda

55′  Red Card Fanendo Adi

56′  Red Card Kyle Beckerman

57′  Yellow Card David Horst

68′  Goal Albert Rusnak 0-3

72′  Substitution: Out: D. Asprilla In: Jack Barmby

75′  Substitution: Out: Luis Silva In: Chris Wingert

80′  Goal Joao Plata 0-4

81′  Yellow Card Jack Barmby

83′  Substitution: Out: Sunny In: Aaron Maund

90′ + 3′  Goal Jack Barmby 1-4

Featured image courtesy: @RealSaltLake

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @heyambrosia

Check us out on instagram @mlsfemale

Insert expletive here.

Ambrosia Tonkovich - Real Salt Lake/mlsfemale
Official Real Salt Lake Reporter

By Ambrosia Tonkovich // @heyambrosia

Saturday, April 29: 3-0 Loss

Well, I don’t know where to start. For the first time in eight matches against Sporting Kansas City, we finally lost to them. With 7 yellow cards between the two teams, the game ended in the 96th minute with a 3-0 lead from SKC.

With both Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando out on injury, I want to say it started off promising for Real Salt Lake fans, but I’ll be honest, it didn’t look that great from the beginning. SKC scored their first goal in the 17th minute (Benny Feilhaber) and boy was it pretty. I have to give credit where credit is due, I know I would’ve been proud if RSL had scored a goal that looked so good, so I couldn’t even be mad when that happened.

After this goal,  we started to gain a little bit more possession, with Joao Plata making sure to send in anything he could, and Yura Movsisyan almost making a shot that deflected off of Plata in the 29th minute. After a quick discussion, referees made the decision that Plata was in an offsides position and the goal didn’t count. The noise that came out of my mouth during that time was… something inhuman. I laughed at the whole thing, but it was understandable. But man it would’ve been nice to at least have one goal.

We still continued our theme of incomplete passes during the rest of the second half and finished the 45th with a 1.0 lead from SKC and a sad, but hopeful halftime gave me time to grieve.

Alas, our second half started off quick for SKC, they gained their second goal in the 52nd minute, courtesy of Dom Dwyer. Soon after that, Movsisyan signaled that he needed to be taken off at the 60th minute due to an injury, and Coach Mike Petke was forced to sub him out but brought in Luis Silva up front for the attack.

At the 90th minute they announced 5 minutes of stoppage time, and I groaned, but hoped that it would go quick. I was wrong. Right toward the end of stoppage, Gerso Fernandez was able to run past Matt Van Oekel who went out to get the ball but missed. There it was, 3-0 and just at the end of stoppage time. As soon as the whistle rang I turned off the TV.

Am I disappointed? Sure. There have been numerous players who have all agreed, everyone needs to step up. However, I continue to stick by our team during these growing pains with new players and 11 players of ours out on injury (the most in the league). Hopefully, we continue some conditional training to keep our current players around and out of injury trouble.

Match Events:

(SKC) 17′  Goal Benny Feilhaber 1-0

(RSL) 39′  Yellow Card Luke Mulholland

(SKC) 49′  Yellow Card Benny Feilhaber

(SKC) 51′  Goal Dominic Dwyer 2-0

(RSL) 51′  Yellow Card Demar Phillips

(SKC) 55′  Yellow Card R. Espinoza

(RSL) 55′  Yellow Card Yura Movsisyan

(RSL) 60′  Substitution: Out: Yura Movsisyan In: Luis Silva

(SKC) 69′  Yellow Card Graham Zusi

(SKC) 70′  Substitution: Out: R. Espinoza  In: Sony Mustivar

(RSL) 71′  Substitution: Out: Danilo Acosta  In S. Saucedo

(SKC) 79′  Substitution: Out J. Medranda In Daniel Salloi

(SKC) 84′  Yellow Card Gerso Fernandes

(RSL) 85′  Substitution: Out: Luke Mulholland In: José María Hernández

(SKC) 90′ + 1′  Substitution: Out: Dominic Dwyer In: Soony Saad

(SKC) 90′ + 5′  Goal Gerso Fernandes 3-0

Featured image courtesy: @RealSaltLake

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @heyambrosia

Check us out on instagram! @mlsfemale

Subscribe + get caught up: Weekly Dispatch 2017