Petke's RSL scrapes by Metro, 1:0
March 17, 2018
Well, that wonderful run to begin the year had to end sometime. It did so in Salt Lake, as Metro dominated everywhere but the scoreboard. An early penalty kick was RSL's only quality chance of the match, and one that set the final score.
Lineup shuffling continued, as Jesse Marsch reverted to the one that trashed Portland in the league opener, with three changes. Tim Parker and Aaron Long entered on defense and Marc Rzatkowski in midfield, as Aurelien Collin, Ben Mines, and Sean Davis sat, the latter with an undisclosed injury. This meant that Bradley Wright-Phillips and Daniel Royer once again started the game on the bench.
Just three minutes in, on a RSL free kick, Carlos Rivas needlessly wrapped up and slammed down his man at the edge of the box. After confirming with video, the referee pointed to the spot, and Albert Rusnak converted. And that was it for RSL for the ENTIRE GAME.
The home side was content with letting Metro have the ball, fouling at every opportunity to stop the flow. It worked; the fluidity we saw so far this year was not there. Metro did get quality chances: midway through the first half, a low Vincent Bezecourt shot was pushed out by Nick Rimando. Minutes later, a Connor Lade steal was wasted by Rivas. In the second, a diving Parker had his free kick header saved by Rimando again.
The insertion of Royer and BWP didn't help, a handball in the box was missed, and RSL ran off winners.
Here's where we say that we love what Marsch has done over the last three years, but Mike Petke won tonight. For all that's worth... (and it's worth three points).
Lineup: Robles, Lade, Long, Parker, Escobar, Duncan, Adams, Bezecourt, Rzatkowski, Romero Gamarra, Rivas. Subs: Royer, Wright-Phillips, Etienne.