There are exciting 0-0 ties, like USA-Argentina, and then there are scoreless draws like Real Salt Lake-Kansas City Wizards.
It wasn’t pretty, and fans probably didn’t leave Rice-Eccles excited about a match they’ll remember for a long time, but the result was a fair one for two teams struggling to find consistency and keep pace with the league’s better teams. RSL remained unbeaten at home, but will be disappointed not to have taken all three points from a Wizards squad that finished its own six-match road trip.
SBI correspondent Scott McAllister took in the action and shares his thoughts on the scoreless draw with us.
Scoreless draw not all bad for Real Salt Lake
By SCOTT McALLISTER
There is an awkwardness that comes to every supporter who has followed the league longer than their team has been in existence. Although Real Salt Lake provided the first taste of Major League Soccer for many RSL faithful, there are several of their fans who got to know the league through supporting other sides. This creates an awkwardness, similar to seeing an old flame, whenever that team you previously supported comes to town. Having spent the majority of my young life in Missouri, that team for me is the Kansas City Wizards.
As the seasons roll by, and I become more and more attached to the madness that is Real Salt Lake, the sight of the Wizards gets less awkward. The name and logo – which have both subsequently changed since I supported the team – still conjure up memories of warm summer nights spent at Arrowhead Stadium. Time, and getting heavily involved with RSL, has helped me get over the past; although the memories are still there, and the old jerseys are still hanging in my closet.
On this particular night, neither my current nor former team could get it done in the attacking third. Part of it had to do with the fact that KC goalie Kevin Hartman was playing out of his mind, and the other part was that Salt Lake couldn’t finish when they had Hartman beat.
Kenny Deuchar repeatedly showed through out the match his prowess in the air. Not only does he knock balls down out of the air with the best of them, but he does it intelligently. When Deuchar goes up for the ball you know it’s going to land right at the feet of a team mate with frighteningly good accuracy. Unless he’s within striking distance, where he’ll be putting his header on frame. On more than one occasion it was painful to see his talents wasted due to a teammate not able provide decent enough service. Salt Lake has a perfect target in Deuchar, now they need someone who can plant the ball onto his head from 30-40 yards on a consistent basis. Apparently Javiar Morales is the only one who can do it upon request.
Jamison Olave is also really solidifying the defense in front of Nick Rimando. He’s a large – no pun intended – reason the Wizards couldn’t mount any attack of substance. And, Olave looks to be a positive influence on Nat Borchers. The pair played quite well in combination against KC, suffering from very few mistakes.
Overall, not a bad night for RSL, although the points would have been nice. They are going to be hard to come by this coming Saturday as they visit Chivas for the second time this season. The team hasn’t even left for California and I’m already wincing. C’mon RSL, prove me wrong!