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A Bet Made While Drinking; an MLS Story

A 3 player MLS game told from the prospective of one...
Started on 18 June 2014 by squirmy420
Latest Reply on 30 July 2014 by Feliks
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There is a lot of effort put into this, what has Artem been up to?
2014-06-20 22:32#180882 Griffo : There is a lot of effort put into this, what has Artem been up to?

Scoring pks, leading the attack from the center attacking mid position as a play maker. Really has made RSL is home.
squirmy420's avatar Group squirmy420
9 yearsEdited

My next match in charge brought us up to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps. After our win against Colorado, we we're in stride, looking confident at training all week leading up to the match.

We entered the tunnel as a team, and I gathered the lads around, "Alright lads, we played well offensively last time out. This time, lets work on protecting Nick. He's been stalwart back there for us, and has taken a lot of abuse these last few games. Clean sheet for Nick, lads. Help him out."

I sent them out onto the pitch.

It went pretty well. Nat picked up and early card for a rough challenge, and set the tone for us defensively. We didn't give up an inch without a fight, and it was a decent match despite both teams being held scoreless. We'll have 'em at Rio Tino, easy.

The next match was against Chivas USA, in Rio Tino. We'd already put up good numbers in our home matches and I wasn't about to let Chivas be our first home defeat, I told the lads all week to keep up the clean sheet run. We didn't want to let any goals in, this was our fortress.

Again, we played well and kept a clean sheet. We had a few quality opportunities, we just couldn't capitalize and Chivas didn't play poorly either. A draw was a fair result.

We'd get to stay home for our next game against LA Galaxy and the "illustrious" Landon Donovan. We started poorly, allowing LA to dominate the first half. In the 31st minute we allowed LA to complete a lovely team move with a cross from the left wing into Rob Friend who put a lovely glancing header on it barley under the crossbar and over Nick Rimando. I was left stunned. We came into the locker room, and I was irate. "Come on, lads! We're better than this. We cannot allow LA to come here and beat us. Rio Tinto is not a stadium. It is our fortress. We stand here, and we fight here. We win here!"

"Now get out there and show some passion!"

The second half was a complete turnaround. We came gun blazing. Pressuring high up the field, working the ball, everyone giving a fully committed effort. We equalized in the 56th minute, Robbie Findley showing true poaching instincts to pounce on a rebound from a poor tackle and tuck it into the bottom corner of the net. "YES, lad! This!" I said whilst turning to the bench, "Is just the beginning of a great comeback!"

Findley made my words true, 12 minutes of tense play later, with both teams pressing for the winning goal it was only a matter of time before one of us found it. It was Corradi who played a lovely cross in from the right side, and Findley who was there to power it home with a wonderful header. I ran down the sidelines to join the lads celebrating at the corner flag, at the risk of a warning, "Time to hold it together, lads! Keep it up!"

Next, we hosted Vancouver, for our third home game in a row. And again, we went down early to a early Kenny Miller goal. However, this time, Bernardo Corradi, following up his game winning assist, equalized before the half. I told the lads to keep that momentum going, really give the fans here something to cheer for. This was our Fortress and all. Corradi could not be stopped, popping in to more wonderful goals in the 2nd half and harken back to his younger days. He did not look 37 years old out there with that smile on his face.

Finally we had an away game to ease our nerves. We'd played well at home, but it was nice to take a road trip. Findley scored early, and both teams were sent in search of a 2nd goal. Despite carving the defense open a number of times, the match was abnormal for the number of off target shots and wasted opportunities. However, we'd gotten the 3 points, and we hadn't had to come from behind to do it. This would bring us to 3 wins in a row and a 6 match unbeaten run! I was confident we'd do better this season than anyone expected.

Next we'd continue our road trip up to Montreal, Corradi old club. We took the lead early in the 2nd half when he tried to recreate his match winner with Findley only for Collen Warner, the Montreal defender to come flying in and attempt to volley it clear only to rifle home what I thought was one of Findley's best efforts of the season until the stats came in at the end of the game. Another 3 points in the bag. 4 wins on the trot, and a 7 match unbeaten run.

The last game of this road trip would be against Chivas, who'd done well against us last time to force us to a 0-0 in Rio Tinto. We'd do well this time, we were more than confident, we were flying. We'd been on a great run, and it was time to continue it.

We started off lively. Drawing a pk for Artem to tuck home in the 7th minute. Torres equalized for Chivas 6 minutes later in the 13th. However, we were pressing them, and it was only a matter of time before we took the lead again. I didn't expect it to be another own goal, but it was. Austin Berry provided us the lead in the 35th. We finished off the match in the 82nd with Robbie Findley continuing his great season and run of form. He's scoring at will it seems like, as is the team as a whole. I'm proud to be here in Salt Lake. It's a great squad, and more importantly, they trust one another.

We've been on a great run, 5 wins in a row. 8 unbeaten. With a home match coming up. I was rubbing my hands in glee.

(Next update will be 100% about my friends records up to this points. I may not do much detail, because well, I wasn't there for their games, but I can see how they've played.)
Colorado Rapids, up to now.

Oliver Lee has had a rough start to his career with the Colorado Rapids. The loss of the Rocky Mountain cup, as well as a 6 game losing streak has not helped him settle in and has done little to improve his standings with the fans. He'll really have to pull things around to finish in a playoff spot.

Seattle Sounders, up to now.

Cairo has had a better start than Oli has, but still his team has yet to find any real consistency. He's no Sigi Schmidt, but he's done well enough by his fans to avoid the torches and pitchforks. Having to deal with the large number of unsettled squad members he's done surprisingly well.
Going really well by comparison to them! You should get them on the forum so we can hear their point of view.
2014-06-22 17:05#181145 Griffo : Going really well by comparison to them! You should get them on the forum so we can hear their point of view.

I'm tryin! They both like to pretend they have lives!
Great run with RSL so far
Some great results there mate! Keep up the good work :)
squirmy420's avatar Group squirmy420
9 yearsEdited

Our next game brought us home to Rio Tinto to play the Chicago Fire. We'd made our home a very dangerous place to come visit us this season, and I planned on keeping it that way.

However, things got out of hand early on. Allowing Mike Magee to score a very lucky goal in the 4th minute into an open net after a wonderful series of solid defensive effort ended up with the ball falling at this feet in space and with nothing to do but finish. Which he did.

Dilly Duka put them up by yet another goal in the 32nd and I was beginning to despair. When, from the kick off, we played some lovely football to break down their shape. Giving Artem acres of space in the midfield to pick his head up, and score one of the more lovely strikes of the season by a man in the Cobalt-and-Claret shirt. Managing to go into halftime with a little more trot in our step, I readied the lads for the next bit.

"We have to come out swinging lads, I want to see some quick one two up top. Maybe look to play Findley in over the top, he's faster than their defense and he looks up to the challenge of bringing us back in. Don't ya, Robbie?" I gave him a winning smile. "As for the rest of you, their first one was luck. Their second was skill, don't let them find the rhythm for a third. Alright lads? Now bring it in! Reaaaaal SALT LAKE!!"

The locker room echoed with those shouted words, words shouted by the whole team, staff and player alike. I bet Chicago would be nervous now, if they hadn't been before. We'd be better in this second half. I had a feeling.

We came out strong, doing exactly as I'd asked. Playing some brilliant footie up top, space opened up for Artem to pick his up up and loft a lovely through ball to Robbie Findley in the 57th minute. He did as I said he would, and hit a lovely shot past the keeper to equalize. From here, it'd be a battle.

Chicago knew they could score, but we'd already sent two lovely shots past their keeper as well. I wasn't going to be happy with a 2-2 draw either, we need those 3 points. We battled and tackled and fought and spit and hissed and spat. It was a glorious game of defensive football being displayed by both teams.

It wasn't until the 86th minutes, that Brazilian attacking midfielder, who had come on to replace the injured Mike Magee, found the net and sent us reeling in what would be our first home defeat of the season. I couldn't fault the lads, as it was a wonderful individual effort that had lost us the game, not any bit of team skill from the Fire. But it was a hollow day, one so full of promise, so full of the hope of a comeback for the draw.

Only for it to be snatched away... Real Salt Lake will fight again. We'll fight again real soon, only next time, we'll win.
unlucky mate!

Our next game brought us to Minnesota United, a team in the lower tiers of American football. We played well, not dominating the ball, but taking our chances and finishing off a lower opponent with ease before letting them back into the game late on. Following our first home loss of the season, it was an acceptable result.

We'd then travel back home to take on San Jose who had had a rough series of games, barley making it into the next round of the US Cup in a 3-5 Penalty win in their last game. We came in feeling like a team that could win. We left feeling quite different. A late exit by Kyle Beckerman leading to two late goals and a late defeat at home for our 2nd of the season.

We stayed home for our next game vs LA, who have had an appalling season sitting bottom of the MLS. Javier Morales scored in the 20th to put us ahead. Beckerman was sent off in the 74th minute for a second yellow card offense, and in the resulting free kick Samuel scored a wonderful goal to equalize. However, Javier Morales would not draw this day, and scored a wonderful effort in the 89th minute to steal a victory over last place with 10 men on the pitch.

Next we traveled to New York to take on the Red Bulls in our second US cup game. We played awfully, letting the Red Bulls slide 3 goals past Nick Rimando.

We went back home for our next match to play against the Seattle Sounders and my good friend Cairo Crow. Obafemi scored a great finish near the half hour mark and we were left chasing the Sounders in Rio Tinto to avoid a second defeat in a row. Luckily Cole Grossman found his way forward from midfield 10 minutes after the hour to slot home and equalize for us and rescue a point.

We'd go north of the border for our next game Vs Toronto FC. We played well, forcing an own goal in the 21st and having Robbie Findley find the net 4 short minutes later. Sitting 2-0 up we sat back and defender. Following the cup run, the lads were tired and I didn't want to see any injuries. Gilberto found the net for Toronto in the 74th but we kept our one goal lead for the win.

Another home loss in our next game left the team reeling. Rob Friend, who we'd picked up mid season as a relief target man from LA on waivers suffered an early injury. Phili put it to us all game and we had little in the way of resistance.

Next we travel back to Dallas and our top performer, Zach Loyd, old club. We played a tight game through the first half but Robbie Findley found the goal early into the 2nd half and shortly after found a brace. Andrew Jackson pulled Dallas back into the game in the 74th, but we kept our defensive pressure up and got the 3 points.

We finished off the series of play with two boring and unremarkable 0-0 draws. One at home vs Sporting Kansas, and another away vs New York. A considerable improvement over our last away game vs New York. And the team is sitting pretty in a playoff spot right now. We're feeling pretty good and looking to carry a little momentum into the playoffs this year and maybe steal the MLS cup.
Seattle Sounders, up to now

Seattle has been on a great run with Cairo since last we checked. Only loosing 3 games in the last 10! Also putting together some impressive performances, including a 2-0 win over Portland Rivals, a 4-1 win over Columbus, and a 3-0 over Chivas USA. These results have seen Seattle rise up the table to a wildcard playoff spot.

Colorado Rapids, up to now

Colorado are still struggling under Oliver Lee. But they've had a much better middle season than they did to start it. 3 wins on the trot coupled with a better run of form, avoiding another 6 loss run has seen them climb up away from the foot of the table and challenge Seattle even for a wildcard spot in the playoffs.
This story has been placed on a mild hiatus whilst we wait for one of the players to move. I'll be starting a single player editor based game here soon to give me something to do in the mean time.
you've been in great form, can't wait to see this resume

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