What we learned vs. Real Salt Lake
After being frustrated by Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando on numerous occasions, our ‘Caps came back from a 1-0 deficit to earn a 1-1 draw on Saturday.
So what did we learn?
1. Concentration levels
When you look at earlier games versus Houston Dynamo and Chivas USA, you have to say that the concentration levels are improving each match.
WATCH: Rimando stops Reo-Coker
In these games where we’ve dominated goal chances, we have wasted a number of opportunities in front of the goal by not hitting the target.
While the team would like to see more clinical finishing in front of goal, the fact is that we ran into a hot goalie in Nick Rimando who kept his team in the game with some great saves.
The positives in this game are that the shots for the most part were on target, forcing Rimando to come up with many big plays. We had 16 shots with 7 of those shots on goal, and if we can continue that, next time more goals will come.
2. Teibert has arrived
After making an impressive debut in Vancouver’s first ever MLS match in 2011 against Toronto FC, it has been two long years of hard work for Russell Teibert.
WATCH: Teibert sets up Lee
On Saturday, the young midfielder started his first match at BC Place, and his first home start since that opening day.
A number of injuries have slowed him down, and a pair of coaching changes stalled his progress as he continually needed to impress all over again.
But in the end, this has only made him stronger. With the help of Martin Rennie, the experienced Nigel Reo-Coker by his side, and a new hunger, Russell had a breakout performance which saw him named Budweiser Man of the Match.
When you consider that central midfield is still a relatively new position for him, it makes it all the more impressive. He was one of the best players in preseason and has continued this form in training, so it’s nice to see him being rewarded.
It appears now that he is here to stay.
3. Perserverance and character
After being denied time after time by Rimando and then falling behind against the run of play on a wonder strike by an unknown substitute, many teams could have been crushed.
WATCH: Camilo converts to draw level
However, instead of feeling hard done, they drove forward with real intent and focus and eventually got that tying goal.
It reminded me of our last home match versus Columbus when we could have been up three or four goals at halftime then found ourselves tied at 1-1 minutes into the second half. On that occasion we came back to win 2-1, and this time we fought through adversity to salvage a point.
This shows the tremendous character of this team, and we’re going to need to see more of that through the long season.