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Former RSL man Will Johnson leads Orlando to 1-0 win at Rio Tinto

Published June 30, 2017 11:03 pm

MLS • RSL unable to capitalize on chances in 1-0 loss at home.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Sandy • The old guard and the new walked up the tunnel together after the final whistle sounded.

On one side, Jason Kreis, the club legend who returned to Rio Tinto Stadium on Friday night and walked out with three points in his back pocket. On the other was Mike Petke, RSL's coach, flummoxed once again after another night gone wrong.

Kreis told Petke that this turnaround is going to take a while. He pointed to his first 18 months on the job back in 2007 as an example.



The lasting impression from that conversation?

"It's going to take a little while to make this my team," Petke said.

Petke had been wary of making such public statements lately, but the postgame chat with Kreis seemed fitting for the moment. After Kreis and Orlando City escaped Sandy with a 1-0 win over RSL (5-12-2) having been on its heels for much of the night, similar troubling trends resurfaced for RSL.

An inability to finish quality scoring chances created.

And a game decided during a momentary lapse of focus.

RSL had several shots on a platter Friday, created by any number of attacking players such as Joao Plata, Jefferson Savarino, Luis Silva and Brooks Lennon. But they all had the same unfortunate fate for RSL supporters: sliced wide or blasted skyward or chunked out of bounds.

"Not only did we not convert them, some of them we missed, completely whiffed on," Petke said.

Six minutes in, Lennon lost a pinpoint cross from Chris Wingert in the sun and couldn't put his foot to the ball. Later in the first half, the RSL winger mistimed another scoring chance.

"I've got to finish that," Lennon said. "I'll take the blame for that."

Lennon set up Silva in the 63rd minute, throwing off the Orlando back line by chesting a pass beyond both center backs, but a heavy first touch allowed Orlando goalkeeper Joe Bendik to zip off his line and clear the ball.

"I think some players need to be a little more selfish, and that's good," Lennon said. "That's OK for the team, because we're lacking goals right now, so whatever we can to get some goals, you've got to do it."

A mistake out of the back by RSL early on was eventually capitalized upon by Orlando City.

Defender Justen Glad played a ball deep in RSL's half of the field due to pressure by forward Cyle Larin. Orlando intercepted the ball and played it to Kaká, who was fouled on the play by Wingert. Kaká's long free kick was eventually thundered off the crossbar on a header by Orlando's Jose Aja.

During a mad scramble in front of the goal, former RSL midfielder Will Johnson ran unmarked onto the ball and buried the shot to give Orlando the early 1-0 lead in the 17th minute.

The former piece to RSL's glory years couldn't contain himself, pumping his fists in celebration before being mobbed by his teammates.

"Seemed like we thought maybe it was already in," Kyle Beckerman said.

"[We] momentarily fall asleep," said Petke.

All Orlando needed was one fortuitous bounce and a determined veteran to pounce, while RSL couldn't put the simplest of chances on frame. A theme that is becoming increasingly familiar. In RSL's last two home matches, the club has 40 shots, 11 of which were on goal.

And just one goal to show for it.

"This is a frustrating one," Beckerman said. "A lot of good work. I don't think [Orlando] had much besides their goal. We had quite a few [opportunities], a lot of action in their area, to not get one, it's just frustrating."

ckamrani@sltrib.com

Twitter: @chriskamrani —

Orlando City 1, Real Salt Lake 0

Orlando 1 0 — 1

Real Salt Lake 0 0 — 0

First half » 1, Orlando, Johnson, 2, 17th minute.

Second half » None.

Goalies » Orlando, Joe Bendik Real Salt Lake, Nick Rimando.

Yellow Cards—Sunny, Real Salt Lake, 65th Kaka, Orlando, 68th Aja, Orlando, 71st Higuita, Orlando, 87th Beckerman, Real Salt Lake, 88th.

Referee—Robert Sibiga. Assistant Referee—Mike Rottersman, Jonathan Johnson. Fourth Official—Nima Saghafi.

Attendance » 19,218 (21,030)

Lineups

Orlando—Joe Bendik Jose Aja, Will Johnson, Jonathan Spector, Scott Sutter Cristian Higuita (Richie Laryea, 88th), Antonio Nocerino (Servando Carrasco, 46th), Donny Toia Kaka (Luis Gil, 72nd), Giles Barnes, Cyle Larin.

Real Salt Lake—Nick Rimando Justen Glad, David Horst, Chris Wingert (Yura Movsisyan, 68th) Sunny (Sebastian Saucedo, 83rd), Danilo Acosta, Kyle Beckerman, Jefferson Savarino, Luis Silva (Albert Rusnak, 77th) Brooks Lennon, Joao Plata.

 

 

 

 

 

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