RSL proves worth of 'system'
According to Vancouver's Nigel Reo-Coker, it didn't matter who was wearing a Real Salt Lake jersey Saturday night at BC Place.
"They were the better team, they had the desire today, and we got taught a lesson, we have to be honest with ourselves," the longtime English Premier league player said after Vancouver's 1-0 loss to a Salt Lake team missing its usual suspects. "I have no idea what happened, I have no explanation, I'm going to make up no lies, no nothing. They've got a system that they play, we struggle with their system, we struggle with it regardless of who they play."
RSL coach Jason Kreis has been talking about his team's depth all season. After making 10 changes to his starting lineup from last week, that certainly was on display.
"Us being able to put anyone on the pitch and still win games is one of the large benefits of having a philosophy of playing in a system that we stick to 90 percent of the time," he said. " We train all of our guys in that same system, we train all of our guys against opponents system's within ours. So we know our weaknesses and we know our strengths, so we believe that if we put in the right effort that our strengths will come out."
Jeff Attinella hadn't played in more than a month.
But Real Salt Lake's backup goalkeeper didn't need to knock any rust off as he filled in for Nick Rimando against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Attinella made needed to make just one save Saturday, stonewalling Vancouver's Russell Tibert in the 36th minute to earn his first shutout of the season.
The moment, however, wasn't Attinella's finest on the night.
"They were putting in a lot of contested crosses," he said. "Any goalie can make a good save, but to be able to manage the game is the part I'm happiest with."
Back in action
If the artificial turf at BC Place might have been a concern, Chris Schuler didn't show it.
After foot and ankle injuries have sidelined him for much of the season, the RSL center back made saw his first league action since May 11, playing 90 minutes in the shutout win.