What did our beloved Claret and Cobalt do the evening of March, 10th? They did what they trained for. They did what they most wanted. They did what they are capable of. They “came to score” (The Aggrolites).
Let's take a look at the reserves match against Houston Dynamo from yesterday and figure out exactly what happened. In a 5-5 draw, so many things happen, it's difficult to really separate all those concerns. Alas, a try shall be given, whether it's a good idea or not.
It might be easier to specifically address the performances of each player, one by one, and maybe then we can figure something out.
Kyle Reynish. 5. Despite two of the conceded goals being from penalties, Reynish was still somewhat culpable for giving up three of the goals. There was no dominance to his play, no assuredness. It was a little weird. Other parts of his game were very good, but he didn't cope at all well with being exposed by his defense.
Enzo Martinez. 5. Enzo showed some really good stuff yesterday, but when he was switched over to being the reserves' right back, he fell into a bit of a hole. He was good in the middle third — as one might expect — and he made some actually excellent tackles, but he lost his man too many times and let players past him to swing in crosses. He's young and in an unnatural position, and he'll have learned a valuable lesson — one that will help him no matter where he plays: Don't let your man past you so easily. His first 30 minutes were easily his best, as he was in a more natural midfield position.
Kwame Watson-Siriboe. 7. He was only on for 30 minutes and didn't do much wrong. It's good to see him recovering.
Carlos Salcedo. 5. The young academy center back had some good moments in the air, but he didn't form a partnership with Chris Schuler, generally being too tight centrally; as a result, there was always space for the Houston midfield.
Chris Schuler. 6. As the older, more experienced head, it's up to him to control the defenders around him and form a partnership. He was vocal, and that was good, but maybe he needed to be more forceful. Kenny Mansally seemed reluctant — at best — to track back, and Carlos Salcedo needed more direction. Still, he was loud and directive for most of the match, so it wasn't all a bust.
Kenny Mansally. 4.5. He's a very good attacking left back, this one, but he wasn't tracking back. It's one thing when your midfielders aren't tracking back, but when your left back bombs forward and strolls back without a sense of urgency on counter attacks, you're in trouble. It's not that he lacks the recovery speed — it's that he didn't use it. The extra half point is for being very good in attack.
Yordany Alvarez. 6. Yordany wasn't great on the day, but he wasn't terrible. He broke up some play in the center, but the dangerous stuff came from the flanks, so its hard to hold him too culpable.
David Viana. 7. The kid was seriously fun to watch in the first half, and he did score a well-deserved goal, but he tired in the second half and faded from view. It's a performance to build on.
Sebastian Velasquez. 8. The kid was at the center of everything — controlling the speed of the game, making killer passes, unleashing strikers. He'd have ranked higher if he'd calmed the game down a bit later on when RSL was getting hammered.
Justin Braun. 8. He was active, fast and involved. There's not much more to ask right now, and he seemed to really get the system. It's encouraging moving forward. He nearly scored a goal, and if I'm not mistaken, he bagged three assists. Nice!
Emiliano Bonfigli. 9.5. The kid scored a hat trick, and one of the goals was an entirely audacious high-lofted chip. Yum. He was all over, and he combined really well with Sebastian Velasquez. And his finishing? Immense.
Sub — Jonny Steele. 8. Steele came in when we were getting hammered and kept things neat. (What do you mean, he didn't run all over the place?) The guy gets a bad rap sometimes, but this was a good, calming performance.
Sub — Nico Muniz. 5. He didn't really do much, and he wasn't a huge help covering defensively. He's performed much better for the reserves before and will want to show signs that this was a one-off.
Sub — Paulo Jr. 6.5. He didn't have much time to influence the occasion, really.