Real Salt Lake management knew these days were ahead, when a younger roster would inevitably lead to losses.
The visitors from Utah were in a fairly even, and very tactical, match against D.C. United at RFK Stadium. With both clubs missing their top playmakers – Dwayne De Rosario for United and Javier Morales for RSL – that was hardly surprising.
It may have been a scoreless draw but for a mistake by young Sebastian Velasquez. Velasquez, generally not on the field last year with veteran Will Johnson around, was late pulling forward in the 60th minute, trailing dangerous behind his teammates as RSL cleared a ball initially.
Sure enough, the ball comes stinging back in, goalkeeper Nick Rimando makes a big save, but Lionard Pajoy was there to put home the game-winner. He would have been well offside … but Velasquez clearly kept United’s striker onside.
These are the things young players do – like not understanding that every little detail matters, that even the briefest most of “switching off” can cost a match.
More on D.C. United and what the match looked like from the home team’s side later.
Full highlights are here: