(Now updated with final result)
There is so much to like about Real Salt Lake’s opener in Utah against Vancouver. It really was a beauty, going front to back in about 9 seconds.
Joao Plata’s service from the right is put in the perfect spot, just out of goalkeeper Joe Cannon’s reach, tucked neatly in behind Whitecaps’ defender Andy O’Brien.
Young RSL midfielder Luis Gil is technical and brave with his finish, focused on placing his header just inside the post even though he knows Cannon is coming for the ball. Gil knows he’s about to be on the business end of a goalkeeper’s desperate lunge to get some piece of his body on the ball, but does his job anyway.
But the best element of the goal, the opener in RSL’s 2-0 win over Vancouver, may be the part played by RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando (pictured).
Rimando does what too many players fail to, getting his head up and taking a quick look prior to arranging his goal kick (or a throw-in, or a free kick, etc.). Better to take a quick peak, and then set up for a big boot upfield if there’s nothing to spring quickly.
In this case, Rimando sees something he likes. And since Real Salt Lake’s No. 1 is perhaps the league’s best netminder with his feet, he’s able to supply Plata with a ball past the midfield stripe in just the right spot to start the important opener.
Goal of the Week? It’s got to be in the running. Here ‘tis: