Superliga Matchday Two: New England-Santos Laguna
After listening to Telefutura’s announcers spend the majority of the first half talking about Sven, the camera pans to him in the pressbox. Much like his time in England, the dreams and hopes of a football mad nation are on Mr. Eriksson. The last time he wasn’t quite up to the job. Has he learned anything this time around, or will he continue to be a great club manager who is somewhat lost at the international level? New Engalnd’s goal was a thing of beauty and quite frankly what we expected in our preview show: the speed of the Revs and the style of African football played by Nyassi, Mansally, and Dube is unlike anything most Mexican teams ever see. Not only the speed but the type of movements on the ball and the supporting runs. Kheli Dube knew where to be positioned for the cross and credit to Pat Phelan the former TFC man for the well sold dummie which seemed to freeze Oswaldo Sanchez for enough time to give Dube a chance to pick out the target and nail home the goal.
New England was outstanding in the second half. Yes they were a man up, but the style of play was dictated by them as was the pace of the match. A great start to the championship for the Revs and Steve Nicol.
A hideous looking turf surface, a first for Superliga. Santos looks lost early on because of the turf and New England started slow as well. I’m watching all of the Superliga matches in HD, which is a bonus of Telefutura except when subjected to a match on turf when I wish I didn’t have HD at all. The build up play was slow early in the match. Add that to a home crowd in Foxboro that is half asleep especially when compared with the ruckus atmosphere at RFK last night.
New England’s spacing much like the DC’s yesterday was poor. A lack of definition to the shape of the side is a typical trait of New England though and unlike United they seem able to cope with players bunched up and guys seemingly out of position. Chris Albright has been solid at the back for New England and Michael Parkhurst as expected has been a rock at the back for the Revs. Matt Reis’ save on Oribe Peralta was the highlight of the first half before Juan Pablo Rodriguez unfortunate sending off. That having been said the carrying on off the Santos players led by Mexican-American left footer Edgar Castillio was childish and beyond typical dissent. After that The Revs seemed to gain a spring in their step that should serve them well in half two.