This was a “fork-in-the-road” moment in RSL’s young season.
“Coming back from a one-goal deficit when we had numerous chances in the first half, it’s so easy to let those moments derail you after a string of defeats,” RSL head coach Pablo Mastroeni said post-game.
The response after the break was emphatic: three goals in a six-minute span following halftime as RSL rallied for a 3-1 victory Mastroeni believes can be the launching-off point from a slow start to 2023.
“I think you always need a platform to really leap from, and I think today's performance was a solid platform, solid performance,” Mastroeni said, later adding, “what I saw today was a group of solid characters in that locker room that stayed the course, that dug deep, and that believed. Winning is a fickle thing. But the processes and the character of the man rarely changes and so I couldn't be more proud of this group.”
Pablo Ruiz, Anderson Julio and Jefferson Savarino scored in quick succession during a win that was just the second for RSL on the season and their first this year at America First Field, otherwise a fortress in 2022.
“What I said to the guys after the game is whilst it was a complete performance, we need to keep pushing each other on both sides of the ball,” Mastroeni said. “We have to demand more from ourselves. Because tonight, you guys showed your quality. And again, it's always been there, but it's about bringing it out.
"I think tonight's performance is a great foundation to really build from and use as momentum as we move towards the next group of games.”