Marcelo Silva, who RSL signed using Targeted Allocation Money on July 3, started for the first time in MLS after playing 58 minutes in RSL’s friendly against Manchester United on Monday. The 28-year-old played all 90 minutes on Saturday, mostly showing well but getting whistled for a foul in the box that led to Benny Feilhaber’s penalty kick equalizer in the 59th minute.
The penalty call was one of the few referee decisions RSL head coach Mike Petke agreed with on Saturday.
“Because I’m an honest person I would say the penalty call I believe was justified. I exploded a little bit because my team got [called for] a penalty kick, but yes, he did get him.” Petke said.
Silva’s center back partner Justen Glad didn’t see the penalty but will certainly take a look at it this week and discuss what the pair can do better next time out.
“I’ll go home and look at it and maybe we’ll talk about it in our broken Spanglish,” Glad said.
Petke understands incorporating Silva will be a process, but thought Saturday was a good first step.
“Aside from the penalty and one or two other things, Marcelo is everything we wanted him to be,” Petke said. “I have dealt with players coming over from a different league and perhaps it’s officiated differently, perhaps the standard as far as how much you can get in aggressively is different. It’s going to take a little while, but otherwise I think Marcelo did very well.”
Silva made a few important tackles in the box and distributed out of the back without any egregious turnovers. His partnership with Glad will still take some time, but Saturday provided no reason to think it won’t be successful.
“It felt good [playing alongside Silva]. As the season goes on and as we get more games together we’ll get more and more comfortable,” Glad said. “I thought he played well tonight. He’s a big, strong guy and he made his presence felt.”
Silva fits in with how Petke is trying to play and even though the center back pairing don’t speak the same language, that hasn’t been a problem.
“Both of us know enough of the basics to communicate on the field, so as far as that goes we’re good,” Glad said. “Soccer is soccer. Each of us know where each other is supposed to be and even if we didn’t, it’s still soccer so we can figure it out.”