Ruben Luna continued his recent hot streak, scoring his MLS Reserve League Leading 6th goal of the season while Bobby Warshaw scored the game-winner as FC Dallas Reserves downed Sporting KC 2-1 Wednesday morning on the adidas Field at Pizza Hut Park.
Sporting KC enjoyed the run of play early, but it was FCD who took the lead. A long cross-field ball was brought down by left back Moises Hernandez who fought for the ball with SKC left back Kevin Ellis. The ball squirted free to Bryan Leyva on the left side who sent in a pinpoint cross to Luna who rose to head home past Eric Kronberg in goal for Kansas City. The goal put Luna all alone atop the Reserve League scoring charts with 6 goals in 8 games. It's also the third MLS Reserve League game he's scored in.
Soon after, Dallas doubled their lead just a few minutes after with Bobby Warshaw dispossessing Sporting midfielder Craig Rocastle, taking a few dribbles forward and unleashing a low, curling shot to Kronberg's right that found the back of the net. Warshaw was the vocal leader in defensive midfield for Dallas the entire morning.
Sporting cut the lead in half with a headed from trialist Nick Cardenas off a Milos Stojcev corner and it was as much as SKC deserved after holding most of the possession for the half.
The second half was a fairly wide open game with both teams getting a ton of scoring chances but the heroics of Chris Seitz and Eric Kronberg would keep both teams off the board and see the game end 2-1 to FC Dallas. FCD finishes the Reserve League season at 5-4 while forward Ruben Luna ends the season atop the scoring charts with 6 goals.
Thoughts on the game including a post-game chat with Luna, who impressed and how the trialists looked after the jump
Luna in a groove Ruben Luna is simply in a groove right now. He's scored in the last 3 reserve league games, as well as the two goals vs Tauro and one against Tigres. Perhaps the most encouraging thing about what I saw today, however, was the fact that he's receiving the ball in midfield and finding the open man rather than trying to press and do too much. You can see he's playing with a ton of confidence right now, 2012 could be the breakout year for him.
Remember in 2009, at 17 years old, he led the US Soccer Development Academy with 26 goals in 29 games. Now in 2011 he's leading the MLS Reserve League in goals at 19 years old. Some may think his development is going slowly, but I'd say he's right where he needs to be. It's just a matter of time.
Warshaw up and down Bobby Warshaw was the best player on the field in the first half, winning balls all over the midfield while barking out orders to the players in front of him. However, in the second half you saw some of the issues that are likely keeping him off the field as with SKC pressing, Bobby kept turning the ball over on clearances. These turnovers led to multiple scoring chances and nearly evened up the game. Plenty to be encouraged about, especially the goal, but there's still work to do.
Leyva looking good There's something about Leyva and Luna that produces goals. They seem to have a subconscious level of connection on what the other one is going to do. Leyva offensively is at a level that could potentially do things in MLS next season, his problems are the same thing that plagued Eric Avila in that he fails to get back on defense and will get himself caught out of position. Still plenty of reason to be optimistic for him.
Trialists For Dallas, Christian Ibeagha showed fairly well. He didn't really get beat often and plays a decent pass. Going into the 2010 season, Ibeagha was an MLS-caliber prospect at Duke, but a season-ending injury set him back. I'm not really sure what the process is for a guy like this to get signed, but I'd bet he will find his way onto an MLS roster next year. For SKC, Nick Cardenas is a very interesting prospect. A center back who had a swim through the US U-20 team and was cut by Kansas City before last season, Cardenas scored a nice header and nearly had another one while playing very well at center back. He's physically huge and seems to have begun to put things together. I'll definitely be tracking where he goes.
Ruben Luna post-game
It looks like you're really in a groove right now, talk about your recent play
It's like when I start scoring, it's always been like this, it's hard for me to stop scoring. When I stop scoring it's like a drought I would say, but when I start it's hard for me to stop.
You led the development academy in goals and now you lead the reserve league, that's got to give you a lot of confidence looking to the future
I didn't know about the goal scoring in the reserve league, I had no idea but I'm glad I scored...as a forward you always have to be positive, when you miss you have to take the next chance and keep it on frame. The #1 thing for me when I take shots or PK's or whatever is to always stay focused.
It seems like you and Bryan Leyva have some connection and he always assists on your goals
I think since the academy days, me and Bryan have connected a lot. I understand his game completely, all the movements he does, and today's goal he assisted me. I'm glad to be on the same spot and connect with Bryan.