“First half, we were pretty sluggish,” RSL coach Steve Wolf said. “They caught us in a couple of bad situations.”
Due to the heavy rain across the bay area last week, the squad had been unable to train properly, and Wolf thought that led to the team being out of sorts to open the game. As it progressed, though, RSL managed to establish itself, coming close to taking the lead in the second half on a shot that came back off the crossbar.
Jacksonville also had a player ejected with 15 minutes to play, but RSL wasn’t able to take advantage.
“We put more pressure on them, we hit the crossbar, but we couldn’t capitalize on that,” Wolf said. “But it was a good match.”
Despite the two sides being the Florida representatives in the league, Wolf said neither side was that familiar with the other, having last played before he became coach of the team.
“The boys said they hadn’t played them since they were U-13, U-14,” Wolf said. “We really didn’t know much about each other.”
RSL will travel to the Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista this weekend to compete in the Disney Soccer Showcase Qualifier. RSL has been grouped with the Wellington Wave, Florida Rush and Norcross (Ga.) Gold in its group, opening play on Saturday morning against Wellington.
Ordinarily, the winner and runner-up of the qualifier gain a berth in the Disney Soccer Showcase that begins in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
“That’s a huge tournament for these kids,” Wolf said. “Hopefully we’re prepared, and they show enough desire and the mentality is right to get the job done.”