Tag Archive | "Beckerman"

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Rocky Mountain clash ends in dismal 1-1 draw

Posted on 26 September 2010 by Patrick McShane

It was another fascinating installment of the Rocky Mountain Cup Saturday night, as Real Salt Lake came back in added time to steal a 1-1 draw from the Colorado Rapids. It has been a contentious relationship between both rivals over the years, particularly last season as RSL eliminated Colorado’s playoff hopes on the final match of the season while simultaneously sealing their own playoff dreams. Add to the equation that many key RSL players used to ply their trade with the Rapids, and it makes every meeting between both teams personal and filled with bad blood.

Thanks to the sordid history between both clubs, matches are typically not very entertaining and often end up being a physical, scattered affair. Saturday night was no different, as neither team could get any sort of rhythm early in the match and both were trying to play chances over the top with the long ball. RSL in particular appeared to struggle with their tactics as they fielded a largely unconventional lineup of role players in order to rest their starters for their CONCACAF meeting between Toronto FC on Tuesday. This meant that usual starters Kyle Beckerman, Will Johnson, Alvaro Saborío, and Robbie Findley were all watching the match from the bench, while Javier Morales and Jamison Olave weren’t featured in the game day 18.

Because of the lack of cohesion between teammates, the match had little-to-no offensive production, with much of the match being played in the middle of the pitch. While RSL produced a couple of chances early on, it was Colorado that struck first with Conor Casey heading home the opening goal off of a brilliant cross from Kosuke Kimura. While the finish was class and Casey easily beat stand-in center defender Rauwshan McKenzie, the goal was completely against the run of play and surprised both the Rio Tinto fans and RSL. Noted RSL coach Jason Kreis after the match: “I’m pleased with everything except for 15 seconds in the first half when we gave away that goal. I thought that was a play completely against the run of play.”

Hoping that the infusion of typical starters would jumpstart a rally, Kreis inserted Beckerman, Saborío, and Johnson early in the second half. Though these substitutions produced a better looking display of soccer, both teams continued to struggle to create substantial chances in the final third. As regular time came to an end, it appeared that Colorado defender Marvell Wynne committed a blatant handball in the box. While referee Ramon Hernandez initially awarded the penalty kick to RSL, he later changed his call after consulting with his linesman and instead ruled a surprising drop ball. With the reversed call it felt like RSL’s lone chance to earn an underwhelming draw had passed, until Borchers came to the rescue with an unexpected goal off the back of his head to secure the 1-1 draw and the continuity of RSL’s undefeated home streak.

RSL will now turn their attention to a chaotic upcoming schedule, playing 6 matches in 18 days between MLS and CONCACAF Champions League play. While the draw to Colorado is disappointing, the possible positive outcome of resting so many starters could be actualized on Tuesday if RSL were to beat or tie Toronto FC and earn their way into the Championship Stage. “We’re going to put all our cards on the table for [the game in Toronto],” noted Kreis. “I feel like that is the one we have to get a result in to wrap up this Champions League stuff so that we can turn our focus to the Supporters Shield and the playoffs.”

REAL SALT LAKE (13-4-9, 48 pts.) v. COLORADO RAPIDS (10-7-8, 38 pts.)
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2010 – RIO TINTO STADIUM – SANDY, UT

Scoring Summary:
COL — Conor Casey 11 (Kosuke Kimura 1, Brian Mullan 1) 36
RSL — Nat Borchers 1 (Andy Williams 6) 93+

Misconduct Summary:
COL — Conor Casey (caution; Reckless Foul) 10
COL — Marvell Wynne (caution; Reckless Foul) 16
RSL — Pablo Campos (caution; Tactical Foul) 32
RSL — Fabian Espindola (caution; Dissent) 66
RSL — Collen Warner (caution; Dissent) 78
COL — Anthony Wallace (caution; Delaying a Restart) 82

Colorado Rapids — Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Anthony Wallace (Scott Palguta 89), Brian Mullan (Wells Thompson 63), Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni, Jamie Smith, Macoumba Kandji (Ross LaBauex 73), Conor Casey. ?

Real Salt Lake — Kyle Reynish, Tony Beltran, Rauwshan McKenzie, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, Andy Williams, Jean Alexandre (Kyle Beckerman 56), Collen Warner, Ned Grabavoy (Will Johnson 70), Pablo Campos (Alvaro Saborío 62), Fabian Espindola.

Referee: Ramon Hernandez?
Referee’s Assistants: Ian Anderson; Paul Scott?
4th Official: Yader Reyes?
Weather: Clear and 76 degrees / ?Attendance: 18,317

All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial

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RSL put out the Fire en route to MLS record

Posted on 18 September 2010 by Patrick McShane

Real Salt Lake made MLS history Saturday afternoon as they defeated the Chicago Fire 1-0 to set the longest home undefeated streak in league history at 23 matches. Fire defender Wilman Conde put in a catastrophic performance on the afternoon, earning an ejection right before half due to two yellow cards including the penalty that eventually led to the match winner from Álvaro Saborío. With the victory RSL continues to pressure the LA Galaxy and Columbus Crew for the Supporters’ Shield, as they are now tied with LA at 47 points and own a superior goal differential prior to the Galaxy’s match with DC United Saturday night.

With Chicago playing to keep their slim playoff hopes alive and RSL looking to break the undefeated home record, the match played as one would anticipate with both teams playing hard, physical soccer. Chicago forward Collins John was particularly formidable against the RSL backline, while midseason addition Freddie Ljungberg battled RSL captain and midfield leader Kyle Beckerman throughout the first half. There were a number of anxious moments due to this style of play, as a number of players appeared to pick up some knocks thanks to some tough challenges, including RSL’s Will Johnson and Saborío as well as Bratislave Ristic and Logan Pause for the Fire. Unfortunately, it was also this style of play that led to the Fire’s downfall, as Conde continued to hammer at RSL’s forwards and attackers at every opportunity – eventually leading to two cautions in rapid succession and his eventual ejection.

Despite the ejection and numerous knocked up players, Chicago defender C.J. Brown didn’t really see the match as being overly physical. “As far as the physical play goes, that’s just the game. I don’t think it was any worse than any other game that I have been in. There some plays here and there that some players got in on, but that’s mild compared to when it starts in the playoffs. It’s part of the game.”

As RSL near the end of the season, their third consecutive playoff birth and prepare to defend their MLS crown, it is critical that they find ways to win matches while still resting key players due to their busy CONCACAF Champions League schedule. Due to Chicago playing the entire second half down a man, RSL was able to control the match with little effort and sub out Ned Grabavoy and Saborío by the 64th minute as both players are nursing minor injuries. These substitutions allowed RSL to not only rest players, but also give important playing time to a variety of young players that they will be relying on over the next couple of weeks.

Chicago, on the other hand, appeared content to exit Rio Tinto Stadium quietly, with the exception of second half substitute Patrick Nyarko, who tormented RSL’s defense for the entire second half. His energy and skill completely changed the dynamic of Chicago’s attack and makes one wonder why he wasn’t involved from the opening whistle. With the loss, Chicago now find themselves farther behind in the MLS playoff race with only seven games remaining. That said, Fire coach Carlos de los Cobos still holds out hope that the team can still make the post season. “It’s definitely difficult now, but we still have seven matches left to play and that’s 21 points available,” notes de los Cobos. “We need to fight. We are losing points because we are not concentrating all the time… We have really good moments in all of our matches, but we are not taking advantage of this.”

RSL will maintain their busy schedule over the next week, continuing CONCACAF Champions League play Wednesday against Arabe Unido in Panama before meeting Rocky Mountain Cup rivals the Colorado Rapids at home next Saturday. Despite the chaotic schedule and the various injuries the team is currently facing, coach Jason Kreis still maintains that this RSL team can continue it’s hot form and again challenge for the MLS Cup. “[Last preseason] I really felt like this is the group I envisioned for a long time, playing the type of soccer they’re playing. This is the team I think we’ve been trying to build for a long time, and this is the team that should challenge for championships for quite a while.”

REAL SALT LAKE (13-4-8, pts.) v. CHICAGO FIRE (6-9-8, 26 pts.)
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2010 – RIO TINTO STADIUM – SANDY, UT

Scoring Summary:
RSL- Álvaro Saborío 9 (penalty kick) 47+

Misconduct Summary:
CHI — Wilman Conde (caution; Reckless Foul) 30
RSL — Kyle Beckerman (caution; Reckless Tackle) 33
CHI — Wilman Conde (caution; Tactical Foul) 46+
CHI — Wilman Conde (ejection; Second Caution) 46+

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, Ned Grabavoy (Nelson Gonzalez 64), Kyle Beckerman, Andy Williams, Will Johnson, Robbie Findley (Paulo Araujo Jr. 76), Alvaro Saborío (Pablo Campos 63).

TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Kyle Beckerman 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Kyle Beckerman 2); FOULS: 11 (Pablo Campos, Chris Wingert 2); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 5 (Andy Williams 4); SAVES: 0

Chicago Fire — Sean Johnson, Dasan Robinson, C.J. Brown, Wilman Conde, Gonzalo Segares, Bratislav Ristic, Freddie Ljungberg (Calen Carr 60), Logan Pause, Marco Pappa (Mike Banner 85), Collins John (Patrick Nyarko 46), Nery Castillo.

TOTAL SHOTS: 5 (5 players with 1); SHOTS ON GOAL: 0; FOULS: 12 (Bratislav Ristic 3); OFFSIDES: 2 (Nery Castillo, Collins John 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Nery Castillo 2); SAVES: 4 (Sean Johnson 4)

Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Referee’s Assistants: Adam Garner, James Conlee
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Attendance: 14,449 / Weather: Clear and 85 degrees

All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial

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Defense on display as RSL beat Red Bulls 1-0

Posted on 05 September 2010 by Patrick McShane

Real Salt Lake tied the longest home-undefeated streak in Major League Soccer history on Saturday night as they dispatched the newly upgraded New York Red Bulls 1-0. Heading into the match one would assume that it would be a high-powered offensive affair due to New York’s striker tandem of Juan Pablo Angel and newly acquired Thierry Henry against RSL’s league-leading offense that has tallied 35 goals this season. In the end, however, it was the defenses of both teams that stole the show, with the lone goal coming early in the match off of a Fabian Espíndola slow roller past onrushing keeper Greg Sutton in the 4th minute.

With the victory RSL not only equaled the undefeated home record, but they also set a new team record for single-season points (43), wins (12), and shutouts (11), with 7 league matches still remaining this season. Additionally, RSL now sit only 3 points behind the LA Galaxy and 1 point behind the Columbus Crew in the race for the Supporters’ Shield. Coach Jason Kreis echoed the teams focus on breaking records and continuing to win at home. “I think in our next match we will be gangbusters going to break the record. It is important to us.”

Despite missing newly acquired DP Rafael Marquez, New York still posed a frightening attack with Angel, Henry, and newcomer of the year candidate Joel Lindpere feeding from the wings. However, it appeared throughout the match that the New York needed Marquez more than they realized as their midfield struggled to connect passes to their forwards, essentially nullifying Henry’s impact on the match. Noted Henry after the match: “I don’t know if you saw in the first half, but we played long ball, which is not the way the game should be played. You saw the way that Salt Lake, they pass the ball on the ground. I think Rafa not being here was a bit difficult for us because he has a great vision and can calm people down, so we definitely missed him today.”

While RSL deserved the victory, it did take the stellar play of keeper Nick Rimando, stout defense from RSL’s entire back line, and some luck thanks to some clearances off of the goal line from Kyle Beckerman & Andy Williams. Seeing that New York has perpetually been a thorn in RSL’s side, particularly at Ro Tinto Stadium, it is certain that the players and coaches would be happy to escape with a 1-0 victory and continue their push to the post season.

REAL SALT LAKE (12-4-7, 43 pts.) v. NEW YORK RED BULLS (11-8-4, 37 pts.)
SATURDAY, SEPT. 4, 2010 – RIO TINTO STADIUM

Scoring Summary:
RSL — Fabian Espíndola 6 (Kyle Beckerman 3, Javier Morales 7) 4

Misconduct Summary:
NY — Tony Tchani (caution; Tactical Foul) 18
NY — Danleigh Borman (caution; Tactical Foul) 38
RSL — Jamison Olave (caution; Tactical Foul) 39
NY — Seth Stammler (caution; Tactical Foul) 74

New York Red Bulls — Greg Sutton, Chris Albright (Salou Ibrahim 86), Carlos Mendes, Tim Ream, Danleigh Borman, Macoumba Kandji (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 76), Seth Stammler, Tony Tchani, Joel Lindpere, Thierry Henry, Juan Pablo Angel.

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando; Robbie Russell, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert; Andy Williams, Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Ned Grabavoy; Robbie Findley (Nelson Gonzalez 75), Fabian Espíndola (Pablo Campos 50).

Referee: Ricardo Salazar?
Referee’s Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry; Eric Boria?
4th Official: Paul Ward?
Attendance: 19,115 / Weather: Clear and 91 degrees

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RSL stumble at home for disappointing draw

Posted on 25 July 2010 by Patrick McShane

Fans, coaches, and players alike experienced a number of surprises Saturday night as Real Salt Lake stumbled to a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA. First, there was the surprising start of RSL captain Kyle Beckerman after being out of action for nine weeks with a foot injury. Then there was the wonder strike from defensive midfield substitute Ned Grabavoy, blasting RSL into a deserved 1-0 lead. Unfortunately for the 19,469 fans in attendance, there was one more surprise waiting, as Chivas substitute Jesus Padilla powered a shot just minutes after Grabavoy’s strike that keeper Nick Rimando was unable to control, giving Chivas an unexpected point on the road and RSL a disappointing result on a home pitch where they typically excel.

The match began with a lot of promise for RSL supporters as the team seemed energized and prepared to make amends for a lethargic performance just a week earlier against Dallas. It was obvious that Beckerman specifically was up for the match as he has been itching to get back on the pitch for weeks. Logging just over 60 minutes, it was a solid, not spectacular, return for RSL’s emotional and vocal leader.

“I felt good,” said Beckerman. “Our goal was to get to about 60 minutes, so in that respect it was positive for me, outside of us not winning… The foot felt pretty solid after the match, and I think my fitness will come back.”

RSL’s aggression and intensity lead to a 9-1 shoot advantage going into half, but nothing tangible on the score sheet. While the early stages of the second half continued to produce more of the same energy and attack as the first, one notable difference was the four-minute span where both teams took advantage of sloppy plays to each earn a goal. The first came for RSL on a corner kick that deflected off of Chivas player and fell to Grabavoy who blasted a one-timer to the top left corner of goal. Given little time to celebrate, Chivas began to press RSL on the counter, setting up Padilla for his own blast at goal from just outside the box. While it appeared initially that Rimando was up to task to knock the shot down, the ball took a bizarre bounce between his legs and rolled in to goal.

“I’ve got to do better on that,” noted Rimando after the match. “I know these balls move. He hit it right at me and I thought I had it and the next thing you know the ball goes right through my legs and into the net.”

Happy to sit back and take a point on the road, Chivas played organized and smart defense for the remainder of the match, frustrating RSL and slowing down every attacking opportunity. While a firework display in honor of a statewide holiday awaited the sold-out crowd, there was a sense of frustration and disappointment throughout Rio Tinto Stadium as the match came to a close.

Once seen as the top offensive team in the league, RSL has mustered a meager 2 goals over their last three matches. With four players selected, and three likely to play, for the MLS All-Stars this coming Wednesday versus Manchester United, it will be interesting to see what lineup coach Jason Kreis unveils to ignite a struggling offense when RSL face MLS cellar dwellers D.C. United next Saturday.

REAL SALT LAKE (9-4-4, 31 pts.) v. CHIVAS USA (4-9-3, 15 pts.)
SATURDAY, JULY 24, 2010 – RIO TINTO STADIUM

Scoring Summary:
RSL — Ned Grabavoy 2 (unassisted) 66
CHV — Jesus Padilla 4 (unassisted) 70

Misconduct Summary:
CHV — Rodolfo Espinoza (caution; Reckless Foul) 28
RSL — Kyle Beckerman (caution; Reckless Tackle) 51
CHV — Mariano Trujillo (caution; Reckless Tackle) 54
CHV — Dan Kennedy (caution; Delaying a Restart) 78
RSL — Alvaro Saborio (caution; Dissent) 82

Real Salt Lake (4-4-2) — Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert; Andy Williams, Kyle Beckerman (Ned Grabavoy 62), Javier Morales, Will Johnson; Alvaro Saborio (Pablo Campos 83), Fabian Espindola (Robbie Findley 68).

Statistics – Shots: 20 (Saborio 6); Shots on Goal: 8 (Grabavoy, Williams 2); Saves: 1 (Rimando 1); Fouls: 8 (3 players with 2); Corners: 4 (Morales 3); Offside: 3 (Espindola 3)

Chivas USA (4-4-2) — Dan Kennedy; Mariano Trujillo, Michael Umana, Dario Delgado, Ante Jazic; Michael Lahoud (Ben Zemanski 46), Paulo Nagamura (Jesus Padilla 69), Blair Gavin, Rodolfo Espinoza; Justin Braun, Giancarlo Maldonado (Carlos Borja 82).

Statistics – Shots: 5 (Espinoza 2); Shots on Goal: 2 (Nagamura, Padilla 1); Saves: 7 (Kennedy 7); Fouls: 12 (Espinoza, Nagamura 3); Corners: 3 (Espinoza 3); Offside: 2 (Braun, Maldonado 1)

Referee: Mark Geiger
Referee’s Assistants: Paul Scott; Peter Manikowski
4th Official: Ramon Hernandez
Attendance: 19,469 (sellout)

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Early afternoon delight; RSL stroll past the Union

Posted on 08 May 2010 by Patrick McShane

For the second week in a row Real Salt Lake faced an Eastern Conference foe at home, and for the second week they have emerged victorious. This week’s victim came in the form of expansion side Philadelphia Union who, despite looking the better team at times in the first half, coughed up possession in route to a disappointing 3-0 defeat. It was in particular a difficult afternoon for Union keeper Chris Seitz as he spent his formative years in MLS with RSL as a backup to MLS Cup hero Nick Rimando.

While the match ended with an inflated score line, the first half was quite a different story with chances coming few and far between. Both teams found it difficult to string together passes and much of the offensive buildup ended up with disappointment. In fact, it could be argued that one of the best chances early on came to the Union when Rimando was casual with the ball and turned the ball over to young rookie Jack McInerney with the goal completely open from 25 yards out. However, McInerney took too much time lining up his strike, giving RSL defender Jamison Olave time to save the day with a sliding block.

Noted RSL coach Jason Kreis after the match: “I really was displeased with our first half. I really felt like Philadelphia was the better team. We were very fortunate to have a lead at all. If the score would have been what I thought it should have been it probably would have been 3-1, us down; that doesn’t make me happy at all.”

Just minutes later it was the Union’s turn to make an unforced error, and unfortunately RSL would capitalize. While under minimal pressure, right back Christian Arrieta made a casual back pass to no one, leaving RSL forward Álvaro Saborío free to run at Seitz. While two Union defenders recovered quickly and blocked Saborío’s initial attempt, the ball fell perfectly to captain Kyle Beckerman who was able to slot the ball past Seitz for the opening tally.

Though striker Robbie Findley had to be replaced before half due to an injured back, RSL came out inspired for the final 45 minutes. Olave scored for the second consecutive match when Seitz couldn’t handle a free kick from Javier Morales on the left wing, spilling the ball right to Olave in front of goal for the tap in. Saborío made up for his blown chance early in the match and headed home RSL’s third score of the afternoon off of a beautiful run of play between him and substitute Pablo Campos.

RSL will complete their three game home stand on short rest when they line up against the Houston Dynamo this coming Thursday. It will be a fantastic opportunity to get revenge for an early season loss to Houston where RSL saw an early lead disappear in matter of minutes thanks to rapid-fire penalty calls against Olave. Due to the short turnaround and various injuries, there is a good chance that both squads will feature very different lineups than those that played today. With the league just a couple weeks away from a busy pre-World Cup schedule, RSL must continue to earn results at home in order to remain in the Western Conference hunt.

MATCH FACTS

REAL SALT LAKE (3-3-1, 10 pts.) v. PHILADELPHIA UNION (1-5-0, 3 pts.)
DATE: May 8, 2010 — Rio Tinto Stadium

Scoring Summary:
RSL — Kyle Beckerman 2 (unassisted) 27
RSL — Jamison Olave 2 (Javier Morales 2) 51
RSL — Álvaro Saborío 2 (Pablo Campos 1) 70

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave (Rauwshan McKenzie 73), Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, Andy Williams (Collen Warner 79), Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Will Johnson, Álvaro Saborío, Robbie Findley (Pablo Campos 38).

Philadelphia Union — Chris Seitz, Danny Califf, Cristian Arrieta, Michael Orozco, Jordan Harvey, Kyle Nakazawa, Fred, Andrew Jacobson (Shea Salinas 53), Roger Torres (Nick Zimmerman 71), Alejandro Moreno, Jack McInerney (Danny Mwanga 59).

Misconduct Summary:
RSL — Andy Williams (caution; Tactical Foul) 17
RSL — Kyle Beckerman (caution; Tactical Foul) 41
PHI — Cristian Arrieta (caution; Tactical Foul) 50
RSL — Nat Borchers (caution; Tactical Foul) 81

Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Referee’s Assistants: George Gansner; Cameron Blair
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Attendance: 14,224 / Weather: Cloudy-and-63-degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

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Everton edge MLS All-Stars on penalties

Posted on 30 July 2009 by Patrick McShane

It took a monstrous performance from American keeper Tim Howard as Everton FC outlasted the MLS All-Stars Wednesday to win 4-3 on penalty kicks after the match ended in a 1-1 draw. Howard deservedly received MVP honors for his performance, where he made stunning save after save both during the match as well as during the penalty shootout. This is the first time the MLS All-Stars have lost to a foreign opponent and their first loss since 2005.

What turned out to be a surprisingly even affair didn’t appear to be closely aligned in the early minutes of the match, with Everton dominating the run of play. Striker Louis Saha was particularly dangerous in attack with towering midfielder Marouane Fellaini casually working the ball through a lethargic MLS backline. Despite their prowess on attack, it was actually a sloppy back pass by MLS starlet Stuart Holden that led to Everton’s goal in the 12th minute. It was an easy strike for Saha who, despite a range of injury concerns over his career, is still considered an elite striker.

Fortunately for the 20,124 fans in attendance the MLS seemed to come to life and began to create a number of chances. This build up finally led to a breakthrough in the 26th minute when Holden made up for his earlier error and cradled a Conor Casey pass to an onrushing Brad Davis for an easy shot on the left side of goal. The MLS continued to create more opportunities for the remainder of the half, but Howard was up to the task on a number of close range shots.

Though the second half produced the typical mass substitutions one expects from an All-Star game, the qualify of play didn’t drop off and almost appeared to elevate. Landon Donovan looked particularly impressive on attack, nearly delivering the breakthrough goal when he carelessly slammed a wide open opportunity 5 yards in front of goal off of the side bar. After three minutes of added time, the match moved to a penalty kick scenario.

While Everton’s first two kick-takers, James Vaughan and Jo, delivered two horrific misses, the MLS couldn’t take advantage and had their own problems with the spot kicks Only host Real Salt Lake’s own Will Johnson and Donovan delivered clean shots on goal, with Howard contesting nearly every shot headed his direction. The deadlock on penalties was finally broken when Seattle midfielder and former English Premier League regular, Freddie Ljungberg, tried to chip the ball past Howard only for the Everton keeper to casually knock the ball down after initially diving to the right.

Despite the defeat, the overall match was entertaining and the fans seemed to enjoy the atmosphere that Rio Tinto Stadium delivered. With news arriving earlier this week that Houston will be hosting the 2010 All-Star game, one can only anticipate another compelling affair next year.

Notable Performances:

Keller – Probably played longer than he anticipated due to Thornton’s injury. Overall played a great match and didn’t make a lot of mistakes while stepping up his play during the penalty kicks.

Holden – Would have been in contention for MVP if one of his assists wasn’t for the other team. That taken into consideration, he played admirably considering this match was less than a week after his stellar Gold Cup performance.

Beckerman – Was far more withdrawn in Kinnear’s formation than one typically finds Kyle in an RSL kit. While he was outmuscled by Fellaini, he was tenacious and aggressive.

Ljungberg – He was going to be my vote for MVP until the 80th minute came along and he ran out of gas. (His attempt at Zidane status with the chipped penalty kick was also a horrible idea). That said, he was the motor on attack the majority of the night and was one of the better passers on the team.

Casey – I just wasn’t as impressed with Casey’s performance as some people on Twitter were last night. He was consistently offside on breaks and seemed dodgy on attack. His only close call was the snap header off of Holden’s cross that challenged Howard late in the first half. He was decent if someone (like Donovan) set up the attack, but was lost on his own.

Blanco – I expected more from Blanco and he just didn’t deliver. Maybe it was the late-night partying at the MLS W.O.R.K.S. All-Star event on Tuesday, or maybe he just didn’t want to get hurt. He seemed indecisive at the top of the box, which isn’t what I typically consider a Blanco trait.

Johnson – Prior to Wednesday I was shocked by Johnson’s selection to the squad. After watching his second-half performance, I feel like I need to recant my sentiment of doubt. Johnson appeared very comfortable in his central midfield role and was quick with his decision making. Hopefully this leads to a strong second half of the season for him in MLS play.

Morales – The best thing Morales did all night was honor teammate Andy Williams by wearing his traditional jersey number, 77. Outside of that, he seemed lost throughout the match and appeared to pick up a late injury that could hurt his chances of playing for Real Salt Lake this weekend.

Donovan – If Donovan was fit to play the entire match, I think we would have seen a different result and potentially a different MVP. I thought Donovan was pure class throughout the second half despite his late folly in front of goal. He was one step ahead of Everton’s defense and brilliant at getting his teammates involved.

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Hot streak continues with win over Toronto

Posted on 29 June 2009 by Patrick McShane

Real Salt Lake rolled to an impressive victory over Toronto FC in front of 18,188 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium Saturday night. While it was not their largest margin of victory for the season, it was easily to the best team performance for RSL and a victory that should give the squad confidence over the next month as they will lose a glut of midfielders to the Gold Cup competition.

Skip right to the photo gallery.

It was a fond farewell to captain Kyle Beckerman, starting his last match before leaving to join the U.S. Men’s National Team next weekend. Beckerman scored a goal and proved to be dangerous against a lackluster Toronto side all evening. Already without integral midfielder Will Johnson, who left to join the Canadian National Team earlier in the week, as well as suspended defender Jamison Olave, RSL desperately needed someone to step up and guide the team to victory. Fortunately for the team and its supporters, there were a number of heroes Saturday evening.

Early in the match it felt as though victory could go either way. Both teams created chances but neither had the finishing prowess to take the lead.

“I felt like Toronto was winning most of the 50-50 battles in those first 15 minutes, but then slowly but surely we got into it. And then we get that goal and I think it really changes things.”

“That goal” which coach Jason Kreis is referring to came in the 21st minute when striker Yura Movsisyan took a sloppy back pass from Toronto midfielder Amado Guevara and ran untouched for 30 yards before coolly chipping the ball over Toronto keeper Stefan Frei. It was Movsisyan’s 3rd goal in four matches, and a goal that broke open the floodgates of RSL control for the remainder of the evening.

Less than 15 minute later RSL had another opportunity to bury Toronto after continuing to pressure the final third. Movsisyan continued to pressure and fight Toronto’s defenders all over the pitch, eventually finding himself open on the right wing. While Beckerman reached Movsisyan’s low cross right in front of goal, he tried to finesse the shot and instead hit the ball straight to Frei.

Thankfully Beckerman was able to make amends just a few minutes later when he knocked home a beautiful pass from Javier Morales right in front of goal. It was the 4th assist of the season for Morales as he has struggled to match his output from last season, while Clint Mathis also earned an assist on the play, which placed him in a three-way tie for 2nd place in assists for the season with 6 helpers.

RSL eventually finished Toronto off late in the second half when Ned Grabavoy fought off three players in the middle of the pitch and found a wide-open Mathis on the right wing. Taking his time to set up the shot, Mathis easily put the ball past Frei for the third tally of the match, capping another magnificent performance this season. Noted Mathis after the match: “I just feel good. I’m actually happy to play soccer here, and I think there were a few years where different circumstances were happening and I was almost thinking ‘What was I doing in the sport? It’s not making me happy,’ and I always said that I’d quit when I wasn’t happy.”

The win comes at a crucial time, as RSL will now face the next two league matches without Beckerman, Johnson, and rookie midfielder Jean Alexandre. While they are undefeated in the last four matches, it will take a team effort equal to Saturday night for RSL to keep their hot streak alive and on track for playoff contention. “I think we’re getting back into form,” said Beckerman. “The confidence is coming back, Yura [Movsisyan] is heating up, and we’re getting goals in timely parts of the game, and if you do that, you can go far.”

Photo Gallery

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RSL PLAYER ASSESSMENTS

Rimando – Wasn’t really tested after the first twenty minutes. It was Rimando’s fourth shutout of the season and his third in the last six matches.

Russell – You have to respect Russell’s versatility and ability to fill in for the suspended Jamison Olave. The backline didn’t seem to miss a beat while Russell appeared to cage some of his inclinations to move forward on attack in order to remain conservative on defense.

Wingert – Probably Wingert’s best match of the season. It felt like he put forth a mentally strong performance marked with wise choices. He never appeared to be overmatched which is a nice change from some other performances this season.

Borchers – Many scoffed last season at his receipt of the defender of the year recognition for the team. Those who did should take one look at his performance this season and notice that he has again silently put together a stalwart season anchoring RSL’s defense.

Beltran – While I was admittedly harsh towards Beltran earlier this season, he has bounced back and proved me wrong over the past couple of weeks. I can’t help but feel that the newly utilized 4-3-3 formation feeds into Beltran’s natural abilities and has helped focus his defensive resolve.

Beckerman – It’s a shame that Beckerman put together his best all-around performance of the season right before he leaves for national team duty. It was exciting to watch the Beckerman of old dominate the defensive third while still finding the energy to push up on attack. I hope he can continue this newfound confidence upon his return.

Grabavoy – The loss of Johnson and Beckerman last season would have destroyed this squad. However, Grabavoy has added a great dynamic of leadership and veteran savvy that can’t be underestimated. His ability to set up Mathis for the 3rd goal was brilliant.

Morales – While the assist was a step in the right direction, Morales still has miles to go to earn the title of RSL’s best player. He needs to show up every match and not drift in and out depending on how physical the other team is playing. The next couple of weeks will be the perfect opportunity for him to shine.

Mathis – Mathis was deservedly winded late in the match, as he owned the right wing all evening. While his late goal seemed like a “gimmie,” it’s important to note that other RSL players have blown open shots on goal earlier this year.

Espindola – His return to RSL could be the greatest move by the front office all season. Espindola’s speed and left-footed ability is unrivaled on this squad and it’s a shame he also didn’t claim a goal as he set the offense in motion all evening.

Movsisyan – Just over a month ago I was cursing Movsisyan and wanting a change in attack. Now I can’t imagine this revamped squad without him on the pitch. His work-rate has always been there, but his production seemed to be lacking. Now he’s getting the goals and RSL seems to be back on track.

SUBS
Williams – Came on right before the final goal but had little to do outside of holding up the ball and controlling the tempo. Fans should be counting their blessings that Williams declined the invitation to join the Jamaican National Team, as he will be even more valuable during July.

Joy – It was a sentimental substitution as Joy saw his first minutes of the season after battling back from a crippling hamstring injury. Neither Wingert or Beltran were playing poorly, it just made sense to get Joy some time on the pitch.

Nunez – I’m not sure he even touched the ball in the final 2 minutes of added time.

MATCH FACTS

Toronto FC (6-6-4) vs. Real Salt Lake (5-6-4)
June 27, 2009 — Rio Tinto Stadium

Scoring Summary:
RSL — Yura Movsisyan 4 (unassisted) 21
RSL — Kyle Beckerman 2 (Javier Morales 4, Clint Mathis 6) 44
RSL — Clint Mathis 2 (Ned Grabavoy 2) 78

Toronto FC — Stefan Frei, Nana Attakora, Nick Garcia, Adrian Serioux, Jim Brennan, Dwayne De Rosario, Sam Cronin, Carl Robinson, Amado Guevara (Danny Dichio 46), Pablo Vitti (Marco Velez 69), Chad Barrett (Fuad Ibrahim 82).

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Chris Wingert, Nat Borchers, Robbie Russell, Tony Beltran (Ian Joy 83), Kyle Beckerman (Tino Nunez 91+), Ned Grabavoy, Javier Morales (Andy Williams 75), Clint Mathis, Yura Movsisyan, Fabian Espindola.

Misconduct Summary:
TOR — Chad Barrett (caution; Reckless Foul) 46+
TOR — Jim Brennan (caution; Reckless Foul) 51
TOR — Pablo Vitti (caution; Goalkeeper Interference) 61
TOR — Adrian Serioux (caution; Reckless Tackle) 65

Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Referee’s Assistants: George Gansner; Frank Anderson
4th official: Yader Reyes
Attendance: 18,188 / Weather: Clear -and- 77 degrees

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D.C. downed by RSL

Posted on 12 April 2009 by Patrick McShane

Morales got the game winner 10 minutes from time

Real Salt Lake continued their home dominance Saturday, beating D.C. United for their second win of the season and their first back-to-back win in over a year and a half. After falling behind in the 39th by way of a Luciano Emilio header, RSL fought and clawed their way back into the match, outshooting United 15-6 on the evening, to control the second half and earn a well-deserved victory.

Expectations were high for RSL as they were riding a wave of euphoria from their impressive victory over reigning MLS Cup Champion Columbus Crew. For the first 30 minutes RSL lived up to those expectations, creating repeated attacking chances while nullifying United’s opportunities. However, all of that promise quickly went away when Emilio bodied defender Nat Borchers out of the way for a header after rookie sensation Chris Pontius placed the perfect ball into the box. Keeper Nick Rimando didn’t stand a chance at stopping the shot as it rolled into the far left corner of goal.

Instead of self-destructing and letting United back into the match, RSL matched last week’s effort and scored the equalizer less than two minutes later. Throwing the ball in on the left, midfielder Will Johnson collected the ball back from Robbie Findley and launched a perfect cross into the box for an onrushing Jamison Olave. United keeper Louis Crayton was able to get a hand on the ball, but Olave’s header was too powerful and trickled into the net.

RSL continued their high-flying attack throughout the second half, but had little to show in terms of goals. Findley continued his scintillating form from the previous week, running all over the United defense while creating chances for himself and striking partner Yura Movsisyan. Both strikers, along with midfielder Kyle Beckerman, almost scored in the second half with only the crossbar and great goalkeeping by Crayton standing in their way.

Ten minutes from time, all fears were eased when RSL’s attacking prowess finally came to fruition. Quickly passing the ball around on attack, Johnson found Beckerman unmarked 30 yards out from goal. While driving forward, Beckerman placed a heavy pass to Findley who softly knocked the ball back to an open Javier Morales to slam past the keeper. The 11,793 rain-soaked fans finally had their positive result and RSL finally had their back-to-back victory.

Said coach Jason Kreis after the match: “It’s huge. We set it out for them at the beginning of the season, and I reminded them again yesterday that it was an opportunity to win two games in a row, which we didn’t do all of last year. I think the guys are very happy that they have won two in a row, and now they want three.” RSL will look to earn their third win next week as they face New York Red Bulls in a rematch of last year’s the Western Conference finals.

RSL PLAYER RATINGS

After last week’s debacle over Tony Beltran’s 3.5 rating, I’ve decided this time to use a 1-5 scale, with 1 = terrible, 2 = below average, 3 = average, 4 = above average, and 5 = outstanding.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Jamison Olave – 5
It was just another blue-collar day at the office for Olave. Not only did he score the tying goal, but he also tormented United’s strikers all afternoon with physical, yet savvy, force.

Rimando: 3 – Another week of little-to-no activity for Nick. However, I’m sure RSL supporters wouldn’t have it any other way after past RSL squads have been apt to bleed goals.

Beltran: -7 (just kidding!): 2 – Despite last week’s disagreement, Beltran again did little to impress the fans, Jason Kreis, or me. There’s a reason he was subbed off so early for an unproven rookie (Beltran looked pretty lonely at the end of the bench once he was subbed out). He seemed lost when marking defensively and clueless on attack.

Borchers: 2.5 – While he couldn’t muscle Emilio out of the way for the opening goal, he still held down the backline while Olave pushed forward.

Wingert: 3 – Played his best soccer of the season when he moved his natural right side in the 60th minute. Nothing spectacular, but nothing detrimental.

Mathis: 3.5 – I am firmly seated on the “2009 Mathis bandwagon.” He did a great job instigating the attack early on and maintained possession in the second half. That said; it was an appropriate substitution by Kreis to put Grabavoy on when Mathis seemed winded.

Beckerman: 4 – Another week of great two-way play by the “dreaded one.” It’s unfortunate that his blast in the second half ricocheted off the bar, as it would have challenged for goal of the year.

Morales: 5 – Finally shook off the rust from the first two matches and delivered an all-around performance that the fans demanded. He was unlucky to have not earned an assist in the first half as he had two dangerous crosses into the box. While delivering the go-ahead goal was impressive, it was his tracking back on defense to stop a 2-on-2 break that really stood out to me. Welcome back, Javi.

Johnson: 4 – Notched his first points of the season with the assist to Olave and never stopped moving. Only a McTavish body-check late in the match slowed him down.

Findley: 5 – Followed up last week’s breakout performance with two assists and a relentless effort on attack. The former “super-sub” is starting show signs of being a star.

Movsisyan: 3.5 – Nobody deserved a goal more than Movsisyan, and he almost earned it when he headed a cross from Wingert on goal. Unfortunately, Crayton made a spectacular save and Movsisyan must wait another week to open his tally for the season. His positioning and strength is a great compliment to Findley’s speed

SUBS:
Cox: 3.5 – Cox delivered the surprise performance of the night after subbing on for an ineffective Beltran. He pushed the ball on attack and created a sense of excitement every time he touched the ball. His rating would have been higher had he played longer.
Grabavoy: 3 – Another midfielder cut from the Johnson/Beckerman mold. He didn’t stop moving and fought for every possession.
Williams: N/A – Came on for garbage time while Rimando was killing the clock.

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MATCH FACTS

DC United at Real Salt Lake, April 11, 2009

Scoring Summary:
DC — Luciano Emilio 3 (Chris Pontius 1, Fred 1) 38?
RSL — Jamison Olave 1 (Will Johnson 1, Robbie Findley 1) 40
RSL — Javier Morales 1 (Robbie Findley 2, Kyle Beckerman 1) 80

D.C. United — Louis Crayton, Bryan Namoff, Dejan Jakovic, Marc Burch, Fred (Devon McTavish 69), Christian Gomez (Francis Doe 76), Andrew Jacobson, Clyde Simms, Rodney Wallace (Santino Quaranta 82), Chris Pontius, Luciano Emilio.

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran (Raphael Cox 59), Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert, Clint Mathis (Ned Grabavoy 74), Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Will Johnson, Robbie Findley (Andy Williams 89), Yura Movsisyan.

Misconduct Summary:
RSL — Javier Morales (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 15
RSL — Chris Wingert (caution; Tactical Foul) 25
RSL — Nat Borchers (caution; Tactical Foul) 35
DC — Christian Gomez (caution; Dissent) 39
DC — Marc Burch (caution; Tactical Foul) 75
DC — Devon McTavish (caution; Reckless Foul) 91+

Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee’s Assistants: Philippe Briere; Peter Balciunas
4th official: Tyler Ploeger
Attendance: 11,793
Weather: Cloudy -and- 53 degrees

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RSL kick the Crew

Posted on 03 April 2009 by Patrick McShane

RSL rolled to an impressive victory in their home opener Thursday night, easily dispatching of the Columbus Crew. Robbie Findley didn’t let the cold weather and rain ruin his best performance for the club as he put home two goals in the first half as well as a third early in the second to earn the first hat-trick in RSL club history.

Skip right to the player ratings or the photo gallery.

It took less than two minutes for RSL to get on the board as Findley casually scored on a rebound shot from a Will Johnson free kick. It appeared the Columbus keeper Will Hesmer was caught by surprise when Johnson slammed the ball at goal from over 35 yards out, barely knocking the ball down to a wide-open Findley to roll home. The 11,806 brave enough to come out in the storm erupted with joy, as it seemed like all of the concerns from the previous week had been remedied.

However, all of that jubilation turned to doubt just 20 minutes later when Columbus took advantage of sloppy defending on a short corner to free Columbus striker Jason Garey for an easy tap-in. Fortunately for RSL, Hesmer made another shocking error to gift RSL the lead at half. Having just collected a back pass under no pressure from Brian Carroll, Hesmer curelessly kicked the ball into an unknowing Findley, who quickly came to life and drove the ball around Hesmer for the easiest goal of the night.

Any question as to if Columbus would come out with fire in the second half was quickly answered as RSL continued to maintain sustained attacks against a confused Crew defense. Findley finished off his hat-trick in the 62nd minute after Yura Movsisyan collected a long pass from keeper Nick Rimando and lifted a beautiful cross back in front of goal for a leaping Findley to put home.

It was all she wrote just five minutes later, when captain Kyle Beckerman slammed the final nail from a Clint Mathis corner kick. It was Beckerman’s first goal in the last 25 matches and a well-deserved reward for hustling and organizing RSL’s midfield all night.

Columbus will have little time to recover as they fly to Los Angeles to take on an undefeated Chivas USA squad this coming Sunday. In the meantime, RSL will take pride in coming back from a dreadful opening-week performance and hope to gain momentum for their next match at home against DC United next week

RSL PLAYER RATINGS
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being best.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Robbie Findley – 10
Is there any question? Findley played his best all-around match as an RSL player, earning the first hat-trick in club history as well as his first multiple-goal match since his debut for the club. He ran all over the crew defense while showing a surprising soft touch and offensive guile.

Rimando: 7– The goal against wasn’t really his fault and the majority of the late saves were made by his teammates, but Rimando continued to show his value to this team without having to be the savior.

Beltran: 3.5 4.5– While Beltran gave some flashes of offensive brilliance early on, he was burned on the left wing all night long by an injured Robbie Rogers and Schelotto. It’s fortunate the he didn’t cost the team more goals like he did in Seattle.

Olave: 8.5 – So cool and calm sometimes that it makes me anxious (Schelotto nearly robbing him for an open goal, anyone?) Despite that, there’s no doubt that he is crucial for this team if they want to contain star opposing players.

Borchers: 7.5 – Unheralded at times, Borchers had a number of crucial clearances in the first half and then finished up the match with all-around composure as Columbus pushed forward. It was his missed header that gifted Columbus their only goal.

Wingert: 6 – ”WINGS!” – as my co-writer likes to call him – has been uncharacteristically shaky in the first two matches this season. After an off-season featuring a contract extension and a USMNT call-up, much more is expected of him.

Johnson: 8 – A much better week for Johnson after he shook off his scattered play from the Seattle match and coolly organized a number of decent attacks. He spent a lot of time on the right side (his preferred position) this week, which may be a positive sign of things to come.

Mathis: 8 – Despite some sloppy passes and plays early on, Mathis never stopped hustling and working defensively. He deservedly earned two assists on the final two goals and continues his surprise return to form.

Beckerman: 9 – Beckerman would have been the MOTM if Findley hadn’t been on the top of his game. After seeming confused and overwhelmed in Seattle, Beckerman came out with fire on Thursday and never stopped working. Can he produce like this every week?

Morales: 7 – Continued his recent trend of drifting in and out of matches. Could the pressure of last season’s success be affecting him?

Movsisyan: 8 – Deserved a goal for all of his hard work and combination play without Findley throughout the night. Still needs to finish better, though one can’t argue with the beautiful pass to Findley for the hat-trick – only his 2nd assist in his entire MLS career.

SUBS:
Williams: 5 – Came in after the match was already well in control.
Grabavoy: 7 – Great energy and never stopping fighting, nearly earning an assist with a beautiful pass to Movsisyan.
Alexandre: N/A – Not much you can say in limited minutes.

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MATCH FACTS

Scoring Summary:
RSL — Robbie Findley 1 (unassisted) 2
CLB — Jason Garey 1 (unassisted) 22
RSL — Robbie Findley 2 (unassisted) 29
RSL — Robbie Findley 3 (Yura Movsisyan 1, Clint Mathis 1) 62
RSL — Kyle Beckerman 1 (Clint Mathis 2) 67

Liineups:

Columbus Crew — William Hesmer, Jed Zayner (Andy Iro 85), Chad Marshall, Danny O’Rourke, Gino Padula (Steven Lenhart 63), Eddie Gaven, Brian Carroll, Emmanuel Ekpo, Robbie Rogers (Alejandro Moreno 63), Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Jason Garey.

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert, Clint Mathis (Ned Grabavoy 75), Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales (Jean Alexandre 85), Will Johnson, Robbie Findley (Andy Williams 70), Yura Movsisyan.

Misconduct Summary: ?
RSL — Nat Borchers (caution; Reckless Foul) 40?
RSL — Kyle Beckerman (caution; Reckless Foul) 45
CLB — Emmanuel Ekpo (caution; Delaying a Restart) 48+?
CLB — Robbie Rogers (caution; Reckless Tackle) 58

Referee: Alex Prus
Referee’s Assistants: Corey Rockwell; Fabio Tovar?
4th official: Tyler Ploeger?
Weather: Partly Cloudy -and- 48 degrees

Photo Gallery


All photos © Julia Fizer/AmericanSoccerNews.net

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RSL earn disappointing scoreless draw with Quakes

Posted on 20 June 2008 by Patrick McShane

Cunliffe heads it away from Borchers©ASN/Julia Fizer

Real Salt Lake (4-5-4, 16 pts.) remain unbeaten at home after drawing 0-0 against the San Jose Earthquakes (3-7-2, 11 pts.) in a hotly contested Wednesday night match in Salt Lake City. RSL let a perfect opportunity slip through their fingers to gain three more points in the competitive Western Conference as they were unable to take advantage of a man advantage for the second half due to the ejection of Earthquakes defender, Jason Hernandez.

One would think that both teams have become familiar foes this season, having met two previous times in both MLS and U.S. Open Cup play. RSL has outscored the Quakes 7-1 over those two matches, leading many to think that this would be another dominant performance by the home squad. Instead, both teams did little to impress as RSL couldn’t convert any of their 24 shots and the Quakes appeared content to bunker down and clear when under pressure.

The lineups for both teams appeared slightly different to previous encounters, with Matias Cordoba making his first home start for RSL as usual starting midfielder Andy Williams is on international duty for Jamaica. The Quakes also made a noticeable change, employing the services of standout midfielder Ronnie O’Brien on the hard plastic surface of Rice-Eccles Stadium for the first time this season. While Cordoba played admirably and was effective in supporting the attack, it was the play and aggression of O’Brien the held RSL to the scoreless draw. “He is a veteran, a leader, and an offense threat, so anytime we can get him on the field it is great for us… In the last two weeks he has led us out there on the field” noted Quakes defender Kelly Gray.

Beltran and Cunliffe get physical, physical©ASN/Julia Fizer

Despite O’Brien’s exceptional contribution, one would have to think that he and the entire Quakes squad feel fortunate to have escaped with the draw. Not only did RSL triple the Quakes total shots on goal and corner kicks earned, but they also had what appeared to be the game-winning goal called back in the 72nd minute due to a controversial offside call against captain Kyle Beckerman. Javier Morales drove a corner kick into the box which striker Robbie Findley calmly headed down towards both goal and Beckerman. Unsure as to whether the shot was going towards goal, Beckerman slammed the ball into the upper right corner. The 10,333 fans in attendance erupted as RSL players ran off to celebrate while Quakes players argued with the linesman for not raising his flag. After nearly two minutes of chaos and discussion on the pitch, the goal was called back after a meeting between the referee and his assistant.

Cunliffe and Olave do battle©ASN/Julia Fizer

The reversed call appeared to inspire RSL as they continued to drive forward, almost stealing another goal minutes later. While running up the right wing, Findley drove a low pass to Morales just at the top of the box which he blasted immediately at goal, only to see the ball hit the left post and bounce to safety. Even little-used substitute and typical holding-midfielder Kenny Cutler tried to get in the action in the dying minutes, as he lashed an amazing shot from 30 yards out only to be barely tipped away by Quakes keeper Joe Cannon. In the end, however, it made little difference as the Quakes continued to withstand every attack and escaped with a much needed point.

Unfortunately for RSL, they will have little time to lick their wounds from this bitter result as they host league-leading New England Revolution on Saturday. New England also played Wednesday night, coming from behind in the 79th minute to draw 1-1 with Red Bull New York at home. RSL has to hope that the Revs physical midweek match plus travel time will put them in the perfect position to earn a needed home win against a quality opponent before heading to Kansas City next week. Kick off is at 7:30 pm MT and can be seen live on MLS DirectKick.

AT A GLANCE
Scoring Summary:
None

San Jose Earthquakes — Joe Cannon, James Riley, Kelly Gray, Jason Hernandez, Eric Denton, Ronnie O’Brien, Ramiro Corrales, Ned Grabavoy, Ivan Guerrero (Ryan Cochrane 51), Ryan Johnson, John Cunliffe (Adam Smarte 61).

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert, Matias Cordoba (Kenny Cutler 67), Dema Kovalenko, Javier Morales, Kyle Beckerman, Robbie Findley, Kenny Deuchar (Tino Nunez 57).

Misconduct Summary:
SJ — Jason Hernandez (caution; Reckless Foul) 25
SJ — Jason Hernandez (ejection; Second Caution) 44
SJ — Ned Grabavoy (caution; Reckless Foul) 78
SJ — Kelly Gray (caution; Reckless Foul) 81
RSL — Nick Rimando (caution; Reckless Foul) 83

NOTES
• RSL will most likely be without the services of midfielder Nathan Sturgis as well as strikers Fabian Espindola and Yura Movsisyan for the match on Saturday as all three are continuing to nurse injuries.
• As reported by the Official Real Salt Lake Blog “Behind the Shield” (http://rsltothecore.com) on June 11, RSL has begun to look at new players to add to the squad for the stretch run when the international transfer window opens on July 15. First to train with the squad was 29-year-old German midfielder Sebastian Schindzielorz and it is rumored that RSL will continue to be bringing in a number of players over the next couple of weeks.

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