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RSL set numerous records in convincing 2-0 victory over Dallas

Posted on 17 October 2010 by Patrick McShane

Saturday night was a battle between two seemingly unmovable forces, when Real Salt Lake overpowered FC Dallas 2-0 to remain the Supporters’ Shield race and to join the 2005 San Jose Earthquakes as the only two teams in MLS history to go undefeated at home during the regular season. Though the early minutes of the match seemed to be a defensive grudge match, RSL were able to step up the tempo in the second half and pull away from Dallas in front of a record-setting home crowd of 20,236.

“It’s the first time this year that someone’s been that aggressive on our field in the first 15-20 minutes of the match,” noted RSL coach Jason Kreis. “I walk away from this game and probably feel the most proud about shutting out what’s a very, very good and dangerous attacking team.”

Veteran midfielder Ned Grabavoy earned his third goal of the season as he broke the deadlock in the 59th minute with a looping header over the top of Dallas keeper Dario Sala. While RSL created a number of offensive opportunities in the second half, one would be hard-pressed to have guessed that it would be Grabavoy who would score the game winner. Said Grabavoy: “I think I was just in a better spot. It was one of those balls where he is kind of backpedaling and I am seeing it the whole time. So I was kind of in the right spot at the right time.“

Dallas continued to press throughout the second half, but seemed to run out of gas while RSL’s midfield began to get a lock on the run of play and maintained the pressure on the Dallas back line. Things started to look worse for Dallas in the 83rd minute when physical defender Ugo Ihemelu was subbed out for young attacker Ruben Luna. Seeing that Ihemelu was largely responsible for neutralizing the RSL attack up to that point, one had to know that another goal was in the cards.

It took just six minutes for RSL to exploit the substitution when Andy Williams found substitute Robbie Findley open on the left wing for a free run on goal. Rather than try to force a shot from a tough angle, Findley wisely passed the ball to Javier Morales who casually knocked the ball past an onrushing Sala. With the goal, Morales now stands in second place on RSL’s scoring chart for the season with seven goals and he continues to press for MLS MVP consideration.

With only one road match remaining, RSL find themselves on the precipice of setting a number team and MLS records by seasons end. Having only given up 18 goals on the season, RSL needs to simply avoid a catastrophic letdown against their Rocky Mountain rivals next Saturday to set the MLS record for fewest goals allowed in a season. Additionally, if the team holds to form and secures a shutout next week, they will also set the MLS record for fewest road goals allowed in a season.

Even though the Colorado Rapids secured a playoff berth with a stunning 3-1 victory over the LA Galaxy, they will still have pride and the Rocky Mountain Cup on the line when they meet RSL, meaning both teams will hold nothing back despite their postseason futures already decided. “Every game has been a big game lately and we just keep on going and going and going,” noted Grabavoy. “We still have the Supporters Shield in our reach and that’s obviously a goal of ours, and as long as it is still there we are going to go for it.”

REAL SALT LAKE (15-4-10, 55 pts.) v. FC DALLAS (12-3-14, 50 pts.)
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2010 – RIO TINTO STADIUM – SANDY, UTAH

Scoring Summary:
RSL–Grabavoy 3 (Russell 5, Morales 9) 59
RSL–Morales 7 (Findley 4, Williams 7) 89

Misconduct Summary:
RSL — Fabian Espíndola (caution; Reckless Foul) 75
RSL — Andy Williams (caution; Reckless Foul) 80
DAL — Heath Pearce (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 88

FC DALLAS–Dario Sala, Heath Pearce, Jair Benitez, George John, Ugo Ihemelu
(Ruben Luna 83), Jackson Goncalves, David Ferreira, Marvin Chavez, Dax McCarty
(Atiba Harris 71), Daniel Hernandez, Milton Rodriguez (Jeff Cunningham 46).

TOTAL SHOTS: 5 (Cunningham 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 tied with 1); FOULS: 7
(Hernandez 4); OFFSIDE: 5; CORNER KICKS: 7;SAVES: Sala 1; CAUTIONS: Pearce
88; EJECTIONS: None.

REAL SALT LAKE–Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell, Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave, Nat
Borchers, Ned Grabavoy (Andy Williams 71), Javier Morales, Kyle Beckerman,
Will Johnson, Alvaro Saborío (Jean Alexandre 90), Fabian Espíndola (Robbie
Findley 78).

TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Johnson 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 tied with 1); FOULS: 9 (Espindola 3); OFFSIDE: 5; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: Rimando 3; CAUTIONS: Espindola 75, Williams 80; EJECTIONS: None.

Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee’s Assistants: Bill Dittmar; Greg Barkey
4th Official: Ramon Hernandez
Attendance: 20,236 (Rio Tinto Stadium record)
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-71-degrees

?All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial

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