Tag Archive | "Movsisyan"

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RSL roar back for 4-2 win

Posted on 26 July 2009 by Patrick McShane

It was a night of fireworks on and off the pitch as Real Salt Lake roared back from a 2-0 halftime deficit to shock an upstart FC Dallas squad with a 4-2 victory. It was the first time in RSL history that the team has come back from a two goal deficit to win, and the second consecutive match were points were earned thanks to an own-goal in the 88th minute. Two goals from want away striker Yura Movsisyan combined with a Robbie Findley PK helped ease RSL to victory after looking lackluster and apathetic in the first half.

Midfielder Will Johnson was back in the lineup after missing a number of matches due to Gold Cup duty and striker Fabian Espindola started on the left after serving a one-match suspension for a red card earned against the San Jose Earthquakes. Both players were welcome additions to the squad that seems to have a revolving door of lineups recently due to injuries, suspensions, and international call-ups. With the MLS All-Star match being hosted at Rio Tinto Stadium next Wednesday, RSL were particularly keen on jump-starting their playoff hopes with a win. Unfortunately for the 18,822 fans in attendance, the first 45 minutes looked like it was destined for disappointment as an inspired Dallas squad, comprised of a number of former RSL players, counterattacked and ran all over the Salt Lake’s defense.

It was their tenacity and fight that helped Dallas take the lead after just 13 minutes when former RSL bad-boy Jeff Cunningham battled an indecisive Johnson for the ball deep in the final third. While Cunningham’s shot lacked pace, it still found a way into the net past a surprised Nick Rimando and silenced the near-capacity stadium. It was Cunningham’s 108th career goal, tying him with former teammate and current RSL coach, Jason Kreis, for third on the all-time MLS scoring list.

Rather than responding with more energy in hopes of taking back the match, RSL appeared to be in shock and continued to lose possession in the midfield. Just 8 minutes later, RSL-killer Dave van den Bergh continued his hot streak at Rio Tinto Stadium, finishing off a beautiful build up of a play between Cunningham and David Ferreira to give Dallas the 2-0 lead. While it was van den Bergh’s third career goal in Rio Tinto stadium, it was his of the season and his first for Dallas.

Fortunately for the supporters it was a tale of two halves as RSL came out on fire in the second. Yura Movsisyan, originally slated to start until he picked up an injury in training, replaced the ineffective Ned Grabavoy and immediately made his presence known. Movsisyan terrorized the Dallas backline the entire 45 minutes, running on to quick passes over the top and surprisingly finishing with calm poise. It took just 10 minutes into the half for him to break on a Javier Morales through ball and slot the ball past Ray Burse to the delight of the home crowd.

The next 20 minutes were harrowing for both squads, as Dallas began to bunker back and RSL continued to press forward. Though RSL did their fare share to put the match out of reach with their eventual goal-scoring outburst, it was actually a momentum-crushing penalty save by Rimando on Cunningham that really ignited the comeback. After earning a penalty due to Chris Wingert’s handball while in the wall on a free kick, Cunningham was visibly anxious to put Dallas back in the match as well as pass Kreis with 109 goals.

However, Rimando guessed the correct direction and dove to the left to make an inspiring grab. The crowd, as well as Kreis, erupted as one could sense the end result. It was Rimando’s second penalty save of the season in three attempts and changed the entire dynamic of the match. Noted Rimando: “It was emotional during halftime. We had a team meeting, and to see our team turn it around from giving up two goals to coming back and scoring four goals was very emotional for me, especially after making that (penalty kick) save.”

While Espindola had an inconsistent match overall, it was his crosses on the left wing throughout the second half that led to the tying penalty kick from Findley and the unexpected own goal off of Daniel Torres that gave RSL the lead for good. Movsisyan finished off the match in the dying minutes of added time with another break on goal past Torres and coolly slotted the ball to the right past Burse, ending the comeback and leaving the fans satisfied.

With the win, RSL maintained contention in the Western Conference for a playoff spot while possibly building confidence to overcome potential setbacks. As Jason Kreis noted after the match, “I think that that’s the type of game that could change our season and that will be proven by what we do next week and in the coming weeks.”

Photo Gallery

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RSL PLAYER ASSESSMENTS

Rimando – Went from goat to hero. It was shocking to see Cunningham’s first effort totally stone Rimando as it rolled to goal, but Rimando more than made up for it with his late penalty save. It was Rimando’s 13th save on 42 PK’s in his career.

Russell – Disappointing to see him go down in the first 10 minutes with a right hip flexor strain. After the match coach Jason Kreis seemed to fear a long injury layoff for Russell. If this fear is true, than RSL might want to consider bringing back recently loaned out defender David Horst as they had absolutely no defensive subs after Beltran replaced Russell.

Wingert – Horrible. Bad passes, sloppy under pressure, and not composed in the wall leading to the handball for Cunningham’ s late PK attempt. Why he got the start over Beltran is beyond me as he has been completely out of synch all season long.

Olave – Still continues to make fans nervous with his casual demeanor while under pressure, but he was easily the best defender overall for RSL. If it wasn’t for his ejections and hot temper, one could easily hear his name bantered about as an all-star snub.

Borchers – Not a great match for Nat. Though it was Johnson’s giveaway that let to the first goal, Nat didn’t appear up to the task. Fortunately for the fans performances like this from Nat don’t come around too often.

Grabavoy – Deserved to be taken off at half. While he’s performed admirably in Beckerman’s absence, this match highlighted just how important Beckerman really is. Ned was bodied off the ball all match long by the bigger van den Bergh and seemed lost on attack. He is a great sub for this team, not a starter.

Morales – More flashes of brilliance for Javi as he was just named to his first all-star match. He continues to improve from his slow start early this season and seems poised to lead RSL to the playoffs.

Johnson – Was named as a surprise replacement to injured Shalrie Joseph on the all-star squad in the middle of the match. Despite the giveaway that led to the first goal, Johnson added a bite to the midfield that has been missing from RSL for a couple of weeks.

Mathis – Didn’t stand out for the right or wrong reasons. Just put in another consistent effort.

Findley – Combined for a number of chances with Espindola early on and seemed to be comfortable burning Benitez on the right all match long. I could see RSL relying heavily on Findley over the next couple of weeks as they possibly phase out
Movsisyan due to his upcoming move overseas.

Espindola – So much skill and potential, just no killer instinct this season. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that he’s being asked to play a different role in the 4-3-3 formation than what suits his attacking style, but he has been brilliant up to the point of creating scoring opportunities.

SUBS
Beltran – Beltran should have started over Wingert. He’s been fearless over the past couple of weeks and continues to thrive in the new formation. With Russell potentially out for a while, I could see Beltran starting the rest of the season.

Movsisyan – An absolute game changer. There were questions as to whether or not he would still put forth effort as he is already slated for his move to Denmark at the close of the MLS season. However, after last night all of those questions should be put to rest as he single-handedly put RSL on his back and led them to victory.

MATCH FACTS

FC Dallas (4-9-5) vs. Real Salt Lake (6-7-5)
July 24, 2009 — Rio Tinto Stadium

Scoring Summary:
DAL — Jeff Cunningham 4 (unassisted) 13
DAL — Dave van den Bergh 1 (Jeff Cunningham 3, David Ferreira 3) 21
RSL — Yuri Movsisyan 5 (Javier Morales 5) 55
RSL — Robbie Findley 7 (penalty kick) 62
RSL — Own Goal (Daniel Torres) 88
RSL — Yura Movsisyan 6 (unassisted) 93+

FC Dallas — Ray Burse, Drew Moor, George John (Daniel Torres 46), Pablo Ricchetti, Jair Benitez, Atiba Harris, David Ferreira, Dax McCarty, Andre Rocha (Brek Shea 91+), Dave van den Bergh, Jeff Cunningham.

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell (Tony Beltran 10), Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert, Ned Grabavoy (Yura Movsisyan 46), Javier Morales, Will Johnson, Clint Mathis (Andy Williams 91+), Robbie Findley, Fabian Espindola.

Misconduct Summary:
RSL — Fabian Espindola (caution; Reckless Foul) 29
RSL — Nat Borchers (caution; Tactical Foul) 35
DAL — Dave van den Bergh (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 61
DAL — Ray Burse (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 62
RSL — Will Johnson (caution; Tactical Foul) 72
RSL – Jason Kreis (BENCH) (ejection; Abusive Language) 73
RSL — Jamison Olave (caution; Tactical Foul) 77
DAL — Pablo Ricchetti (caution; Reckless Tackle) 78
DAL — Drew Moor (ejection; Violent Conduct) 95+

Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee’s Assistants: Fabio Tovar; Frank Anderson
4th official: Tyler Ploeger
Attendance: 18,822 / Weather: Partly Cloudy -and- 93 degrees

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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.

[polldaddy poll=”1515906″]

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?
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RSL end Dallas playoff hopes

Posted on 19 October 2008 by Patrick McShane

Movsisyan and Serioux tangle ©ASN/Julia Fizer

Real Salt Lake inched one step closer to their first playoff appearance Saturday night as they casually dispatched of a FC Dallas squad playing with only 10 men after the 30th minute. It was make-or-break time for RSL as they played their second – and what could have been their final – match in their new stadium this season. Both Dallas and RSL entered the match fighting for the playoff lives, and for the first 20 minutes, it appeared that Dallas were the more hungry of the two teams.

RSL were in a hole within 7 minutes as Dallas converted a throw in from standout defender Adrian Serioux. Dallas jumped all over RSL from the opening whistle, earning numerous throw-in opportunities in dangerous areas while RSL seemed low on energy and apathetic. Serioux finally found a target on his third long-distance throw as he placed the ball perfectly to the head of an onrushing Marcelo Saragosa who nodded the ball home past a diving Nick Rimando. However, it appeared that the 1-0 hole knocked RSL awake as they began to find their legs and push forward.

The match continued to fluctuate between both teams until the 30th minute when Saragosa’s heroics now turned to villainy as he was ejected from the match for his second bookable offense. After receiving a yellow card just minutes prior for obstruction and a pushing match with RSL midfielder Dema Kovalenko, Saragosa was already being watched by head referee Kevin Stott when he came flying in to challenge RSL defender Robbie Russell for a header with his right elbow raised. It didn’t take a moment for Stott to award Saragosa his second yellow, subsequently giving RSL a man advantage for over an hour.

©ASN/Julia Fizer

It took RSL just five minutes to capitalize on Saragosa’s ejection as forward Yura Movsisyan continued his hot streak and fired home his sixth goal of the season off of a Drew Moor deflection. Receiving a beautiful pass from midfielder Javier Morales just at the top of the box, Movsisyan spun on Dallas captain Duilio Davino and fired a beautiful shot that took a ricochet off of Moor who was sliding to disrupt the play. One could sense that RSL was beginning to gain confidence off of the draw as they created several chances in the final minutes of the first half, including a dangerous header from Russell that required a diving save from Dallas keeper Dario Sala.

The second half appeared to be a continuation RSL’s lively attack despite Dallas reverting to a 4-4-1 formation to combat Saragosa’s loss and bunker on defense. This tactic seemed to do little to slow RSL’s attack as they continued to press on the wings, particularly with the addition of Andy Williams who replaced Kovalenko at half. RSL’s attacking buildup finally came to fruition in the 54th minute when midfielder Will Johnson rocketed home a spectacular shot to give RSL the 2-1 lead they had been chasing all match. Receiving a pass from Chris Wingert at the top of the box, Johnson popped the ball up with his toe and volleyed in a one-touch shot that bounced off of the right bar and in.

Ian Joy ©ASN/Julia Fizer

Even with the lead secured, RSL continued to press for a third goal to put the match out of reach. Unfortunately for the nerves of the 17,628 fans in attendance, it took until the 86th minute for RSL to finally gain the breathing room they desperately wanted. Countering after Dallas carelessly gave away possession, Morales and Williams combined on a tight passing play that resulted in the perfect setup to striker Robbie Findley who put home a beautiful shot to the top right corner of goal just beyond Sala’s reach. Not only was the goal important for RSL and their efforts in the match, it was also important for Findley who was looking to break out of a goal-scoring slump. “That’s what they put me in for at the end of the game, to add a little spark and hopefully to put the game away, if I can. I’ve been in a little drought, so to get that goal definitely helps me out a lot.”

With the win secured, RSL began to let down offensively and celebrate the possibility of their first playoff appearance. Unfortunately, Dallas were also considering their fortune of now being eliminated from playoff contention due to Kansas City & New York wins earlier in the night. This frustration spread to the players as Dallas earned their second red card of the night due to a reckless tackle from Pablo Ricchetti against Johnson. Despite the negative conclusion to an otherwise incredible night, RSL knew that they could now focus on watching Sunday’s match between Colorado and Chivas USA as that game determines the final step in their march towards the playoffs.

If Colorado fails to win (a loss or a draw) against Chivas, RSL will clinch the third automatic berth in the Western Conference, resulting in a potential home match on November 1st in a semifinal series against Chivas. Said coach Jason Kreis after the match: “We’ll be watching the (Chivas USA-Colorado) game tomorrow with our fingers crossed, hoping things go our way.”

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AT A GLANCE

FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake
Oct. 18, 2008, Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah.
Scoring Summary:
DAL — Marcelo Saragosa 1 (Adrian Serioux 3) 7
RSL — Yura Movsisyan 6 (Javier Morales 14) 35
RSL — Will Johnson 2 (Chris Wingert 3) 54
RSL — Robbie Findley 6 (Javier Morales 15, Andy Williams 3) 86

FC Dallas — Dario Sala, Adrian Serioux (Eric Avila 58), Duilio Davino, Drew Moor, Blake Wagner, Victor Sikora (Dominic Oduro 71), Bruno Guarda, Pablo Ricchetti, Marcelo Saragosa, Jeff Cunningham, Kenny Cooper (Jamie Watson 79).

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Chris Wingert, Jamison Olave, Robbie Russell, Ian Joy, Kyle Beckerman, Dema Kovalenko (Andy Williams 46), Javier Morales, Will Johnson, Clint Mathis (Kenny Deuchar 89), Yura Movsisyan (Robbie Findley 73).

Misconduct Summary:
RSL — Robbie Russell (caution; Reckless Foul) 10
DAL — Marcelo Saragosa (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 22
RSL — Dema Kovalenko (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 22
DAL — Marcelo Saragosa (ejection; Second Caution) 30
DAL — Eric Avila (caution; Reckless Foul) 68
DAL — Duilio Davino (caution; Reckless Foul) 77
DAL — Pablo Ricchetti (ejection; Violent Conduct) 90

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