Tag Archive | "Olave"

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Crew crumble 2-0 to rival RSL

Posted on 15 August 2010 by Patrick McShane

Real Salt Lake continued their scintillating play at home Saturday as the dispatched the Columbus Crew 2-0 to extend their home undefeated streak to 21 matches, just one away from the league record set by the Crew in the 2008-2009 season. With an upcoming CONCACAF Champions League match at home versus Arabe Unido of Panama, RSL were able to not only secure a vital victory, but also rest some of their key players in the process.

Fueled by media reports throughout the week noting the growing tension between the two squads, the 16,906 fans that came to see a physical grudge match between two top tier teams were not let down. Recently there have been stories citing a number of Crew players who made off-handed comments about the legitimacy of RSL’s championship run last season, after the unheralded Salt Lake squad took a losing record into the playoffs and dominated the favored Crew both home and away en route to a magical run to win the MLS Cup. With both teams currently having the second and third best records in MLS, it was not only a match filled with emotion but a vital contest as they are still in the running for the Supporters’ Shield.

From the opening minute both teams were trying to establish some dominance, with referee Jorge Gonzalez having to separate RSL’s Jamison Olave from Crew forward Steven Lenhart in the first five minutes of play. While the match had a surprisingly low number of cautions, with Frankie Hejduk earning the lone yellow card, this early battle set a theme for the entire match that was relentless for the entire 90 minutes.

Scoring a paltry single goal mid-week at Philadelphia, RSL were hoping to get on the score sheet early in order to set Columbus on their heals. Thankfully for the RSL coaching staff, midfielder Javier Morales answered that call as he blasted home RSL’s first goal less than 12 minutes into the match, putting RSL in the driver’s seat and on their way to a comfortable victory. Taking a short corner from Fabian Espíndola, Morales was able to run freely just outside of the Crew’s box as he lashed a rocket through traffic to the right post. Keeper Will Hesmer appeared lost on the play as Danny O’Rourke didn’t close down on the creative midfielder and he had far too much time to pick his placement for the shot.

While the Crew appeared to be more organized and poised in the second half, the match never really felt out of RSL’s control and it seemed like only a matter of time until the lead was extended. This potential was eventually fulfilled in the 60th minute after Ned Grabavoy was mugged from behind just outside of the box. It was again another perfect opportunity for Morales to excel, and he didn’t let fans down. As the positioning of the ball seemed a little too close for a shot over the Crew wall, Morales keenly powered the ball low and through the wall to the right, well beyond the reach of Hesmer.

Both teams now face a busy week as they play Wednesday night in the CONCACAF Champions League, with RSL playing their fourth match in 12 days. Thanks to the dominating performance, Morales only logged 63 minutes of play and standout newcomer Álvaro Saborío was able to rest the entire match. While it may be easy to assume that the players are tired and may not be able to get energized for Wednesday’s match, coach Jason Kreis feels that he won’t have a hard time finding players interested in competing. “Talking to quite a few of the guys last week, we made the decision to rest a bunch of them… I thought it was going to be a little bit of a sales job for me to tell them how important this tournament is for our club. As has happened many times before, my players made me very pleased because they were all saying how important it was to them.”

The match kicks off this Wednesday at 8:00 pm MST and can be seen on Fox Soccer Channel.

REAL SALT LAKE (11-4-6, 39 pts.) v. COLUMBUS CREW (11-5-4, 37 pts.)

Scoring Summary:
RSL — Javier Morales 5 (Fabian Espíndola 2) 11?
RSL — Javier Morales 6 (unassisted) 60

Misconduct Summary:
CLB — Frankie Hejduk (caution; Reckless Tackle) 48

Columbus Crew — William Hesmer, Frankie Hejduk (Jason Garey 81), Eric Brunner, Chad Marshall, Shaun Francis, Emilio Renteria (Leandre Griffit 56), Adam Moffat, Danny O’Rourke, Emmanuel Ekpo, Steven Lenhart, Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Dilly Duka 75).

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell, Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Tony Beltran, Ned Grabavoy (Nelson Gonzalez 82), Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales (Andy Williams 63), Will Johnson, Robbie Findley (Pablo Campos 72), Fabian Espindola.

Referee: Jorge Gonzalez?
Referee’s Assistants: Craig Lowry; Ian Anderson?
4th Official: Yader Reyes?
?Attendance: 16,906

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RSL blast past unorganized Revs

Posted on 03 July 2010 by Patrick McShane

A packed house of 19,101 fans welcomed striker Robbie Findley back from the FIFA World Cup Friday night as Real Salt Lake blasted the New England Revolution 5-0. While most teams struggle to get a result on the road against RSL, it appears that New England labor more than most as the loss nearly mirrored the 6-0 beat down they endured at Rio Tinto Stadium last year. Goals from Fabian Espíndola, Jamison Olave, Findley, and two from Alvaro Saborío paved the way as RSL’s unbeaten streak reached nine matches and a home record 18 games without a loss.

While RSL’s overall team performance was impressive and dominant, New England assisted their effort by playing apathetic and indifferent for most of the evening. In fact, the only fight New England really displayed throughout the evening was between each other as RSL’s midfield tore through the opposition en route to a dazzling offensive display that the team has been patiently waiting for over the past month.

Both squads entered the match with a number of challenges. Despite holding the second spot in the Western Conference, RSL has been recently plagued by anemic offensive displays over the last three league matches and continue to endure personnel concerns. Captain Kyle Beckerman again failed to make the game day 18 after suffering a setback during the week as he attempts to come back from a foot injury. Midfielder Nelson González also remained unavailable as his loan status from club Quilmes Atlético in Argentina is still under negotiation. New England, on the other hand, continues to battle a myriad of injuries as well as a bit of an identity crisis as the club remains in contention in the East, but sadly boast one of the highest goals against in the league.

To some extent the final score doesn’t fully express New England’s effort over the first 15 minutes, as they were the far more aggressive and physical side while maintaining much of the possession. However, that effort and motivation quickly dissipated in the 27th minute when Espíndola latched on to a perfectly placed ball over the top from Robbie Russell and slotted the ball past New England keeper Matt Reis. Though the goal and effort seemed simple, it opened up RSL’s attack and triggered the flood that was to follow.

“From there on I think a lot of things are unlocked and New England has to change what they’re doing, has to try to chase the game,” noted RSL coach Jason Kreis. “As we’ve seen in the past, we’re a little bit of a difficult team to play against when we unlock things and have ourselves the lead.”

The rest of the match was clockwork for RSL, as they added a nifty header from Olave just before the half and then an easy tap in from Saborío off of another perfect cross from Russell just minutes into the second half. New England were suddenly in damage control mode as they began to restrict their attack and bunker in hopes of slowing down a now rampant RSL offense.

Though it could be assumed that the Olave goal before half broke New England’s spirits, coach Steve Nicol felt differently. “No, the third goal is the one that finishes it. If we can get some chances and maybe get a goal then we are right back in it. Again, the third one is the one that does it. It was just poor defending on the play.”

Saborío added his second tally just before the hour mark with a cheeky back heel flick on goal after a low, driven cross from Javier Morales. Findley finished off the match when he made a darting run on the left before cutting into the middle past a beleaguered Kevin Alston for a low rocket to the far post. It was Findley’s first goal for RSL in nearly two months and a strike that many hope will set the tone for the rest of the season as Findley struggled to find his form and make an impact in the MLS prior to his departure for the World Cup.

RSL will again have a short turnaround as they travel to the scene of last year’s Eastern Conference Final victory on Thursday to battle the Chicago Fire.

REAL SALT LAKE (8-3-3, 27 pts.) v. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (3-9-2, 11 pts.)

Scoring Summary:
RSL — Fabian Espíndola 4 (Robbie Russell 2) 27
RSL — Jamison Olave 3 (Javier Morales 5) 47+
RSL — Álvaro Saborío 6 (Robbie Russell 3, Will Johnson 1) 52
RSL — Álvaro Saborío 7 (Javier Morales 6) 57
RSL — Robbie Findley 2 (unassisted) 85

Misconduct Summary:
RSL — Fabian Espíndola (caution; Tactical Foul) 22
RSL — Chris Wingert (caution; Tactical Foul) 47

New England Revolution – GK-Matt Reis; DF-Kevin Alston, DF-Cory Gibbs, DF-Emmanuel Osei, DF-Seth Sinovic; MF-Sainey Nyassi (Kheli Dube 61), MF-Shalrie Joseph (Joseph Niouky 56), MF-Jason Griffiths, MF-Chris Tierney; FW-Zack Schilawski, FW-Marko Perovic (Kenny Mansally 58).

Statistics: SHOTS: 10 (Tierney 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (4 players with 1; SAVES: 5 (Reis 5); FOULS: 10 (Gibbs, Osei 2); CORNERS: 2 (Mansally, Perovic 1); OFFSIDES: 0

Real Salt Lake – GK-Nick Rimando; DF-Robbie Russell, DF-Nat Borchers, DF-Jamison Olave, DF-Chris Wingert; MF-Andy Williams, MF-Ned Grabavoy, MF-Javier Morales (Collen Warner 72), MF-Will Johnson (Jean Alexandre 61); FW-Álvaro Saborío, FW-Fabian Espíndola (Robbie Findley 46).

Statistics: SHOTS: 24 (Saborio, Williams 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 12 (3 players with 2); SAVES: 4 (Rimando 4); FOULS: 9 (Saborio 3); CORNERS: 11 (Morales 10); OFFSIDES: 5 (Espindola, Findley 2)

Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee’s Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry; Peter Balciunas
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Attendance: 19,101

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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.


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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RSL hammer hapless Toronto

Posted on 02 May 2010 by Patrick McShane

It was a pleasant return home for RSL on Saturday as they dominated an inept Toronto FC squad for a 2-1 victory. Possibly attempting to earn a point on the road, Toronto fielded a defensive formation with the majority of their attacking starters on the bench. Unfortunately this tactic wasn’t particularly effective, as RSL strolled throughout the match imposing their will on an outmatched TFC squad. After playing four of their first five league matches on the road, it was a welcome change for RSL to be in front of the 12,659 fans that braved the stormy weather to support the defending MLS Champions.

RSL struck early, scoring their first goal just 14 minutes into match off of a beautiful cross from midfielder Andy Williams. Forward Álvaro Saborío was the first to rise to the ball, beating Toronto keeper Stefan Frei and defender Raivis Hscanovics with a floating header towards goal. Sensing a Toronto player nearby, RSL’s Jamison Olave ensured the early lead by slamming the ball into goal before Saborío could claim his second goal for the season.

The second goal came just before half off of a similar run of play, with RSL, and particularly Williams, running Toronto’s defense into tatters. The goal itself required a brilliant piece of skill by Williams, who cut into the middle of pitch just outside of the box and blasted a shot to the top left corner past Frei. Though the 2-0 halftime lead felt deserved, there was also a sense that RSL should have scored more.

Toronto coach Preki tried to make amends for his tinkering at the beginning of the match by subbing on leading goal scorer Dwayne De Rosario, influential midfielder Julian de Guzman, and young attacker O’Brian White all at the beginning of the second half. While Toronto appeared much more comfortable overall with these additions, their attack still lacked any sizable bite. Only White appeared dangerous with a header that deflected off the woodwork early in the half. De Rosario would eventually convert a penalty late off of a questionable handball on Kyle Beckerman, but the match was all but over and RSL earned their first win since the opening match of the season.

RSL will continue their home stand next week as they face expansion side Philadelphia Union. While they’ve fallen behind their Western Conference foes with some early struggles on the road, they now have a chance to make a run with three of their next four matches taking place in the friendly confines of Rio Tinto Stadium. “It’s pretty important,” noted Williams. “We’re at home and haven’t brought a lot of points back from the road yet, so it was a must-win at home for us. And next week will be the same.”

Photo Gallery

All photos ©Julie Harper/ASN

no images were found

Saturday, May 1, 2010 — Rio Tinto Stadium

Scoring Summary:
RSL – Jamison Olave 1 (Álvaro Saborío 2, Andy Williams 1) 14
RSL – Andy Williams 1 (Tony Beltran 1) 42
TOR – Dwayne De Rosario 6 (penalty kick) 88

REAL SALT LAKE–Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell (Chris Wingert 70), Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran, Collen Warner (Nelson Gonzalez 86), Andy Williams (Jean Alexandre 91+), Kyle Beckerman, Will Johnson, Álvaro Saborío, Robbie Findley

TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Williams 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Warner 2); FOULS: 7 (Saborío 2); OFFSIDE: 4; CORNER KICKS: 12; SAVES: Rimando 3; CAUTIONS: Saborío 21, Warner 47+, Olave 50; EJECTIONS: None

TORONTO FC–Stefan Frei, Raivis Hscanovics (Dwayne De Rosario 45), Maksim Usanov, Adrian Cann, Nana Attakora, Dan Gargan, Nane Joseph (Julian de Guzman 45), Amadou Sanyang (O’Brian White 45), Nick LaBrocca, Martin Saric, Chad Barrett

TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Barrett 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (4 tied with 1); FOULS: 11 (4 tied with 2); OFFSIDE: 1; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: Frei 3; CAUTIONS: Attakora 49, de Guzman 61, LaBrocca 73; EJECTIONS: None

Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee’s Assistants: Nate Clement, Steven Taylor
4th Official: Ramon Hernandez.
Attendance: 12,659 / Temperature: 49 and Cloudy

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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.


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

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.

[polldaddy poll=”1533104″]


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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Beckham brace bends Galaxy back from the brink

Posted on 05 May 2008 by Patrick McShane

Morales spins Becks right round, baby right round ©ASN/Julia Fizer

The L.A. Galaxy came back from being down by two goals to tie Real Salt Lake 2-2, thanks in large part to David Beckham’s stunning performance.

RSL entered Saturday’s match looking to continue their solid performance at home, having just defeated San Jose 4-0 in the U.S. Open Cup play-in match on Wednesday. After 20 minutes it looked as though RSL would continue to score goals in bunches at home, only to see both the lead and their control of the match erode in a span of five minutes thanks to two bending David Beckham goals.


Galaxy fans vote for your team’s Star of the Match here.

Rookie Tony Beltran got his first MLS start in place of injured and under-performing Ian Joy as RSL continue to retool and adapt their back line. This change appeared to pay off on the offensive side, as RSL were particularly aggressive on the wings, pushing the ball forward for much of the match. This wing play combined with decent control and possession in the middle is what allowed RSL to finally break the Galaxy’s defense in the 6th minute.

After just missing on a chance to open his account two minutes earlier, Fabian Espindola took advantage on his second opportunity. Collecting a beautifully driven cross from Javier Morales on the far right wing, Espindola slotted the ball into the lower right corner of the net past a diving Steve Cronin.

Moment later the situation appeared to worsen for the Galaxy when forward Edson Buddle came up lame, only to be replaced by Alan Gordon. This early substitution seemed to cause even more confusion to an already unstable Galaxy lineup as they persistently gave the ball away in the middle of the pitch and seemed unorganized on the attack with numerous errant passes.

RSL struck again in the 18th minute when Morales placed the perfect cross into the box to a wide-open Kenny Deuchar for a sublime header placed perfectly inside the right corner of goal. The most Cronin could do was push the ball inside the net as Deuchar ran off to celebrate his first goal at home for RSL. The assist from Morales tied him with none other than David Beckham for the top assist count in the MLS with four.

Despite their lead, RSL continued to push forward with even their central defenders, Nat Borchers and Jamison Olave, getting involved with offensive breaks. This effort almost paid off in the 24th minute when Olave nearly scored on a corner kick from Andy Williams, only to head the ball over the goal.

The momentum changed in the 36th minute, however, when RSL found themselves in shock due to two fantastic goals courtesy of David Beckham. Trying to pass out of the back instead of clear, Beltran lost possession of the ball, which eventually landed at the feet of a wide-open Beckham on the right wing. Not wasting an obvious opportunity, Beckham set himself and placed a perfect, bending shot into the top-left corner of goal past a diving Nick Rimando.

Minutes later the Galaxy earned a free kick at the top of the box in ideal territory for one of Beckham’s infamous shots. Again, Beckham did not disappoint as he curled the free kick into the goal. The capacity crowd of 25,500 seemed to be both disappointed with evaporated lead as well as excited that they were getting what they paid for from Beckham.

The Galaxy seemed to be energized by equalizing the score, though RSL had a tremendous opportunity to take the lead in the 43rd minute. Kyle Beckerman lost and confused Beckham with a series of stepovers as he drove into the box, sending a low pass for Deuchar to slam home. However, the goal was called back as Deuchar was ruled offside.

The entire second half was an intense match of back and forth, with both teams appearing to be on the verge of either blowing the game wide open or crumbling in defeat. Despite this open play, both teams really only produced a couple of dangerous chances. Morales and Williams both had opportunities off of free kicks that were sent high and wide of goal, while Beckham took a free kick quickly and sent a beautiful cross in for a Landon Donovan header that was barely tipped to the side by Rimando.

Despite the continued pressure by both teams, little excitement occurred in the final minutes of the match, outside of Olave & Gordon engaging in a pushing match in the corner by RSL’s goal. RSL had to be disappointed with the draw, especially since it appeared that they had control of the match early on. Deuchar summed it up perfectly when he noted: “We’ve got to be more ruthless. We’ve got to go for the jugular and finish them off.”

RSL will get a chance for redemption next Saturday when they take on Western Conference leaders FC Dallas at home.


Scoring Summary:
RSL — Fabian Espíndola 2 (Javier Morales 3) 6
RSL — Kenny Deuchar 2 (Javier Morales 4) 18
LA — David Beckham 2 (Landon Donovan 3, Alan Gordon 3) 36
LA — David Beckham 3 (unassisted) 40

Los Angeles Galaxy — Steve Cronin, Chris Klein, Sean Franklin, Greg Vanney, Troy Roberts, David Beckham, Joe Franchino, Brandon McDonald, Mike Randolph, Edson Buddle (Alan Gordon 12), Landon Donovan.

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran (Robbie Findley 74), Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert, Andy Williams (Matias Cordoba 90), Dema Kovalenko, Javier Morales, Kyle Beckerman, Kenny Deuchar, Fabian Espindola (Yura Movsisyan 79).

Misconduct Summary:
LA — Brandon McDonald (caution; Reckless Foul) 66
LA — Alan Gordon (caution; Professional Foul) 89
RSL — Jamison Olave (caution; Professional Foul) 89

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