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RSL dismantle DC 3-1

Posted on 01 August 2010 by Patrick McShane

Real Salt Lake got back to winning Saturday night as they defeated struggling DC United 3-0 to extend their undefeated run at home to 21 games. Alvaro Saborío broke the deadlock just 13 minutes into the match and Robbie Findley scored an insurance goal late, before super-sub Nelson Gonzalez capped off the evening with a stunning chip in stoppage time. With the result RSL put to close an unimpressive month of July and look to the next couple of weeks as they continue to press league-leading LA Galaxy for the Supporters’ Shield.

RSL started off the match with a similar lineup to those that have produced lackluster results over the past couple of weeks, with the exception of Ned Grabavoy starting on the wing in place of veteran Andy Williams. Captain Kyle Beckerman continued his comeback from a foot injury, logging the full 90 minutes while appearing to be more comfortable on the ball.

DC United, on the other hand, entered the match with a pair of fresh faces in their lineup with recent acquisitions Branko Boskovic and Pablo Hernandez both making starting appearances. While these players added a fresh dynamic to the attack, particularly with the assistance of rookie standout Andy Najar, it was also apparent that the team is still trying to figure each other out, as they seemed passive on attack and struggled to link up in the final third.

Despite DC’s commitment to controlling the ball in the middle of the pitch, they continued to fall prey to quick RSL counterattacks, leading to RSL’s first goal. While on the break Findley was able to switch the ball quickly to the other side of the field, finding Grabavoy in perfect position just outside of the box. Though it appeared that it was close to being offside, Gabavoy played a perfect through ball to Saborío for a low rocket that blasted between the legs of keeper Troy Perkins. With the early goal RSL appeared to be in cruise control as DC hasn’t demonstrated much fight all season and the match was definitely going to open up more.

“Everybody knows it’s important, and oftentimes that first goal can be what makes or breaks the game for you,” noted RSL coach Jason Kreis. “It changes tactics. We have had a lot of teams that come in lately and sit. If we can’t score that first goal, then they are content to do that. Once you score that goal, they’ve got to open up. As we’ve seen before, we’re pretty dangerous when teams open up against us.”

Surprisingly the second half produced a much better reaction from DC, with substitutes Stephen King and Chris Pontius having an immediate impact on the speed and skill of their attack. This change almost paid immediate dividends as RSL appeared to be surprised by their sudden attacking prowess and often seemed confused in the back. This struggle and confusion made Findley’s late goal even more important, as it felt as if the match could swing the visitors way at any moment. Playing another quick counter, Williams found Findley completely open on the left side for a free run at Perkins, requiring just a simple low blast to the right to take a deflection and skip just inside the right post and put the match well out of reach.

The remaining 10 minutes was an open affair with RSL appearing conflicted between wasting time and taking advantage of the acres of open space they were given as DC flooded players forward. Earning his first time on the pitch since May 22, Gonzalez came on for the final five minutes of the match and instantly resolved RSL’s conflicting tactics, making an amazing run off of another Williams pass and placing a perfect chip over Perkins as he was trying to close down the run.

While the loss continues DC’s surprisingly poor form, they hope that the new additions will begin to gel as they still remain in the playoff hunt in the Eastern Conference. RSL are in a very different situation, as they now stand only 6 points behind the LA Galaxy and hope to be back on a winning track. Beginning with next weeks match against the Kansas City Wizards, RSL will also start the busy part of the season, as they will play four matches in 11 days, toped off with the club’s first Champions League match at home against Arabe Unido. RSL, and Kreis in particular, have to be pleased with this result going in to this busy stretch as they hope to have a variety of players produce in the critical month of August.

REAL SALT LAKE (10-4-4, 34 pts.) v. D.C. UNITED (3-12-3, 12 pts.)
SATURDAY, JULY 31, 2010 – RIO TINTO STADIUM

Scoring Summary:
RSL — Alvaro Saborio 8 (Ned Grabavoy 1, Robbie Findley 3) 13
RSL — Robbie Findley 4 (Andy Williams 4) 79
RSL — Nelson Gonzalez 1 (Andy Williams 5) 94+

Misconduct Summary:
DC — Carey Talley (caution; Dissent) 17
DC — Branko Boskovic (caution; Dissent) 17
RSL — Chris Wingert (caution; Dissent) 58
DC — Andy Najar (caution; Dissent) 67

D.C. United — Troy Perkins, Devon McTavish (Jaime Moreno 78), Julius James, Carey Talley, Marc Burch, Andy Najar, Branko Boskovic, Clyde Simms (Stephen King 44), Santino Quaranta, Danny Allsopp (Chris Pontius 57), Pablo Hernandez.

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell, Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert, Ned Grabavoy (Nelson Gonzalez 88), Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales (Andy Williams 71), Will Johnson, Robbie Findley, Alvaro Saborio (Jean Alexandre 82).

Referee: Ramon Hernandez
Referee’s Assistants: Anthony Vasoli; Jeff Hosking
4th Official: Yader Reyes
Attendance: 17,719 / Weather: Cloudy-and-87-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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