Tag Archive | "Real Salt Lake"

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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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ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week Thirteen

Posted on 08 July 2010 by Breton Bonnette

A whirlwind start to post-World Cup 2010 life produced goals galore for some and continued heartbreak for many. Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles continue to show that their the cream of the crop while D.C. United and New England – once virtual locks for the top of the Eastern Conference – fall to the bottom of the league table. Week Thirteen’s player of the week is a maestro that has followed up a down 2009 season with a 2010 season that warrants all of the MVP talk surrounding him.

ASN Philly’s got the goods so check ’em out!

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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.)
FRIDAY, JULY 2, 2010 – RIO TINTO STADIUM

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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San Jose stifle RSL in scoreless draw

Posted on 26 June 2010 by Patrick McShane

Real Salt Lake returned from the World Cup break Friday night, stumbling at home in a disappointing 0-0 draw to the San Jose Earthquakes. It was a miserable affair for both teams as well as the fans as the match turned out to be a lackluster affair full of squandered opportunities. While RSL created the majority of the chances, one would be hard pressed to argue that San Jose didn’t deserve the point as they were clearly the more organized side.

It would be easy for one to assume that the poor result and overall play was nothing more than fallout from the extended layoff. However, RSL coach Jason Kreis felt like the layoff was not the culprit. “I don’t want to blame it on the break or anything. Our energy wasn’t good enough in first half and it got a little better in second half. I felt like we let 45 minutes slip tonight with our play in the first half and it cost us.”

Both teams fielded similar lineups to what they were using prior to the break, with a couple of notable exceptions. RSL midfielder Kyle Beckerman continued his stint on the bench as he recovers from a foot injury suffered nearly two months ago. Ned Grabavoy continuing to admirably fill the holding midfield role instead of unproven second-year player Jean Alexandre. Newly acquired midfielder Sam Cronin also saw his first start for San Jose, adding a new sense of bite and control to a midfield that seemed just a player away from being competitive.

At the outset of the match it appeared that RSL’s forward tandem of Fabian Espíndola and Alvaro Saborío would be too much for San Jose, and they continued their impressive form of creating chances for each other. As the match lingered on, this tandem became less and less effective, with Kreis pulling Saborío surprisingly early in the second half in exchange for Pablo Campos. San Jose appeared happy to sit back and rely on counterattacking opportunities, with substitute Javier Robles nearly stealing a late goal if not for a stunning save from keeper Nick Rimando.

While the fans and players have every right to be disappointed with the draw, some solace can be taken from a number of positives on the evening as Rimando continued his fantastic form, particularly with the match on the line. It was Rimando’s third consecutive clean sheet as he has now shut out opponents for 318 straight minutes, the second-longest in club history. The draw also ensured that RSL would add to their club-record undefeated streak at eight matches while bettering the team’s club-record home unbeaten streak in MLS action to 17 games. RSL will hope that next week produces better results, as they play a Friday night match against the New England Revolution before heading back on the road.

“At the end of the game, I’m patting Nick Rimando on the back and saying, ‘You just saved us two points and saved us from giving San Jose all three of them’,” stated Kreis. “I told the guys yesterday that all of the Western Conference games from here on out are hugely important. We need to be pushing other teams down and rising up.”

REAL SALT LAKE (7-3-3, 24 pts.) v. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (5-4-3, 18 pts.)
FRIDAY, JUNE 25, 2010 – RIO TINTO STADIUM

Scoring Summary:
None

Misconduct Summary:
SJ – Ramiro Corrales (caution; Tactical Foul) 58
SJ – Jon Busch (caution; Delaying a Restart) 60
SJ – Javier Robles (caution; Reckless Tackle) 85
RSL – Pablo Campos (caution; Tactical Foul) 87

San Jose Earthquakes – GK-Jon Busch; DF-Jason Hernandez, DF-Bobby Burling, DF-Ike Opara, DF-Ramiro Corrales (Capt.); MF-Steven Beitashour, MF-Brandon McDonald, MF-Sam Cronin, MF-Bobby Convey; FW-Chris Wondolowski (Javier Robles 74), FW-Ryan Johnson (Cornell Glen 68).

Statistics: SHOTS: 14 (Wondolowski 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Corrales, Glen 2); SAVES: 1 (Busch 1); FOULS: 10 (Cronin 3); CORNERS: 5 (Convey 3); OFFSIDES: 1 (Wondolowski 1)

Real Salt Lake – GK-Nick Rimando; DF-Robbie Russell, DF-Nat Borchers (Capt.), DF-Jamison Olave, DF-Chris Wingert; MF-Andy Williams, MF-Ned Grabavoy (Collen Warner 73), MF-Javier Morales, MF-Will Johnson (Jean Alexandre 89); FW-Alvaro Saborio (Pablo Campos 60), FW-Fabian Espindola.

Statistics: SHOTS: 13 (Williams 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Johnson 1); SAVES: 8 (Rimando 8); FOULS: 13 (Espindola, Morales 3); CORNERS: 5 (Morales 5); OFFSIDES: 1 (Wingert 1)

Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Referee’s Assistants: Corey Rockwell; Greg Barkey
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 84 degrees / Attendance: 16,216

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Thunderstruck: RSL hand Galaxy first defeat of the season

Posted on 10 June 2010 by Patrick McShane

Lightening struck twice for Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night as they overcame a 37-minute lightening storm delay to later claim a controversial goal and a hard-fought 1-0 victory over league-leading Los Angeles Galaxy. With the victory RSL not only handed the Galaxy their first loss of the season, but they also continue their hot form as they are undefeated in their past seven matches and unbeaten at home in over 16 league matches. While the validity of the game-winning goal can be questioned, RSL were easily the better side all night long and continually put themselves into position to earn the victory.

Comparable to a grudge match between two gladiators rather than a beautiful display, the match carried a physical and urgent tone from the opening whistle and never let up. The Galaxy demonstrated why they’re running away with the Supporters’ Shield this season, remaining organized and tactically smart throughout the match despite missing many of their stars due to World Cup duty or injury. Comparatively, RSL did a valiant job breaking down the Galaxy defensive front throughout the match, earning 6 corner kicks in the first half alone, and created the majority of the dangerous chances throughout the match.

After the match, RSL coach Jason Kreis acknowledged the difficulties they face while trying to overcome a tough Galaxy side. “I just think they’re a really mature, composed, compact, and organized team defensively. They make things extremely difficult to break down. As I saw tonight, it was extremely difficult to get that goal. Interesting that it comes off a bit of a misplay.”

Much of the match was played in the middle of the pitch with both squads trying to make something magical happen in hopes of surprising their opponents. This resulted in a great deal of sloppy play by both sides and most of the attempts on goal coming from either long-range blasts or haphazard chaos in the box after a miscue. RSL finally found the much-desired breakthrough in the 80th minute after a nice bit of combination play between Alvaro Saborío, Javier Morales, and substitute Pablo Campos coupled with a questionable decision by referee Edvin Jurisevic.

Despite the nifty passing and interplay, Campos found himself deep in the Galaxy’s defensive third with nowhere to go. While Campos cut back to try and find an open space to pass or shoot, Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens was able to catch up and knock the ball away. Unfortunately for Galaxy fans, and particularly keeper Donovan Ricketts, the deflected ball fell to Morales who had little work to do to casually slot the ball home thanks to being in what appeared to be a painfully offside position. While the Galaxy squad reacted in anger to the allowed goal, RSL players and the 19,513 fans in attendance celebrated a hard-fought and meaningful result.

The remainder of the match was an intense and heated affair, with both sides exchanging words and almost coming to blows on multiple occasions. Galaxy midfielder Juninho highlighted the anxiety of the final minutes with a goal-bound blast from 25 yards out that required a frantic diving save from RSL keeper Nick Rimando. Despite the pressure and final flurry it was RSL’s night as stoppage time wound down. RSL enter the much needed World Cup break on a high and now have the ability to heal and hope to get back many of the injured players they have lost over the past two weeks. Noted Kreis: “We end up on a really positive note. I am really pleased with where we are right now. We can take a little bit of a breather now and relax and enjoy some time off.”

REAL SALT LAKE (7-3-2, 23 pts.) v. LOS ANGELES GALAXY (10-1-2, 32 pts.)
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9, 2010 – RIO TINTO STADIUM

Scoring Summary:
RSL – Javier Morales 4 (unassisted) 80

Misconduct Summary:
LA — Juninho (caution; Tactical Foul) 20
RSL — Andy Williams (caution; Tactical Foul) 63
?RSL — Javier Morales (caution; Shirt Removal) 81
?LA — Omar Gonzalez (caution; Tactical Foul) 85 ?
?
Los Angeles Galaxy (4-4-2) — Donovan Ricketts, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant, Michael Stephens, Chris Birchall, Juninho, Alex Cazumba (Eddie Lewis 78), Jovan Kirovski (Clint Mathis 63), Tristan Bowen (Alan Gordon 72).

Statistics: SHOTS: 7 (Juninho 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 players with 1); SAVES: 2 (Ricketts 2); FOULS: 12 (3 players with 2); CORNERS: 4 (Mathis 2); OFFSIDES: 2 (Dunivant, Kirovski 1)
??
Real Salt Lake (4-4-2) — Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran (Chris Wingert 60), Andy Williams (Collen Warner 78), Ned Grabavoy, Javier Morales, Will Johnson, Alvaro Saborío, Fabian Espíndola (Pablo Campos 64).

Statistics: SHOTS: 9 (3 players with 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 players with 1); SAVES: 3 (Rimando 3); FOULS: 11 (Saborío 4); CORNERS: 10 (Morales 9); OFFSIDES: 1 (Saborío 1)

Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Referee’s Assistants: Frank Anderson; Eric Proctor
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Weather: Cloudy-and-78-degrees / Attendance: 19,513

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial

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ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week 10

Posted on 02 June 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Several performances were crowded out of the Best XI this past weekend with the LA Galaxy’s Tristan Bowen, Michael Stephens, and Real Salt Lake’s Fabian Espindola not making the cut despite stellar performances. It was an offensively charged week in Major League Soccer, with a couple players cut from Bob Bradley’s final 23 out to make a statement. Both Conor Casey and Brian Ching tallied but only one found their way onto the Best XI. It was the DeRo show this week once again as Toronto FC continues their tear. Head over to ASN Philly to check it out.

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Tuesday audio update

Posted on 01 June 2010 by ASN Staff

Subscribe via iTunes here or if you prefer get the Audio Soccer News Daily via email or RSS.

For more information on your host Jason Davis check out Match Fit USA and of course be sure to listen to AmericanSoccerShow.com, home of the popular American Soccer Show weekly podcast. Be sure to listen in every Monday!

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Week 10 weekend roundup

Posted on 31 May 2010 by Patrick McShane

Action from the Real Salt Lake v Kansas City Wizards match ©Julie Harper/ASN

Real Salt Lake extended their win streak Saturday to a franchise-best five games after dispatching the Kansas City Wizards 4-1 in a hotly contested affair. While RSL jumped off to an early lead after a pair of goals by Fabian Espíndola and Álvaro Saborío, the Wizards were able to capitalize on RSL’s occasional sloppy play to pull a goal back just before half. Inspired by 15,588 raucous fans at Rio Tinto Stadium, RSL controlled the second half and finished the match off late thanks to a Davy Arnaud ejection and goals from Robbie Russell and Ned Grabavoy. ASN’s Patrick McShane reports from Rio Tinto Stadium and supplies player ratings for the victorious home side.

Conor Casey beat out Jeff Parke on a running battle into the box in the 63rd minute of the Seattle Sounders match-up with the Colorado Rapids and caught Kasey Keller off his line with a deft chip to the far post. The goal stood up as the winner in a 1-0 decision in the home team’s favor at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Pat Shea reports from Colorado and supplies player ratings for both sides.

Toronto FC booked their first road win in MLS play this season when Dwayne DeRosario broke a 2-2 deadlock with his second goal of the game deep into stoppage time at San Jose. Chris Hazard has that report.

In the nation’s capital, Steve Long finally sees reasons to believe in Curt Onalfo’s plans for DC United, after their 3-2 victory over Chivas USA.

The Philadelphia Union surprised an incredibly tough Houston home team last night coming from behind to win 3-2 in the dying moments. It was the #1 draft pick Danny Mwanga that grabbed the game winner all thanks to the unwavering work ethic of both Alejandro Moreno and Sebastien Le Toux. The win now puts the Union at 2-5-1. ASN Philly’s Breton Bonnette observed the match and supplied the following player ratings for the winners.

Finally, at Toyota Park in suburban Chicago, AC Milan strutted their stuff for a sell-out crowd before defeating the Chicago Fire by 1-0. Jeff Tobin has that report.

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Streaking RSL dismantle the Wizards for fifth straight win

Posted on 31 May 2010 by Patrick McShane

Real Salt Lake extended their win streak Saturday to a franchise-best five games after dispatching the Kansas City Wizards 4-1 in a hotly contested affair. While RSL jumped off to an early lead after a pair of goals by Fabian Espíndola and Álvaro Saborío, the Wizards were able to capitalize on RSL’s occasional sloppy play to pull a goal back just before half. Inspired by 15,588 raucous fans at Rio Tinto Stadium, RSL controlled the second half and finished the match off late thanks to a Davy Arnaud ejection and goals from Robbie Russell and Ned Grabavoy.

Skip to the RSL player ratings!

Action from the match ©Julie Harper/ASN

The match had a bright and confident feel for the home side early as RSL dominated much of the play. Espíndola and Saborío continued to nurture their growing partnership up top for RSL while combining with midfield maestro Javier Morales for a number of attacking runs in the first 20 minutes.

“I think that they have a good relationship,” noted coach Jason Kreis after the match. “I think they both look for each other and run off each other very well, and when you include Javier [Morales] in that triangle you see some really nice combination from those three players.”

While the Wizards defense did a decent job managing the pressure early on, RSL finally earned a breakthrough in the 31st minute when midfielder Andy Williams found himself open with yards of space in front of goal. Rather than taking the shot on goal, Williams drew three defenders to him before laying off to a wide-open Espíndola for a low, driven shot across keeper Jimmy Nielsen for the opening goal.

Espíndola was in fine form all evening, torching the Wizards backline while earning a number of chances for the home side. This effort was again repaid just minutes after the opening tally when Espíndola was sprung open on the left wing by Morales for an uncontested run at goal. Rather than launch a cross with his preferred left foot, Espíndola cut the ball into the middle a tried to chip Nielsen with his right foot. Though Nielsen was able to tip the ball, he wasn’t able to get complete control and spilled the ball behind him for Saborío to body home for his team-leading fifth goal.

While it seemed the match was trending towards a blowout, the Wizards produced a moment of magic just before half when Arnaud surprised a needlessly casual Nat Borchers right in front of goal for an interception. His speed and momentum paid off, as he was able to quickly place a nice pass across goal for Josh Wolff to slot home. Though the Wizards deserved the goal thanks to their energy and fight, one had to feel they didn’t deserve to be in the match at half as RSL were consistently the more organized and better team.

The second half played much like the beginning of the match, with RSL creating numerous chances and drawing repeated fouls against the Wizards. Arnaud, in particular, appeared furious at one of the linesman throughout the second half, screaming and arguing even when calls went the Wizards way. This tension eventually came to a head in the 82nd minute when Arnaud verbally challenged the referee after defender Matt Besler was called for a foul on Morales. Having earned a first caution just minutes earlier, Arnaud was shown his second yellow for dissent and was given an early trip to the showers.

RSL were able to easily close out the match after Arnaud’s ejection. Morales nearly scored on the ensuing free kick for the foul on Besler, but Nielsen was up to the task with a stunning foot save. Unfortunately for the Wizards, Russell was in position to slam the ball home after Nielsen’s save and the match seemed well out of reach for an undermanned Wizards side. The final nail in the coffin came in added time when Grabavoy intercepted a horrible back pass from substitute Graham Zusi to blow by Besler for beautiful, calm goal to the right of Nielsen. It was the first goal for both Russell and Grabavoy in a RSL kit, bringing the total number of players who have scored for RSL this season to a shocking 11 different players.

The next 10 days yield a rollercoaster ride for RSL, who will face D.C. United two times in four days and close out their pre World Cup schedule with a rematch against league leaders LA Galaxy. Their trip to Washington D.C. this week brings particular intrigue with it as Wednesday’s match is apart of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play, followed by a trip to the White House to meet with President Barack Obama on Friday before meeting United again on Saturday for league action.

While RSL have built a deep squad this season to lesson the grind of MLS and Champion’s League play, they currently find themselves in a bind with Williams and defender Chris Wingert picking up hamstring injuries Saturday. These injuries coupled with the absence of midfielders Kyle Beckerman and Nelson González make the next week intriguing from a personnel standpoint for Kreis and RSL. RSL can only hope that they can overcome these interruptions and continue their exciting team play and stunning offensive production en route to an even longer win streak.

MATCH FACTS
REAL SALT LAKE (6-3-1, 19 pts.) v. KANSAS CITY WIZARDS (2-5-2, 8 pts.)
DATE: Saturday, May 29, 2010 — Rio Tinto Stadium

Scoring Summary:
RSL — Fabian Espíndola 3 (Andy Williams 3) 31
RSL — Alvaro Saborío 5 (unassisted) 34
KC — Josh Wolff 1 (Davy Arnaud 1) 42
RSL — Robbie Russell 1 (unassisted) 84
RSL — Ned Grabavoy 1 (unassisted) 92+

Misconduct Summary:
KC — Matt Besler (caution; Tactical Foul) 27
RSL — Jamison Olave (caution; Tactical Foul) 29
KC — Kei Kamara (caution; Tactical Foul) 32
KC — Jimmy Conrad (caution; Tactical Foul) 73
KC — Davy Arnaud (caution; Tactical Foul) 82
KC — Davy Arnaud (ejection; Second Caution) 82

Lineups:
Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert (Robbie Russell 46), Andy Williams (Ned Grabavoy 46), Javier Morales, Jean Alexandre, Will Johnson, Álvaro Saborío, Fabian Espíndola (Pablo Campos 88).

Statistics: SHOTS: 12 (Espíndola 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Espíndola, Saborío 2); SAVES: 2 (Rimando 2); FOULS: 11 (Alexandre 3); CORNERS: 2 (Morales 2); OFFSIDES: 5 (Saborío 3)

Kansas City Wizards — Jimmy Nielsen, Jonathan Leathers (Chance Myers 46), Jimmy Conrad, Matt Besler, Michael Harrington, Davy Arnaud, Jack Jewsbury, Josh Wolff (Graham Zusi 77), Teal Bunbury, Kei Kamara, Ryan Smith.

Statistics: SHOTS: 6 (Bunbury, Kamara 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 players with 1); SAVES: 3 (Nielsen 3); FOULS: 14 (Arnaud 8); CORNERS: 4 (Arnaud, Smith 2); OFFSIDES: 1 (Kamara 1)

Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee’s Assistants: Eric Boria; Paul Scott
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-58-degrees / Attendance: 15,588

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial

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Findley in, Ching out of South Africa 23

Posted on 26 May 2010 by ASN Staff

Findley at practice, where he apparently did enough to impress Bradley ©Julie Harper/ASN

Apparently Bob Bradley liked what he saw of Robbie Findley in training so much that he didn’t even need to call him for the final audition. How else to explain Bradley not playing the Real Salt Lake forward in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s first “Send-Off Series” match against the Czech Republic May 25 but naming him to the 23-man squad regardless? Read on here.

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