Tag Archive | "Rimando"

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Defense on display as RSL beat Red Bulls 1-0

Posted on 05 September 2010 by Patrick McShane

Real Salt Lake tied the longest home-undefeated streak in Major League Soccer history on Saturday night as they dispatched the newly upgraded New York Red Bulls 1-0. Heading into the match one would assume that it would be a high-powered offensive affair due to New York’s striker tandem of Juan Pablo Angel and newly acquired Thierry Henry against RSL’s league-leading offense that has tallied 35 goals this season. In the end, however, it was the defenses of both teams that stole the show, with the lone goal coming early in the match off of a Fabian Espíndola slow roller past onrushing keeper Greg Sutton in the 4th minute.

With the victory RSL not only equaled the undefeated home record, but they also set a new team record for single-season points (43), wins (12), and shutouts (11), with 7 league matches still remaining this season. Additionally, RSL now sit only 3 points behind the LA Galaxy and 1 point behind the Columbus Crew in the race for the Supporters’ Shield. Coach Jason Kreis echoed the teams focus on breaking records and continuing to win at home. “I think in our next match we will be gangbusters going to break the record. It is important to us.”

Despite missing newly acquired DP Rafael Marquez, New York still posed a frightening attack with Angel, Henry, and newcomer of the year candidate Joel Lindpere feeding from the wings. However, it appeared throughout the match that the New York needed Marquez more than they realized as their midfield struggled to connect passes to their forwards, essentially nullifying Henry’s impact on the match. Noted Henry after the match: “I don’t know if you saw in the first half, but we played long ball, which is not the way the game should be played. You saw the way that Salt Lake, they pass the ball on the ground. I think Rafa not being here was a bit difficult for us because he has a great vision and can calm people down, so we definitely missed him today.”

While RSL deserved the victory, it did take the stellar play of keeper Nick Rimando, stout defense from RSL’s entire back line, and some luck thanks to some clearances off of the goal line from Kyle Beckerman & Andy Williams. Seeing that New York has perpetually been a thorn in RSL’s side, particularly at Ro Tinto Stadium, it is certain that the players and coaches would be happy to escape with a 1-0 victory and continue their push to the post season.

REAL SALT LAKE (12-4-7, 43 pts.) v. NEW YORK RED BULLS (11-8-4, 37 pts.)
SATURDAY, SEPT. 4, 2010 – RIO TINTO STADIUM

Scoring Summary:
RSL — Fabian Espíndola 6 (Kyle Beckerman 3, Javier Morales 7) 4

Misconduct Summary:
NY — Tony Tchani (caution; Tactical Foul) 18
NY — Danleigh Borman (caution; Tactical Foul) 38
RSL — Jamison Olave (caution; Tactical Foul) 39
NY — Seth Stammler (caution; Tactical Foul) 74

New York Red Bulls — Greg Sutton, Chris Albright (Salou Ibrahim 86), Carlos Mendes, Tim Ream, Danleigh Borman, Macoumba Kandji (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 76), Seth Stammler, Tony Tchani, Joel Lindpere, Thierry Henry, Juan Pablo Angel.

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando; Robbie Russell, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert; Andy Williams, Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Ned Grabavoy; Robbie Findley (Nelson Gonzalez 75), Fabian Espíndola (Pablo Campos 50).

Referee: Ricardo Salazar?
Referee’s Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry; Eric Boria?
4th Official: Paul Ward?
Attendance: 19,115 / Weather: Clear and 91 degrees

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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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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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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.

MATCH FACTS

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 rescue deserved draw from Sounders

Posted on 11 April 2010 by Patrick McShane

It was a night full of celebration, disappointment, and mild satisfaction Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium as Real Salt Lake fought back twice to rescue a 2-2 draw against the Seattle Sounders. It was the first time that RSL played in front of their home fans since winning the MLS Cup last season, and the 19,970 fans who arrived early to see the raising of the Champions Flag and the presentation of the Cup Rings had to be disappointed with the lost points at home.

When you’re done here, be sure to check out the photo gallery.

To the winners... ©Julie Harper/ASN

While RSL controlled much of the opening minutes with bright and creative play, it took Seattle just 11 minutes to silence the stadium after Steve Zakuani found himself open with acres of space to run at opposing keeper Nick Rimando. It was far too easy of a goal for Seattle as starlet Fredy Montero saw RSL defender Robbie Russell sleeping on an inbound pass and made a simple pass to the speedy midfielder for his first goal of the season.

Javier Morales was again in fine form for RSL as he controlled the pace of the match earlier on but just couldn’t find a way to apply the finishing touch. Sadly, Morales wouldn’t get a chance to assemble a comeback, as he had to leave the match before half due to a right groin strain. Midfield counterpart Ned Grabavoy also left the match due to injury, with the early diagnosis appearing to be much worse with a possible sprained knee.

The second half continued to produce quality chances for both squads, though there was a visible drop in crispness n the final third. However, all of these opportunities finally came to fruition in the 53rd minute when Russell made amends and whipped a cross deep into the box for a diving Will Johnson to head home. With the goal, it appeared that RSL might have enough time to mount an astonishing comeback and seal the victory.

Unfortunately for RSL, Sounders star Freddie Ljungberg was still fighting for every opportunity at the opposite end. His tenacity resulted in a free kick on the left wing late in the match that led to the go-ahead goal, when RSL defender Nat Borchers couldn’t hold off Sounders veteran Tyrone Marshall and inadvertently headed the cross into goal. By all accounts the match appeared to be over as Seattle seemed comfortable in defense as RSL couldn’t string a clean set of passes together.

But RSL were far from done. Bringing new marksman Álvaro Saborío in for burner Robbie Findley signaled RSL’s hope of stealing a goal off of a set play. Little did the faithful know, but this wouldn’t happen until late into added time, when standout substitute Nelson Gonzalez rocketed a perfect corner kick to Saborío who was just able to outmuscle his mark for a flick header to the corner.

While the crowd expected more than a draw from a team that traditionally dominates at home, there was a sense of relief throughout the stands, as the point taken seemed fair. There will be little time for RSL to lick their wounds as they travel back to where they opened the season to face the San Jose Earthquakes in the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday. It is unknown how long either Morales or Grabavoy will be out, meaning there may be some tinkering to RSL’s lineup. One would also think that with the late goal, Saborío warrants future consideration for the match on Wednesday or possibly on the road versus the Galaxy next Saturday. As noted by Johnson, “I’d put my money on it that he scores a lot of goals this year for us.”

PLAYER RATINGS
Real Salt Lake player ratings on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being best:

Rimando: 5 – Wasn’t really tested and not much he could have done on the opening goal. Maybe could have been a little more assertive on the late free kick, but that’s about it.

Russell: 5 – Would have been much lower had he not delivered the crucial cross for the first equalizer. Going into the match I had a feeling Zakuani was going to give him problems and that definitely seemed to be the case. Robbie hasn’t been horrible, but I’m curious how Tony Beltran has to be feeling right now.

Olave: 7 – Physically dominant and noticeably controlled in the box. Looks like last week’s penalty calls have given Olave some food for thought as he was in much more control and anchored the back line.

Borchers: 5 – Tough match for Nat. He did an admirable job throughout, but struggling to hold off Marshall and the late own-goal is pretty hard to swallow. Still, I shutter to think what the result would have been without him.

Wingert: 4 – I just don’t know about Chris. I wish I could see more production from him offensively, but he also makes me anxious defensively at times. Again – when does Beltran get some love?

Beckerman: 6 – After being rewarded this week with a brand new contract, Beckerman continued to hustle and fight with a tough Seattle midfield all night. Nothing outstanding, just consistent.

Johnson: 7 – When Johnson first came to RSL he was listed as an attacking mid and forward. There is definitely a part of me that would like to see him get forward more often for spectacular goals like Saturday’s, instead of sitting isolated on a wing

Grabavoy: 4 – Didn’t do much prior to his injury. I questioned his third consecutive start this week as I felt like Gonzalez and Williams both warranted more time with their recent play. Now it looks like we’ll see just how much they deserve it, as Ned faces an extended period of time on the sideline.

Morales: Incomplete – I saw another stellar performance in the making early in the match from Morales. Unfortunately, Javi picked up an injury and RSL noticeably struggled.

Espindola: 5 – After last week’s late headlock tackle on Bobby Boswell, I’m officially on board with those that think Espy is a bit of a head case. That said, his speed, left-footed ability, and motor make him a must-start every week.

Findley: 4 – Still waiting for Findley’s opening tally of the season. One could argue that while he isn’t pounding them in to the back of the net, he is at least involved in many of the positive plays and goals. While true, I’d still like to see him have a better killer instinct around goal as he lazily hit a couple sitters straight at Keller.

SUBSTITUTES:
Williams: 5 – Night and day between Andy and Javi. Williams isn’t a huge drop off in terms of control and passing, but he definitely is a little less creative on attack holds to ball up too often. Maybe more playing time in Javi’s absence will settle him a bit.

Gonzalez: 7 – Man-crush is a bit too much, but I must admit that I’m a pretty big fan of Gonzalez. While he still needs to work on his touch and patience when pressured, his energy and skill is something RSL hasn’t seen on the wing before.

Saborío: 6 – Hard to knock someone who provided a late equalizer, but there’s still a part of me that thinks that Sabo can do better. He struggles at times to link up with teammates in the final third and is probably still finding his role with the team. I’m excited to see what he can bring to the team in the middle of July once he’s acclimated.

MATCH FACTS
Real Salt Lake (1-1-1) v. Seattle Sounders FC (1-1-1)
Saturday, April 10, 2010 – Rio Tinto Stadium

Scoring Summary:
SEA – Steve Zakuani 1 (Fredy Montero 2, James Riley 1) 11
RSL – Will Johnson 1(Robbie Russell 1, Robbie Findley 2) 53
SEA – own goal (Nat Borchers) 72
RSL – Álvaro Saborío 1 (Nelson Gonzalez 1) 94+’

Real Salt Lake – GK-Nick Rimando; DF-Robbie Russell, DF-Nat Borchers, DF-Jamison Olave, DF-Chris Wingert; MF-Ned Grabavoy (Nelson Gonzalez 45), MF-Kyle Beckerman (Capt.), MF-Javier Morales (Andy Williams 39), MF-Will Johnson; FW-Robbie Findley (Álvaro Saborío 78), FW-Fabián Espíndola.

Seattle Sounders FC – GK-Kasey Keller (Capt.); DF-James Riley, DF-Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, DF-Tyrone Marshall, DF-Leo Gonzalez (Tyson Wahl 48); MF-Pat Noonan, MF-Brad Evans, MF-Osvaldo Alonso, MF-Steve Zakuani (Roger Levesque 78); FW-Freddie Ljungberg, FW-Fredy Montero (Nathan Sturgis 73)

Misconduct Summary:
SEA – Tyrone Marshall (caution, Reckless Tackle) 56
RSL – Chris Wingert (caution, Tactical Foul) 60

Referee: Abby Okulaja
Referee’s Assistants: Frank Anderson, Steven Taylor
4th official: Tyler Ploeger

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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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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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{democracy:24}

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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RSL down road warrior Revs

Posted on 23 June 2008 by Patrick McShane

Real Salt Lake (5-5-4, 19 pts.) continued their impressive run of home domination; dispatching the New England Revolution (8-4-3, 26 pts.) 2-1 in a match that now place RSL in sole possession of second place in the Western Conference. With the win, RSL move to the .500 mark and continue their unbeaten streak at home for the season.

Despite an emphatic result against one of the top teams in the MLS, things didn’t appear so rosy for RSL in the early minutes of the match. Skillfully controlling possession and working the ball wide, it appeared that RSL were poised to strike early. However, that quickly changed in the 8th minute when Adam Cristman took advantage of sloppy communication between keeper Nick Rimando and defender Nat Borchers, to steal and early goal, stunning the 11,965 RSL fans in attendance. What looked like a harmless deep pass from Revs keeper Matt Reis turned into tragedy as the ball skied off of the plastic pitch at Rice-Eccles Stadium, causing a 50/50 dilemma for Rimando and Borchers. Noticing the confusion, Cristman seized the moment and rushed from behind Borchers to casually head the ball into the back of the net.

Reis got to this one… ©ASN/Julia Fizer

One could sense the energy on the pitch jump up a level as RSL began to push forward. That energy came to fruition a short three minutes later when RSL equalized off of a free kick. After striker Robbie Findley was taken down approximately 30 yards outside of the box, midfielder Javier Morales stepped up to lash a beautiful cross deep into a crowd of players in the box, knocking the ball in the net off of the head of Revs defender Jay Heaps. The importance of the goal couldn’t have been greater, as RSL coach Jason Kreis noted after the match: “That was hugely important that we had a quick turnaround there, because if it had dragged on a lot longer until halftime it would have been a difficult thing to come back from mentally for the guys.”

…but not the game winner by Tino Nunez, here in his post game interview

For the remainder of the first half both teams continued to press for a game-changing goal. Revolution rookie sensation Kheli Dube blasted a shot on goal that Rimando barely got a hand on to pop up in the air. On the other side of the pitch, RSL striker Kenny Deuchar had two chances to score, both by challenging Reis for potential headers in the box with the first header hitting off the right post and the second drifting harmless out of bounds. Trepidation hit in 40th minute when Findley appeared to have been knocked out as he was going for an aerial challenge, leading to a mild concussion and an eventual substitution for unproven rookie striker Tino Nuñez.

The second half began where the first half left off with RSL continuing to look bright on attack and capable in defense. Right-back Tony Beltran created multiple opportunities for Deuchar, putting in two deadly crosses from the right wing that created anxious moments for the Revs. However, the momentum of the match took a significant turn in the 60th minute, when Nuñez scored his first MLS goal of his young career due to a fortuitous deflection off of a Revs defender. Morales was trying to play the ball into space for Nuñez on a cut-run, only for the ball to deflect of the back of a Revs player and fall at the feet of an open Nuñez with yards of space around him. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Nuñez coolly placed the ball to the right of goal past Reis with a finish that would impress even a seasoned striker.

Williams gives chase

Despite earning the go-ahead goal, RSL continued to press forward hoping to distance themselves from the Revs as much as possible. After near misses by midfielders Andy Williams and Matias Cordoba, the match ended with RSL earning a well-deserved three points that had eluded them for the past two home matches. RSL will take their unbeaten streak of five matches on the road next Saturday as they face Easter Conference cellar-dwellers Kansas City Wizards.

{democracy:15}

AT A GLANCE

Scoring Summary:
NE — Adam Cristman 4 (unassisted) 8?
RSL — Own Goal (Jay Heaps) 11?
RSL — Tino Nunez 1 (unassisted) 60

New England Revolution — Matt Reis, Chris Albright, Jay Heaps, Michael Parkhurst, Amaechi Igwe (Wells Thompson 62), Steve Ralston, Jeff Larentowicz, Pat Phelan, Sainey Nyassi (Chris Tierney 77), Kheli Dube, Adam Cristman.

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Chris Wingert, Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Tony Beltran, Kyle Beckerman, Dema Kovalenko, Javier Morales, Andy Williams (Matias Cordoba 84), Robbie Findley (Tino Nunez 41), Kenny Deuchar (Kenny Cutler 71).

Misconduct Summary: ?
NE — Jay Heaps (caution; Tackle from Behind) 20?
NE — Steve Ralston (caution; Reckless Foul) 66?
RSL — Kyle Beckerman (caution; Reckless Foul) 76

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