Jason Kreis - Coach
Nick Dasovic - Coach
Defending MLS Cup Champion Real Salt Lake returns home to Rio Tinto Stadium to sume CONCACAF Champions League action tonight...RSL has dropped just one of its last 19 MLS games, going 11-1-7 and outscoring opponents 30-8 since May 1, the lone loss coming at Dallas on July 17.
Tonight's return to CONCACAF Champions League play marks the 9th match in RSL's 14-game 56-day odyssey between August 7 and October 2, and the kickoff of a brutal 6-game, 18-day run within that larger stretch...During this run, RSL is 2-0-4 so far in MLS play (will be 8 games total), and 1-1-0 (3pts) in CCL competition.
CONCACAF Champions League continues:
Real Salt Lake (MLS Cup Champion) enters Matchday #3 tied with the other Group A teams with identical 1-1-0 marks, with home teams holding serve.
It is good to see that we have most of our starters out here tonight for the CCL match. We (RSL) will severely miss Morales for this match. If you didn't already know Morales is hampered by a right quad strain and Fabian Espindola is hampered by a left hamstring strain.
Let's get on with the match...
At '15 mark...
RSL's Gonzalez goes down hard in the first minute of the game and had to be helped off the field. He finally returned after two (2) minutes and we are back to full strength. Toronto goes on a counter-attack off of Pat Borchers bad pass and scores at '8 mark...TFC 1, RSL 0.
more after the jump
At '30 mark...
Kyle Beckerman equalizes with a header off of a corner kick at '21 mark. The game is tied at 1. It seems that goal from the captain has re-energized the team, we have been playing with a lot of juice over the last couple of minutes. RSL has had bodies laying all over the field tonight. We really look beat up and it seems that Russell is taking the largest beating of them all. At '28 mark, Tony Beltran is substituting for Robbie Russell. Andy Williams had a great shot on goal but didn't convert. RSL still playing tough in this portion of the game.
At '45 mark...
Robbie Findley had a break away and centered it just right for Alvaro Saborio...but Sabo couldn't get there in time for what could have been RSL's second goal of the night at '33 mark. Jamison Olave scores off a header from Andy Williams set piece at '40 mark. RSL is leading for the first time tonight...2-1!!!! Great effort by Robbie Findley on the 1 on 1...he nearly scored. TFC's Martin Saric receives a Yellow Card at '44 mark. RSL ends up with a corner kick at '45 mark that goes nowhere. The game is RSL 2...TFC 1 at the half.
At the half...
Well, we are leading after a tough first half. It has looked like RSL has been a little sluggish this first half but they are managing to turn it up when they have to. After our first goal, it looked like RSL seemed a little energized and started playing "Kreis-ball"! It could have easily been 3-1 at the half but we couldn't capitalize on a fabulous effort from Findley centering to Sabo.
Are we going to see the new addition to RSL, Paulo Araujo Jr, in the 2nd half? This would be a great opportunity for Coach Kreis to get this new, young talented forward into a match. I will feel more comfortable if we can add an insurance goal onto the scoreboard against a tough TFC side tonight.
At '60 mark...
There was a substitution at the half for TFC. Newly acquired Lindsay came in for Saric. Also, just announced that Robbie Russell left in the first half due to a head injury. There is nothing more to report at this time, other than a head injury. At '49 mark, Kyle Beckerman was awarded a Yellow Card for arguing with the officials. Great save by Rimando off of a De Rosario shot on goal at '51 mark. Both team's have really come out with a lot of energy in the 2nd half. Findley had another great opportunity on a 1 on 1 and didn't capitalize again. A beautiful save by TFC's goalie against a wicked shot by Sabo at '56 mark. Robbie Findley had another fine chance with 1 on 1 with the goalie this time and couldn't capitalize.
At '75 mark...
TFC substituted Peterson for Mista. At '66 mark, Mista received a Red Card and was ejected. RSL is playing a man-up and should pick up the pace and put another goal on the board. We need the differential. At '64 mark, Grabavoy comes in for Gonzalez. At '69 mark, Johnson was brought down (fouled) in the box and RSL is received a penalty kick. Saborio scores on the PK at '70 mark. It seems the wheels are falling off of TFC's cart right now. That makes five (5) goals in three CCL games for Saborio. At '72 mark, TFC makes a substitution, Barrett for White. At '74 mark, Araujo is making his debut for RSL substituting for Sabo.
At '90 mark...
The new kid on the block, Araujo, had a great opportunity to score on goal and just came up short. What a fantastic play by Robbie Findley to center the ball perfectly for Paulo Araujo, Jr.'s first goal in the Cobalt and Gold Uniform at '80 mark. That makes the score 4-1. The announced just stated that the attendance tonight is 11,579! Not bad for a Wednesday night CCL match. Another save by TFC's goalie against a hard shot by Araujo, Jr. A great bend-around shot by Will Johnson that just barely missed at '89 mark. And that does it in Sandy, Utah tonight...RSL 4, TFC 1.
While sit here and watch the RSL reserves perform some wind sprints after the game, I realize that RSL turned it on when they needed to in the 2nd half. We played like a team possessed and it showed on the scoreboard. Although, it does help when you are playing a man-up for the last 24 minutes of the match. I have to congratulate Alavaro Saborio with his PK goal in the second half. If I am not mistaken, that makes five (5) goals in three (3) CCL games this year. And I must say that our newly acquired Brazilian forward, Paulo Araujo, Jr. is the real deal. He scored his first goal of the season in his debut. If I am not mistaken (again), I am thinking that Sabo did the same thing earlier this season. I cannot remember which game it was, but I'm sure Denz can help me out on this one!
Coach Kreis never ceases to amaze me with his "step on the throat" attitude. He keeps that aggressive approach throughout the game whether we are leading or losing.
Maybe someone can help me with the what our unbeaten home streak is now, to include, international friendlies, CCL matches, etc. I know we are holding steady at 22 in MLS play. Somewhere I thought that I heard we are at 29 after this match. Not too shabby!
Let's get ready for a big MLS match on Saturday afternoon as RSL hosts the Chicago Fire.