Well it was a beautiful night at Rio Tinto Stadium and Real Salt Lake rewarded the over 15,000 fans who showed up with one of their best performances of the year as they beat TFC 3-1. Here is the info from the RSL Communications team who again do a great job:
REAL SALT LAKE DOMINATES TORONTO FC WITH 3-1 HOME VICTORY
FW Álvaro Saborío Returns to Lineup, Scores Twice to Lead RSL;
DF Nat Borchers Also Opens 2011 MLS Account
SANDY, Utah (Saturday, June 25, 2011) - Real Salt Lake (7-3-5, 26 pts.) returned to its winning ways at its Rio Tinto Stadium "Fortress" with a dominating 3-1 win over visiting Toronto FC (2-6-10, 16 pts.). Spurred by the return of FW Álvaro Saborío to the starting lineup for the first time since May 22 due to Gold Cup duty for his native Costa Rica, RSL went up 2-0 at halftime before 15,077 fans and held on for the victory.
Owning a 74-26 advantage in possession percentage in the first half, it was a 39th minute goal by DF Nat Borchers off MF Kyle Beckerman's corner kick that gave RSL the early lead. Just three minutes later, Saborío scored for the first time since March 15 against Saprissa in CONCACAF Champions League play, tapping home a cross from DF Robbie Russell. It was Russell again setting up Saborío in the 66th minute, this time with a looping ball over the top that found the sniper who a year ago led RSL with 18 goals in 30 games. The Saborío brace extended RSL's current unbeaten streak to four games, courtesy of three consecutive draws prior to tonight.
RSL GK Nick Rimando was not forced to make even one save on the night, as the lone Toronto FC shot-on-goal was FW Maicon Santos' 15-yard near-post blast against the run of play in the 66th minute that beat the vaunted RSL defense.
the rest of the info after the jump:
Real Salt Lake Match Notes
- The RSL rearguard has let in one goal or fewer in 13 of its 15 MLS games this season and just nine total thus far (including two on PKs), a pace that projects to fewer than 20 goals allowed in a 34-game regular-season. A year ago, RSL allowed just 20 goals in the 30-game campaign, setting a new standard in MLS annals and breaking the 2007 Houston Dynamo record.
- Real Salt Lake's trio of goals scored tonight marks only the fourth time in 15 MLS games that the team scored multiple goals, this after notching two or more in three of its six CONCACAF Champions League games.
- Saborío's brace improved RSL to 20-2-4 all-time when a player scores two or more goals, the only losses coming last August at Cruz Azul in CCL action and back on 6/17/07, when FW Chris Brown's brace was wasted in a 2-3 loss at LA.
- Saborío's two-goal performance was his third in 33 MLS games (he had two in CCL action), moving him to a tie with MF Javier Morales for #3 all-time among RSL multi-goal game leaders. Former strikers Jeff Cunningham (5) and Robbie Findley (4 games) lead the category.
- With points earned today by the trio of teams that fourth-place RSL is chasing in the MLS Western Conference, the three-point victory was a critical achievement for the Claret-and-Cobalt. With a league-low 15 games played and 26 points to show, RSL trails Los Angeles (35 points from 19 games), Dallas (31 in 17) and Seattle (28 in 18). RSL's 26-point total would put it atop the Eastern Conference, led by Philadelphia Union with 26 points from 16 games.
- RSL still has just 10 goals in the nine games played without MF Javier Morales, after scoring a league-high 45 goals in 2010. Joining Morales in the infirmary since late April has been FW Paulo Jr. (11 games) and FW Fabian Espindola (3 games), while FW Álvaro Saborío (7 games), FW Arturo Alvarez (8 games) and MF Will Johnson (4 games) have been unavailable due to Gold Cup duty or injury.
- Tonight's return home was the third of four games in 11 days across MLS and Open Cup play and kicks off a return to its Rio Tinto Stadium "Fortress," where five of the next six games and six out of eight will be played at home. On top of that stretch, RSL will host at least one additional game in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tourney this Tuesday, June 28 vs. the USL PRO side Wilmington Hammerheads at 7:00 p.m. MT.
- Following Tuesday's Open Cup game, Real Salt Lake will finish its string of six consecutive games (current record: 1-1-3) against Eastern Conference opposition on Monday, July 4, when the Claret-and-Cobalt host New England Revolution (3-7-6, 16 pts.) at Rio Tinto Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. MT, with post-game fireworks featuring in the celebration of the RSL career of former captain and current Head Coach Jason Kreis, as his iconic #9 jersey is retired immediately after the contest.
REAL SALT LAKE 3 : 1 TORONTO FC
SATURDAY, JUNE 25, 2011
RIO TINTO STADIUM - SANDY, UT
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 2 1 3
RSL - Nat Borchers (Kyle Beckerman) 39
RSL - Álvaro Saborío (Robbie Russell) 42
RSL - Álvaro Saborío (Robbie Russell) 60
TOR - Maicon Santos (Nick Soolsma) 66
RSL - Collen Warner (caution; Reckless Foul) 48
TOR - Richard Eckersley (caution; Reckless Tackle) 58
RSL - Jean Alexandre (caution; Reckless Tackle) 84
RSL - Will Johnson (caution; Reckless Tackle) 85
Real Salt Lake -- Nick Rimando; Robbie Russell, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran; Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy (Nelson Gonzalez 67), Will Johnson, Collen Warner (Andy Williams 57); Alvaro Saborio (Jean Alexandre 81), Luis Gil
Toronto FC -Stefan Frei; Richard Eckersley, Doneil Henry, Ty Harden, Danleigh Borman, Dan Gargan (Nick Soolsma 66), Nathan Sturgis, Gianluca Zavarise, Javier Martina (Matt Stinson 46), Maicon Santos, Joao Plata (Mikael Yourassowsky 46).
Referee: Niko Bratsis
Referee's Assistants: Craig Lowry, Peter Balciunas
4th Official: Ricardo Salazar
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Clear and 83 degrees
MLS POST-GAME QUOTE SHEET
REAL SALT LAKE HEAD COACH JASON KREIS
On the result and going forward:
"We've kind of had our ups and downs ever since we lost (Javier) Morales. We've had some good moments in every game and we've had some bad moments in every game; one game we're pretty good, the next game we're pretty bad. I'm hopeful. I feel like the last three matches we've started to gain some momentum. Even though we haven't gained all the points we would have won along the way, I feel like we're started to gain momentum and I'm hoping this is the one that will put us over the top and give everybody a ton of confidence going forward."
On Nat Borchers' opening goal:
"Momentum is a funny thing in soccer and I felt like we went through a stretch there in the first half where we had a ton of momentum and didn't get the reward in goal. To have [Nat Borchers'] goal as a breakthrough for us was really important. I feel like the team is collecting confidence and collecting a lot of good things and experiences along the way, some young players contributing. There are so many good things that are happening right now, but we need points and we need goals to make us open up and enjoy the moment."
On the return of Álvaro Saborío to the line-up:
"[Álvaro Saborío] is part of our family and we support him. I know it's been a difficult first stretch of the season for him, I know it's been a very difficult ending of the Gold Cup for him, but it doesn't matter - he comes back to open arms here. The very next day after the last match of the Gold Cup I was a little alarmed to see him in the locker room. He was here doing his regeneration on the bike, taking care of his body with a smile on his face, so credit to him for that ... this is the beginning of Alvaro's season."
REAL SALT LAKE DEFENDER NAT BORCHERS
On RSL's pressure in the attacking third:
"When you're able to put pressure on a team like we did in the first half, you're able to create chances and you're able to be dangerous in their half of the field, and something is going to happen. My goal, obviously, was the result of all the hard work we put in. It was a great ball from Kyle [Beckerman]; I really couldn't miss."
On how the opening goal changed the game:
"I think after that you could tell we had a lot of confidence going forward. We just needed to get that first goal and get some confidence on the ball. [Álvaro] Saborío obviously, a great game for him. He's got a nose for goal and that's what good strikers do. I'm really happy for him to get those two goals."
On snapping a streak of three straight draws:
"I think we labeled this one as a must win game, and it definitely was. If we came out of this game with a tie or a loss, we would really have to look at ourselves in the mirror and question ourselves. I think we're very, very happy with this result and we can move forward with some confidence."
REAL SALT LAKE FW ÁLVARO SABORÍO
On his two goal performance:
"I work hard and I try to help the team every time. I'm starting to score goals and I'm happy about that."
On his early struggles to find the back of the net:
"I wasn't frustrated, but I just tried to work hard and make something happen and now I'm scoring."
On the physical play of the game:
"Today it was very physical, but we have to adapt to defending like that and today we were able to score some goals"
REAL SALT LAKE MID/FWD LUIS GIL
On his increased recent playing time:
"Obviously the more you play the more comfortable you get. At the same time I'm still in the learning process. I had my chances up top and I was active and stuff like that, but that all comes with being a starter. I still have a lot of things to learn with these guys."
On playing up top with Álvaro Saborío:
"It's a fun position you know? I get the ball a lot when I'm up top, I just have to be ready wherever coach puts me. Obviously (Saborío) is a post up player, and I can make runs behind him. I understand (Fabian) Espíndola is out and I just have to take advantage of the opportunity."
TORONTO FC HEAD COACH ARON WINTER
On RSL's form this evening:
"What can you say? We were playing against one of the best teams in MLS. If you notice, I think about one and a half months ago they were playing in the final for the CONCACAF [Champions League]. Today Salt Lake was the best team, for me, that we've played against."
On inconsistent play from his young players:
"The beauty of the game is that, because of a lot of injuries, you have to use some new players, and it's normal that it's going up and down."
On his team's reaction to conceding three goals:
"I'm always faithful and have a lot of confidence because we did good things in the second half, and it was these things that brought fire to the team."
On what he thought was missing from the game from his side:
"I was missing a little bit in this game. I was missing the reaction after they scored the goals. To fight for it ... that was missing a little bit."
On what he wants to see from his players:
"For me it's very clear. It's very important that it doesn't matter if you make mistakes during the game, the one thing I want is that you give more than one-hundred percent."
TORONTO FC MIDFIELDER MATT STINSON
On playing in his first MLS game:
"Basically I wanted to go out and work hard. Good things happen when you work hard and that's what I tried to do, but unfortunately we didn't get the result."
On how MLS is different than the development league:
"It's a lot more physical. Usually I'm a physical player, but all the guys in the league are a level higher. It's a physical team that we played."
On what he takes from the loss:
"I think that we've got to kind of forget about this game. As much as we have to look back and pick up the mistakes that we made, I think that there's a lot we can learn from this game and bring forward and keep in mind against Vancouver."
TORONTO FC MIDFIELDER GIANLUCA ZAVARISE
On the contest:
"[Real Salt Lake] outplayed us most of the game. We needed to fight harder all game instead of going on little bursts here and there. No excuses, it's got to be a lot better."
On Toronto FC's second-half reaction:
"We tried to do a bit more attacking. The subs brought in lots of good energy. We got one [goal], but unfortunately that was it. We played a lot more high-tempo, stepping higher and pressuring more."
On the young players fielded by Toronto tonight:
"A loss hurts when we've got a lot of guys coming in for their first appearance. We can build on this and keep improving. It's important for this organization to get positive results in the future."
On next week's two matches against the Vancouver Whitecaps:
"Both [games] are equally important, especially because we need results in the season. We're struggling right now. We need to get some positive results going forward. Obviously the Canadian Cup, we need to win that. We need to advance and get something and stay positive."
Well there you go with a bunch of great info from the 3-1 RSL win last night, now don't relax too much a big US Open Cup match on Tuesday night and the team will need all the support they can get to move forward and try to claim their first ever US Open Cup trophy. Tickets are $10 for the public and $5 for season ticket holders, it is supposed to be a warm day so you might want to make sure you get seats in the shade for the match.
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