It might be the last night for John Klouder as part of the RSL Communications team, but you would never know it. I would like to thank John for all the support and help he has provided me and the others who cover RSL, he is one of the classiest guys I have had the pleasure to know and you will be missed both for what you did on the job and for who you are.
Here is the official RSL recap of the match:
REAL SALT LAKE SHOWS "STEELE" RESOLVE WITH 3-2 WIN AT THE DEATH
Beckerman, Own Goal & Jonny Steele Game-Winner Send 17,629 at Rio Tinto Stadium Home Happy
SANDY, UT (Saturday, April 28, 2012) - Real Salt Lake (6-3-1, 19 points, West #2) kept pace with its Western Conference rivals around the League - all winners - with its third consecutive home victory, downing winless Toronto FC (0-7-0, East #10), with first-year MF Jonny Steele scoring in the 93+' to lead RSL to a 3-2 win.
Before 17,629 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium, RSL jumped out to the early lead as Captain Kyle Beckerman slammed home the ball for Real Salt Lake's first set-piece goal of the year. A seventh-minute corner kick by MF Javier Morales - starting for the third consecutive game this week - went far post to find DF Jamison Olave, whose header back across the face of goal was chested down by DF Chris Schuler and slammed home by Beckerman, for RSL's earliest tally of the young season.
more after the jump:
RSL would enter the halftime break up 1-0 after seeing FW Alvaro Saborio's header disallowed on a much-debated offsides call, while DF Chris Wingert also saw a one-on-one with Toronto FC GK Milos Kocic nullified for the same reason.
Toronto FC equalized early in the second half as a pair of players familiar to RSL - former Dallas playmaker Eric Avila and 2006 RSL draft pick Ryan Johnson - combined to knot the game at 1-1 in the 48th minute. After centerback Adrian Cann cut off a clearance by RSL DF Tony Beltran, Johnson - the former Oregon State product drafted by RSL and traded to Chicago in exchange for centerback Jack Stewart - fed Avila at the top of the box. Avila, a third-year player who scored the decisive goal for Dallas in its 2010 MLS Cup Playoff elimination of RSL in leg one of the West Semis - juked RSL DF Jamison Olave and curled a right-footed blast past RSL GK Nick Rimando.
Four minutes later, Avila hit the crossbar with a similar blast, but RSL went ahead just moments after that, as a 58' cross from Beltran nearly found the head of an onrushing Saborio inside the six, but was kneed home for an own goal by Toronto FC DF Richard Eckersley to give RSL the 2-1 lead. That advantage lasted nearly 20 more minutes, until Toronto broke back against RSL's one-way traffic with a set-piece goal that saw substitute Doneil Henry redirect a Miguel Aceval corner kick to equalize, 2-2, with 10 minutes remaining.
RSL thought it had the game-winner in the 82nd minute when Saborio again saw an apparent goal disallowed, this time the header nullified due to a foul call in the box. Throwing bodies forward and pushing for the home win, RSL was fortunate that a few Joao Plata opportunities went wanting in the waning minutes, setting the stage for stoppage-time heroics by Steele.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes - RSL 3:2 TFC
- Tonight's matchup extends the Claret-and-Cobalt's domination over Toronto in Utah, as RSL notched its fifth straight win over TFC in regular season play at Rio Tinto Stadium - and sixth straight in all competitions when factoring in CONCACAF Champions League action.
- Beckerman's early tap-in gave the RSL captain his third goal of the season, tying him with Alvaro Saborio for the team lead, and marked his 16thgoal in regular season play in an RSL kit.
- RSL ended its second three-game week of the month on a winning note (4 pts.), following up on its similar run at the beginning of April (full 9 pts. in wins @ POR, v MON & v COL). RSL has now completed 18 three-game weeks in its eight-year history (counting all competitions), with at least three more on the docket in 2012.
- GK Nick Rimando and MF Kyle Beckerman remain the only players on the RSL roster that have played every one of this season's 900 minutes.
- MF Jonny Steele's second goal of the season again secured points for RSL. Steele - in his first MLS season after toiling for several clubs in the U.S. minor leagues - scored a clutch stoppage-time equalizer in RSL's March 31victory at Portland.
- RSL's victory sends Toronto FC home with its 7thstraight loss, matching the 1999 Kansas City Wizards squad for the worst start in MLS history.
- Tonight's affair kicked off a two-game homestand for RSL, as the team welcomes the New England Revolution next Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium. Kickoff against the Revolution is set for 7:00 p.m. MT with the game televised live locally in HD on CW30; tickets for Saturday night's home game can be purchased at www.RealSaltLake.com or by calling (801) 727.2701.
REAL SALT LAKE 3 : 2 TORONTO FC
SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2012
RIO TINTO STADIUM - SANDY, UT
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 2 3
Scoring Summary: RSL - Kyle Beckerman (Schuler, Olave) 7
Misconduct Summary: RSL - Jamison Olave (caution, foul) 17
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) -- Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran (Luis Gil 87), Jamison Olave, Chris Schuler, Chris Wingert; Kyle Beckerman (c); Ned Grabavoy (Jonny Steele 82), Will Johnson, Javier Morales, Fabian Espindola, Alvaro Saborio
Toronto FC (4-2-1-3) - Milos Kocic; Ashtone Morgan (Logan Emory 76), Adrian Cann, Miguel Aceval, Richard Eckersley (Doneil Henry 59); Terry Dunfield (Joao Plata 68), Julian de Guzman, Torsten Frings; Reggie Lambe, Eric Avila, Ryan Johnson
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Time of Game: 2:02
Weather: Cool and 52 degrees
OK, there you go all the official goodness.
OFF MY SOAPBOX & Best Wishes John