Well both sides went into the Open Cup qualifying match wanting to win, but both sides also knew they had a league match on Saturday and that caused a mixed lineup to be used. For Real Salt Lake it meant players getting their first playing time in a match that mattered, it also meant a new formation because of injuries, illness, and the upcoming MLS match. I thought RSL was far the better team for most of the match, but failure to convert their scoring chances. The officials of course will be the real story as a number of calls were missed and questions about the two PK's (the only regulation scoring by either side) will remain unanswered.
So here is the official info from the match:
D.C. United v. Real Salt Lake
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup "MLS Play-in" Qualifier
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
RFK Stadium - Washington, D.C.
DC - Luciano Emilio (penalty kick) 75
RSL - Will Johnson (penalty kick) 81
DC - Andy Najar (unassisted) 107
RSL - Tony Beltran (caution, Reckless Foul) 70
RSL - Collen Warner (caution, Handball) 73
RSL - Jean Alexandre (caution, Reckless Tackle) 77
DC - Kurt Morsink (caution, Reckless Foul) 92+
DC - Julius James (ejection, Violent Conduct) 123+
Real Salt Lake - GK-Kyle Reynish; DF-Robbie Russell, DF-Nat Borchers (capt), DF-Rauwshan McKenzie, DF-Chris Schuler (Fabian Espíndola 63); MF-Tony Beltran, MF-Ned Grabavoy (Javier Morales 63), MF-Collen Warner, MF-Jean Alexandre, MF-Will Johnson; FW-Pablo Campos (Álvaro Saborío 63)
Substitutes not Used: Nick Rimando, Jamison Olave
Statistics: Shots: 17; Shots on Goal: 8; Saves: 6; Fouls: 15; Offsides: 1; Corners: 9
D.C. United - GK-Troy Perkins; DF-Jordan Graye, DF-Julius James, DF-Barry Rice, DF-Devon McTavish; MF-Thabiso Khumalo, MF-Stephen King, MF-Kurt Morsink, MF-Christian Castillo (Chris Pontius 63); FW-Luciano Emilio, FW- Jamie Moreno (capt) (Santino Quaranta 63)
Substitutes not Used: Bill Hamid, Juan Manuel Pena, Clyde Simms
Statistics: Shots: 19; Shots on Goal: 8; Saves 6; Fouls: 10; Offsides: 4; Corners: 8
After the jump, post match comments from both sides:REAL SALT LAKE HEAD COACH JASON KREIS
On the result:
"I walk away from that very proud of what our players put into it - very proud of the effort they gave. There was never any die in our team. I'm very pleased with the way we're handling ourselves on the road, at home - in difficult circumstances."
On RSL's chances
"Even in the first sixty minutes, we created a couple chances, and I thought we were the better team. It would have been outstanding if we had capitalized on one of those chances and put ourselves in a better position."
On how playing 120 minutes will affect the team on Saturday
"Those are all conversations that have yet to come, with the players in particular, to see how many guys are really up to it. We have to make sure we do everything we can for them to get them prepared [for Saturday]."
REAL SALT LAKE DEFENDER/MIDFIELDER TONY BELTRAN
On the loss:
"We're not happy about it, but on Saturday we'll learn from it, and be the better team then."
On playing in a different position:
"I got to play outside midfield, which is exciting. For the first 20 minutes I was a little off out there positionally, but I settled down and I felt comfortable with the ball, especially in the second half. After that I dropped back into left back where I'm very comfortable at."
REAL SALT LAKE MIDFIELDER WILL JOHNSON
On the match:
"We had a lot of chances but it didn't quite go our way on the night, and you're going to have that from time to time. Our effort was god and our passing was crisp, but we got into the final third and it just didn't quite click tonight."
On Saturday's rematch in MLS play:
"This game is done and, as of the final whistle, we've put it behind us. We're focusing on the task at hand. It's a big opportunity on Saturday to get three points. We've got two big games now before this [World Cup] break to put ourselves in a really good spot. It's a crucial game, a massive opportunity for us."
REAL SALT LAKE DEFENDER/CAPTAIN NAT BORCHERS
On the match:
"It's really disappointing that we weren't victorious in this game because we came out firing on all cylinders. We possessed the ball and dominated them at the beginning. They had no answers for us in the first half. We shifted our shape a bit back to our regular 4-4-2 at the end and unfortunately we got exposed and stretched out a few times and that gave them chances to counter. But at the same time we had a few chances to score ourselves and we were disappointed that we couldn't convert those."
On Saturday's impending contest:
"I think everybody's fired up for this game on Saturday. I think that we know if we come out and play that type of football and bring a little more into the final third that we're going to come out on top."
REAL SALT LAKE MIDFIELDER ANDY WILLIAMS
On what he expects for Saturday's MLS game:
"I know that both teams are going to be super tired Saturday. I thought the game went pretty well for us. We created chances at the end to tie it up - a couple chances were cleared off the line, and Perkins made a couple saves, so that kind of upset our night. So hopefully Saturday we can forget about this and come out and play better."
On playing in the Open Cup:
"Any chance you can win a Cup you really try. We have a good bunch of players that need these games, reserve games or the Open Cup games - we have a bunch of reserve players that can come in and do well, and as of tonight they did well. Luis Gil played his first match for RSL tonight, ever, and I thought he did well. Open Cup games like this tonight help out guys like that."
D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH CURT ONALFO
On coming out of a losing streak:
We've put together some good performances over the last couple of weeks and we just want to build on that. We've stayed positive throughout our difficult times. You get to find out who you are, I believe, through the tough times, not through the easy times. It's easy to coach a team when you're winning and it's easy to play through things when you're winning. You got to dig deep and our group has dug deep. We've gotten some guys back from injury and that's certainly helped us. And now we just have to enjoy this for the night and make sure tomorrow we get ourselves ready and focused the right way. We're playing against the MLS Cup champions on Saturday in front of our home crowd in a game that we need points so we're going to make sure we're rested, we're prepared and we give everything we possibly can to get the points we need.
On confidence and winning:
"They go hand-in-hand. Winning breeds confidence and confidence breeds winning so it's that snowball-type effect where I think earlier in the year we got ourselves into certain situations where we're like, ‘Oh no, here we go again,' and those are psychological barriers you have to get over. They're not easy things to get over, but it's a tribute to our guys, they have a real fighting spirit and we're very organized and we're playing good soccer too. We've just got to continue to do it. We've got to consistently do it so we can creep up the standings."
On Andy Najar's goal:
"[The goal] was a special little play and in games like these you've got to make plays on both sides of the field. That was a great play on the offensive part of the field to make a difference in the game. He's a 17 year old with a lot of energy coming in and playing against guys who have been playing 110 minutes prior to that. We waited to keep that sub as long as we could and it ended up being the difference."
D.C. UNITED GOALKEEPER TROY PERKINS
On United's victory:
"I think [this victory] is huge for this team, coming off of an AC Milan win where we fought to the end to preserve a lead, and a good win at the weekend where we came back, and now to go through this as a team where everyone contributed - I think we have proven to ourselves we can win, no matter what. Now we have to just keep doing the things we have been doing."
On his performance in goal:
"The first half was hard, there were a lot of heads and elbows thrown in my face, but we just have to be better obviously with our marks. We fought, they fought, and now we have to fight them again on Saturday."
D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER STEPHEN KING
On his increased playing time:
"I feel great, having played in the Milan game and the past week against Chivas, and again tonight, three games in a week is awesome. Those are the most minutes I have played in about a year, so for me it has been really exciting. I am excited to be back on the field, and more importantly I am excited that we are winning games. Obviously each of these games has been a little different. The first one [against AC Milan] was a friendly, and then we had the League game [against Chivas], and now the Open Cup win over Real Salt Lake, and we take the Open Cup Cup very seriously - we want to win it."
D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER ANDY NAJAR
On his match-winning goal:
"It was so exciting to get the goal, because we have been trying to win. To get an extra time finish is great, and I am just so excited for the team."
On playing Real Salt Lake again on Saturday in the League:
"I am going to work hard for this next game [against Real Salt Lake]. We really want to win, because they were the champions last year, and we will have to work very hard to beat them."
D.C. UNITED DEFENDER JORDAN GRAYE
On playing 120 minutes:
"I feel pretty tired to be honest. I feel like it is a culmination of playing three games in a row, but it feels very good to get these wins. My goal is just to rebound quickly and be ready once again for Saturday."
On winning three matches in a row
"I think the AC Milan win let us know that we can beat anyone. Whether they were playing hard or not, it was still AC Milan, and we came out with the mindset that we can beat anyone we play. We took that [mindset] into the Chivas game and tonight's match, and it has paid off. Now we need to do it all over again on Saturday."
So the Open Cup is off the RSL radar, and I for one don't find myself really that upset. While it would have been nice to play in the tournament and maybe face some teams that many of our fans support in the lower divisions, like the Portland Timbers, or the Charleston Battery. It would have been nice to maybe see some former players who now play with new clubs around both the league and other leagues in the tournament, we can now set about the real business of the trip to the nation's capital. A league win on Saturday, then we can come home and get ready for what might just be one of the biggest league matches of the year as we host the LA Galalxy (who will probably still be undefeated) on Wednesday, June 9th before the league takes their World Cup break.
OFF MY SOAPBOX