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Gametime at Rio Tinto

Here are the starting lineups for the game between Real Salt Lake and D.C. United tonight:

D.C. United (3-11-3, 12 pts)

23  Troy Perkins GK, 18 Devon McTavish DEF, 2   Julius James DEF, 8   Carey Talley DEF - Captain, 4   Mark Bunch DEF, 14 Andy Najar MID, 27 Branko Boskovic MID, 19 Clyde Simms MID, 25 Santino Quaranta MID, 9  Danny Allsopp FWD, 21 Pablo Hernandez  FWD

Bench: 28 Bill Hamid, 7  Adam Cristman, 20 Stephen King, 99 Jaime Moreno, 6  Kurt Morsink, 13 Chris Pontius, 15 Barry Rice

Curt Onalfo-Coach

Real Salt Lake (9-4-4, 31 pts)

18 Nick Rimando GK, 3  Robbie Russell DEF, 6  Nat Borchers DEF, 4  Jamison Olave DEF, 17 Chris Wingert  DEF,  20 Ned Grabavoy MID, 5  Kyle Beckerman MID - Captain, 11 Javier Morales MID, 8  Will Johnson MID, 10 Robbie Findley FWD, 15 Alvaro Saborio FWD

Bench: 1  Tim Melia, 12 Jean Alexandre, 2  Tony Beltran, 19 Pablo Campos, 7  Fabian Espindola, 22 Nelson Gonzalez, 77 Andy Williams

Jason Kreis - Coach

D.C. United makes the trek to face Real Salt Lake in Utah tonight, a place where they haven't won in four years.  Real still sits in second place in the Western Conference, pegged back into a 1-1 draw by Chivas USA last weekend.  United are winless in five (5) games in league play, their last MLS competition a 2-1 loss to the LA Galaxy at home.  It's the second meeting of the season between the teams, having played to a scoreles draw on June 5 in Washington, D.C.

Looks like Coach Kreis is going with a ball controlling lineup tonight in his regular 4-4-2 set.  This is the second game back for RSL's Captain, Kyle Beckerman, who "wrecked" his ankle over two (2) months ago.  He played 60 minutes last weekend against Chivas USA and performed admirable.

RSL is looking for nothing less than 3 points tonight against an underperforming squad in the United.  Look for Kreis to push the ball up the pitch with complete ball-control by his Midfielders, hoping to find Findley or Saborio breaking free and scoring goals.

On to the game...

At '15 mark..

The game started with some shotty passing in the middle of the field for RSL and DC United trying to control the ball as much as possible.  The only shot at the moment came by defender Chris Wingert from 20m out, which was easily stopped by GK Troy Perkins.  At '14 mark, RSL's Saborio scores his 8th goal of the season with an assist from Grabavoy, putting RSL ahead by 0-1!

More after the jump:

At '30 mark...

RSL is controlling the ball great and placing a lot of pressure on United's backline.  At '17 mark, United's Boskovic recieves a Yellow Card for arguing with referee on a call.  RSL's Findley has had two great opportunities to convert break aways but has come up empty both times.  United's Simms has had a shot on goal and that was wide right.    RSL's  two (2) corner kick by Morales fell short with one being headed over the goal by Olave.  Still 1-0 RSL!

At '45 mark...

Both teams are getting a little rowdy amongst each other with the pushing and shoving during this time period.  you can clearly see D.C. United annoyance of not being able to control the tempo of the game liek they had wanted.  At '31 mark, United's Boskovic placed a shot over the goal.  RSL immediately countered back up the field ending in Morales' centering of the ball to a sliding Findley who couldn't place his foot on the ball for an attempting shot on goal.  A huge missed opportunity for RSL to convert a goal with United's GK being out of position in the box at '39 mark.  At '42 mark, United's King has replaced the injured Simms in the midfield position.  Great ball control by RSL in this time period which is making it tough for D.C. United to gain an opportunity to score the equalizer before the half ends.

Halftime Analysis:

RSL is playing a lot more aggressive compared to last week's game against Chivas USA.  They are being very effective in controlling the ball and more importantly the tempo against D.C. United.  They have had numerous opportunities to increase their lead this half, but have not converted any of the shots.  As stated above it was a brilliant goal scored by RSL's Saborio at '14 mark.  Grabavoy earned his 1st assist of the season on Saborio's 8th goal of the season. 

Saborio and Toronto FC's De Rosario are tied for third place with eight (8) goals each for the Budweiser Golden Boot Award this year.

Look for Coach Kreis to have his team continue to control the ball in the midfield and wait for an opportunity to push the ball up the field for a score.  Robbie Findley needs to do a better job in handling the ball in the open field to get an opportunity to score in the 2nd half.

On to the 2nd half...

At '60 mark...

A beautiful shot on goal by midfielder Johnson from 25m out that was just a little too high over the goal at '49 mark.  The only action for D.C. United in this time period was a corner kick that was cleared by RSL's Chris Wingert.  Also, Wingert recieved a Yellow Card at '58 mark.

At '75 mark...

D.C. United has clamped down on their defense now and are playing good counter-attacking ball.  They have had two great opportunities to equalize the score but have not produced.  Defender Borchers made a spectacular stop on the ball in the box against a United player.  At the '66 mark, GK Rimando made a great save agsinst an attacking United team.  United's Najar recieved a Yellow Carde at the '67 mark.  Boskovic missed a great opportunity at the '70 mark to equalize the score nearly missing in the upper-left corner of the goal.  RSL's Andy Williams comes in for Javier Morales at the '71 mark.  Robbie Findley misses on a header off a set piece by Williams.  Another counter-attack by D.C. United which was stopped by RSL's Jamison Olave. 

At '90 mark...

Two blown opportunities for RSL to increase their lead by errant passes.  D.C. substituted McTavish for Moreno at the '78 mark.  At the '79 mark, Robbie Findley scores going from left to off the right post and into the back of the net for his 4th goal of the season.  Andy Williams assisted on the goal for his 4th assist of the season.  RSL is leading D.C. United 2-0.  RSL's Jean Alexandre replaces forward Saborio at the '82 mark.  With time winding down, RSL is doing a fine job of controlling the ball keeping it away from D.C. United's footballers.  Findley has had two (2) open field missed shots on goal within this time period that could have increased RSL's lead even more. At the '88 mark, RSL substitutes Ned Gravavoy for Nelson Gonzalez.  In Stoppage Time with less than 30 seconds left, RSL's Gonzalez scores from 15m out to give RSL a 3-0 victory.

Final Analysis...

Real Salt Lake picked up their 10th win of the season tonight and looked very good controlling the ball and penetrating the United's backline when they needed to get points on the board.  D.C. couldn't control the ball enough to make it a closer match.  However, D.C. did attempt in the 2nd half to counter-attack and came close to scoring on two (2) occasions but RSL's backline stifled them in the box.  RSL came out aggressive and looked like the team we have seen over their winning streak earlier in the season.   

RSL picked up another three (3) points on league leading LA Galaxy tonight with a very hard fought 3-0 match against D.C. United. They still stand in 2nd place in the Western Conference standings, now only six (6) points behind the Galaxy.  LA plays Chicago at the Home Depot Center tomorrow afternoon.

RSL (10-4-4, 34 pts) needs to maintain the intensity they showed tonight for their next upcoming match at Kansas City on Saturday, August 7.