I couldn't bring myself to rain on conference weekend, so I waited until Monday morning to post this:
REAL SALT LAKE DROPS THIRD STRAIGHT GAME WITH 1-2 LOSS AT LOS ANGELES
FW Fabian Espindola Scores 10th Goal of 2011 Campaign;
MF Javier Morales Notches Assist in First Start Since May 7
CARSON, Calif. (Saturday, October 1, 2011) - Real Salt Lake (15-10-6, 51 points) fought valiantly tonight against MLS leader Los Angeles (18-3-10, 64 points), but was unable to hold onto its 1-0 halftime lead and fell 1-2 Saturday night at The Home Depot Center, the home of MLS Cup 2011 on Sunday, November 20. The victory for the Galaxy was just the second in the last 11 meetings between RSL and LA, including the Utah side's penalty-kick shootout victory over the Galaxy at MLS Cup 2009.
RSL took a 1-0 lead late in the first half when MF Javier Morales - making just his second appearance since fracturing and dislocating his left ankle back on May 7 following a gruesome challenge by Chivas USA FW Marcos Mondaini - sent a corner kick near post, finding the head of fellow Argentine FW Fabian Espíndola. The goal was Espindola's 10th of the season, moving him into a tie for the 2011 team lead with Costa Rican international Alvaro Saborio. With Espindola's goal, Real Salt Lake boasts multiple double-digit scorers for the first time in the club's seven-year history.
Morales' third assist of the season allowed RSL to become the first visiting team to lead the Galaxy at halftime at The Home Depot Center this season. The lead, however, lasted only until the 59th minute, when Los Angeles star David Beckham lofted a ball in towards the penalty area as Barrett beat RSL DF Jamison Olave onto it. Olave was unable to muscle Barrett of the ball and could not clear it as Barrett deftly poked a bouncing ball past RSL 'keeper Nick Rimando from the edge of the penalty area.
more after the jump:
Thirteen minutes later, the Galaxy eventually pulled ahead on an own goal. The sequence started off with a cross by Beckham, with LA defenderTodd Dunivant striking a shot towards goal, the shot deflecting off RSL DF Chris Wingert and off teammate Nat Borchers, bouncing into the back of the net in the 72nd minute. The own goal was the first charged to RSL since June 28, 2008, at Kansas City. The loss drops RSL to 15-3-1 this season when scoring first, with all three losses on the road (at Columbus, at Houston and at Los Angeles).
The win keeps the Galaxy seven points ahead of the Seattle Sounders with three games remaining on the season, in the race for the 2011 MLS Supporters Shield. Real Salt Lake clinched a postseason berth for the fourth consecutive season 10 days ago at New York and currently sits in third place in the MLS Western Conference, six points behind Seattle; however, RSL remains five points ahead of Dallas (13-11-7, 46 points) and six points in front of rival Colorado (11-9-12, 45 points), keeping Jason Kreis' side out of wild-card range.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes
- Real Salt Lake dropped a third consecutive match for the first time since July, 2007, just 10 games into the Jason Kreis coaching era. On two previous occasions this season, RSL snapped back-to-back losses with the August 6 win vs. New York and again on Sept. 3 vs. Philadelphia.
- Five RSL players - FW Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica), FW Arturo Alvarez (El Salvador), MF Will Johnson (Canada), M/F Jean Alexandre (Haiti) and Captain Kyle Beckerman (United States) - will miss Thursday's visit to Vancouver due to international duty. GK Nick Rimando will remain with RSL prior to joining the United States on Friday in Miami for the Oct. 8 game against Honduras, traveling with Jurgen Klinsmann's side to New York for the Oct. 11 match vs. Ecuador.
- RSL travels later this week to face Western expansion foe Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Thursday, October 6, at 7:30 p.m. MT, in the second game from newly-renovated BC Place, one televised live on KMYU 2.2 air / Comcast 22 / Dish 12, and heard live on ESPN700 Sports Radio and ESPN Deportes 1600. The trip to Vancouver will be RSL's second this year, with the July 16 match postponed two hours prior to kickoff due to a field rendered unplayable, as the temporary grass pitch - installed for an international friendly against Manchester City - was flooded due to rain.
LOS ANGELES GALAXY 2 : 1 REAL SALT LAKE
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2011
THE HOME DEPOT CENTER - CARSON, CA.
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Los Angeles Galaxy 0 2 2
Real Salt Lake
RSL - Fabian Espindola (Javier Morales) 41
LA - Chad Barrett (David Beckham) 59
LA - Own Goal (Nat Borchers) 72
RSL -- Fabian Espindola (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 38
LA -- Omar Gonzalez (caution; Reckless Tackle) 40
LA -- Paolo Cardozo (caution; Reckless Tackle) 43
RSL -- Ned Grabavoy (caution; Reckless Foul) 49+
RSL -- Javier Morales (caution; Dissent) 48
RSL -- Yordany Alvarez (caution; Tactical Foul) 57
Real Salt Lake -- Nick Rimando; Chris Wingert, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers (captain), Chris Schuler; Yordany Alvarez (Andy Williams 74), Ned Grabavoy, Will Johnson, Javier Morales (Collen Warner 79); Fabian Espíndola (Paulo Junior 75), Alvaro Saborio
Substitutes Not Used: Tim Melia (GK), Rauwshan McKenzie, Arturo Alvarez, Luis Gil
LA Galaxy -- Josh Saunders, Bryan Jordan, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant, Paolo Cardozo, David Beckham, Juninho, Landon Donovan (Michael Stephens 89), Chad Barrett (Adam Cristman 73), Robbie Keane (Jovan Kirovski 89).
Substitutes Not Used: Frankie Hejduk, Hector Jimenez, Miguel Lopez, Brian Perk.
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee's Assistants: -Adam Wienckowski; Brian Poeschel
4th Official: Ramon Hernandez
Time of Game: 1:55
MLS Postgame Quote Sheet
Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jason Kreis
On the team's performance:
"Obviously we didn't lose by 3 or 4 goals. I wanted improvement, I wanted a collective team effort and I wanted a team that showed a little bit more discipline, more difficult to break down than we have been in the last two games and we got all that. We didn't get the result that I had hoped for but we got a lot of hard work from the guys and we got a lot of sense of improvement."
On tonight's game:
"Tonight we stretched LA to their wits end. They are the best team in the league. They have the most points for a reason and I think we gave them a pretty difficult challenge tonight so I am pleased."
Real Salt Lake Nick Rimando
On tonight's game:
"We expected a good game. We came in here and I thought we played well in the first half and even the second half. I think we did some stupid fouls we weren't supposed to. We got an own goal from [Nat] Borchers and a goal that if [Chad] Barrett would have hit a hundred times he is not going to hit it again. One that I think we are there to make the play and we just don't and he gets a foot on it and goes in. All in all it was a great atmosphere I thought we played well and it was a good reaction from the last game we played. We just have to keep our heads up and keep dragging along."
Real Salt Lake Defender Nat Borchers
On tonight's game:
"We are disappointed obviously. We wanted come here and get a shutout and at least come away with a point. I thought in the first half we did pretty well we controlled the ball and capitalized on the one chance we had. In the second half two lapses in concentration cost us the game."
On the own goal:
"The ball just came in very quickly and I wish I would have dealt with it better. I think that [Todd] Dunivant did really well to hit across the goal and I just saw it late and couldn't do anything about it."
Real Salt Lake Forward Fabian Espindola
[Translated from Spanish]
On his goal:
"First there was a missed opportunity by [Alvaro] Saborio off a corner that went through the whole penalty area but it got blocked and we were awarded another corner kick. In the second corner [Javier] Morales hits it well, the ball started to dip at the near post and I headed it toward the far post."
LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena
On the result:
"I thought it was a good game by two good teams. It was nice to have our team really challenged to come from behind. They weren't the prettiest of goals. We were aggressive. We kept our composure. Its obviously a really good win for our team."
On Chad Barrett:
"He had a good 70 minutes. He missed up to two months, I guess. We've been moving him back, but tonight he got better as the game went on. The goal was good for us."
On the team's start:
"I thought we had a really good start, personally, that is what I thought. It was pretty good. We took control of the game. The last 10 minutes of the half Salt Lake picked it up a little bit. Give them credit for the good goal off the corner kick. They really made the second half challenging for us. I think once we got the first goal I felt confident that somehow we would manage to get a second. We didn't make or create enough chances. I think we were a little hesitant to pull the trigger. We had a few opportunities outside the penalty area to shoot the ball that we didn't do. I thought that we had good energy; I thought we had good rhythm, and we were taking the game to them. Like I said, I think the last 10 minutes of the half, Salt Lake played well, put us under a little pressure. Our biggest problem of the night was giving them too many attacking restarts. That's where their chances came in the first half. We need to be a little bit better. They are a good team physically, so we didn't want to get into too many of those situations, but unfortunately we did towards the end."
LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham
On if the physical nature of the game surprised him:
"I think it was always going to be like that. We are two good teams, two good teams that want to win, and two good teams with a lot of history. There are some good players on their team. It was always going to be a chippy game. Obviously, coming back from a one goal deficit was a good thing for us. We need to continue to fight back when he have a chance."
On tonight's win:
"It's difficult this time of the season because there are a lot of games. You're tired and you start seeing it and sometimes that can affect teams. We were one-nil down at the end of the first half and that was disappointing. We came in here we knew that we were passing the ball around well and we knew that we would get chances, it was just about putting them away. There were a few in the first half that we obviously didn't put away and they did. But today was a tough game. They are a tough team, they are well organized, and they have good players throughout their team. It was a difficult game but our character showed and it was an important win."
LA Galaxy Midfielder Landon Donovan
On coming back from a one goal deficit:
"I think that's important and that's good. It was a good team we did it against, a good defensive team we did it against. I think when you continue to put that kind of pressure on a team, on the backline, you would hope that eventually you are going to break them down and a couple of them did and our guys made different plays to help score goals."
On Chad Barrett stepping up:
"Credit to him for just sticking out there, he was being shielded by a big guy and some how he got a toe to it and made a play. When you've got a number of guys on your team that can make plays it makes a difference. We were missing Mike [Magee] tonight. Robbie [Keane] and myself didn't really make any big plays to make a difference, but when you have other guys that can do that it really helps your team."
LA Galaxy Forward Chad Barrett
On his goal:
"I talked to Beckham and told him that if he would send it up the field that I would start running and it worked out that way. He played a really nice ball into me. I kind of let it run and kind of surprised Jamison [Olave] just a little bit, but he did well to put his body in front of me. I found some space between him and [Nick] Rimando and I saw the opportunity and put my toe in there and his hands were down so I just tried to put it through. I actually didn't know that it came back out. I saw it go in and I started celebrating and they were like, ‘You know it came back out right?' and I said it doesn't matter."
On his performance:
"Personally, I just want to get back to the basics of what I was doing. I think that I was trying too hard. I felt I had to finesse stuff and get back to my grind- work hard, hit people, just stuff I like to do. I know if I put in the energy I know I am contagious and hope that the team feeds off me."
LA Galaxy Defender Todd Dunivant
On getting closer to winning the Supporters' Shield:
"Seattle won tonight, but we keep winning and they are not catching us. So, that's good. And that's probably a little discouraging from their standpoint, they are playing great. Between Seattle, Dallas and Salt Lake, these are all good teams and anything can happen come playoff time."
On getting to 64 points:
"It's good. It's been a good season. But our eyes are kind of focus on the postseason. We obviously want to close out the Supporters' Shield and advance in CONCACAF, but once we do that, we know that the big prize in where you make your living in this league is in the playoffs."
On the rivalry with Salt Lake:
"I think the rivalry is as good as ever. I think they took it to us in the first matchup of the season, I think it was the third game, and they crushed it at their place and they were playing at the top of their game at that time. We had an off night and they had a big result, as you saw. So, yeah, this is a rivalry. They beat us in the Cup in penalties and it's been a good rivalry. We've probably been the best two teams over the last couple of years. We like the way they play and I think they respect us. So, it's been a good rivalry."
Well there you go, more than you probably wanted to know about Saturday's 2-1 loss at LA.
OFF MY SOAPBOX