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Real Salt Lake 1 - Colorado Rapids 0 - Press Conference, Recap, Quotes and more

Well if you read my match preview you know I told you to stay or watch until the very last whistle, now you know why as RSL win on a stoppage time goal.  Here is the Jason Kreis press conference video:

after the jump all the official goodness from the RSL press release on the match


93rd Minute Goal from FW Fabian Espíndola Lifts Claret-and-Cobalt to Yet Another Dramatic Win over Archrival Rapids;

RSL's 18-Game Regular Season Undefeated Run Just One Away from Equaling MLS Record 

SANDY, Utah (Wednesday, April 13, 2011) It wouldn't be a Rocky Mountain Cup match-up if a late goal wasn't involved, and Real Salt Lake striker Fabian Espíndola continued the tradition with a 93rd minute tally that gave the Utah side a 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids in front of 15,513 fans at a chilly Rio Tinto Stadium.

The victory allowed Real Salt Lake (4-0-0, 12 pts.) to maintain its status as the League's lone undefeated squad, the triumph putting the Claret-and-Cobalt all alone atop both the Western Conference and overall MLS standings in front of the trio of Colorado (3-2-0, 9 pts.), Los Angeles (2-1-3) and Philadelphia . The result also continued a pair of impressive streaks for RSL, its 18-match regular season undefeated mark and the 27-match home unbeaten run in MLS regular season play (37 games overall including all competitions and friendlies).

With winds picking up to more than 30 miles an hour and a cold, misty rain settling in just before kickoff, conditions were ripe for another slugfest between the Rocky Mountain Cup rivals, and the two sides obliged with tough challenges and hard fouls throughout the contest. While Real Salt Lake's attack perked up around the end of the first half, the team's biggest nemesis of the night - the offside flag - would rear its ugly head, wiping off what appeared to be a go-ahead goal by Espindola at the end of the first half.

The energetic Argentine would have to wait until the end of the second half to break through, taking advantage of a loose ball inside the area. After DF Jamison Olave was fouled five yards outside the penalty area, MF Javier Morales would step up for the free kick, which he bent around the Rapids' wall and off the right post. The rebound caromed to FW Paulo Jr., whose touch was swept in by a fallen Espindola from just two yards off the line to keep RSL's regular season mark unblemished and secure the team's supporters the Rocky Mountain Cup trophy for a fifth consecutive season.

Real Salt Lake Match Notes

  • Real Salt Lake's 18-match undefeated run in regular season action sits just one away from the League record of 19, set by the 2010 edition of FC Dallas (a streak that ended in Sandy last Oct. 16) and the 2004-05 Columbus Crew.
  • With his 76th shutout in regular season play, GK Nick Rimando tied Chivas USA backstop Zach Thornton for second place all-time in the category. The veteran duo still has some work to do to catch up with career leader Kevin Hartman, as the FC Dallas netminder enters Week 5 play with 94 clean sheets.
  • The shutout was the second of the season for Rimando and, when combined with Kyle Reynish's "zero" last weekend in New England, the third clean sheet in four League contests for the Claret-and-Cobalt. The only blemish on RSL's defensive record was Juan Pablo Angel's 80th minute goal in RSL's dominant 4-1 decision over the Galaxy on March 26.
  • With his 17th goal in an RSL uniform, Espíndola tied fellow countryman Javier Morales and his head coach, Jason Kreis, for third place on the team's all-time goal-scoring chart. The trio sits behind second-place Jeff Cunningham (19) and career scoring leader Robbie Findley (29).
  • Tonight's win pushed RSL's career record against the archrival Rapids to 7-8-6, which includes a current undefeated run of five contests dating back to June 2009 (2-0-3). The match featured a goal scored past the 88th minute for the fifth time in the last seven meetings between the rivals.
  • The result also guaranteed the Rocky Mountain Cup would stay in the Beehive State for a fifth straight season, as the Rapids can only tie the series when the return leg occurs on Oct. 14 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. In the case of a series draw the RMC is retained by the team that currently holds it, thus the drama of the rivalry for 2011 ending with tonight's result.
  • When combining MLS and CONCACAF action, Real Salt Lake has shot out to a 6-1-1 record in 2011, during which the team has outscored the opposition 15-4. Even the lone loss was part of the biggest "win" in RSL history, as the 1-2 defeat at Saprissa in Costa Rica a week ago allowed RSL passage to the CCL Finals. The breakdown at home is even more dominating, as RSL has gone a perfect 4-0-0 with a +9 goal differential (11-2) at Rio Tinto Stadium in four contests.
  • Real Salt Lake will have one week to return its focus to CONCACAF Champions League action, as the Utah side will carry the banner for Major League Soccer down to Mexico for the first leg of the CCL Finals series against Monterrey next Wednesday, April 20. Kickoff at Estadio Tecnologico in Monterrey is set for 8:00 p.m. MT for the opening leg next Wednesday (live on FOX Soccer). The return leg and ultimate match of the 2010/11 edition of the regional club championship is set for Rio Tinto Stadium one week later on Wednesday, April 27 (8:00 p.m. kick). 




Goals by Period                    1          2          F

Real Salt Lake                        0          1          1

Colorado Rapids                     0          0          0

Scoring Summary:

RSL -- Fabian Espíndola 1 (Paulo Jr. 2) 93+

Misconduct Summary:

RSL -- Javier Morales (caution; Reckless Tackle) 32

COL -- Tyrone Marshall (caution; Tactical Foul) 59

COL -- Marvell Wynne (caution; Tactical Foul) 82

Colorado Rapids -- Matt Pickens; Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Tyrone Marshall, Drew Moor; Brian Mullan, Jamie Smith (Andre Akpan 86), Jeff Larentowicz, Wells Thompson; Omar Cummings (Quincy Amarikwa 64) (Sanna Nyassi 69), Caleb Folan.

Substitutes Not Used: Joseph Nane, Scott Palguta, Anthony Wallace, Steward Ceus. 

Real Salt Lake -- Nick Rimando; Chris Wingert, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran; Andy Williams, Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Ned Grabavoy; Álvaro Saborío (Paulo Jr. 69), Fabian Espíndola. 

Substitutes Not Used: Jean Alexandre, Arturo Alvarez, Robbie Russell, Chris Schuler, Collen Warner, Kyle Reynish. 

Referee: Baldomero Toledo

Referee's Assistants: Peter Manikowski, Craig Lowry

4th Official: Tyler Ploeger

Time of Game: 1:51

Weather: Windy-and-52-degrees

Attendance: 15,513



On winning the game in the last minute... 

"It's remarkable how many games against Colorado are being decided in the last minutes of the matches."

Overall thoughts on the match ...

"I think it's really important that we continue to find our confidence defensively.  I don't remember Colorado having something that was really, really dangerous against us tonight, so I think we have to feel good about what went into things on that side of the ball."

On Espindola's last-minute goal...

"I'm really, really pleased when somebody that works so extremely hard is the one that ends up being able to make the difference at the end of the game.  Fabian, for me, could be the man of the match.  He just worked so extremely hard to track things down and win second balls off of defenders, so it was good to see that he got it."

On the abundance of offside calls ...

"I think that Álvaro [Saborio] and Fabian [Espindola] were just on the razor's edge. I would never want to discourage them from being that close ... that's a striker's job." 


On scoring the winning goal: 

"The ball bounced off of Paulo [Jr.] and it was pretty much in. I just had to stretch a little to push it in."

On the energy he has been putting into matches:

"Not many people remember the effort that one puts into every play, only the goals that you score. For a striker it is always very frustrating when you can't put the ball into the net, but when your efforts end in a goal, it gives you a huge satisfaction. Goals are a way of life for a striker."

Overall thoughts on the match:

"The game was very well fought. [Colorado] came out playing very well, but we were home and we needed to push the whole game. They played very well, but the best chances on goal came from us."


On the weather conditions affecting the match: 

"The ball was slick and moving everywhere. The wind carried the ball in different directions, and it was tough kicking the ball in the wind. We wanted to keep the ball on the ground, and we did it better in the second half."

On RSL's fourth win in as many regular season affairs: 

"This is the way we wanted to start, jump out early and get points, especially with the CONCACAF tournament [ongoing]." 


On RSL conceding only one goal in four MLS matches in 2011: 

"We pay attention to the little details and try to stay switched on. It seems that sometimes throw-ins or free-kicks will decide the outcome of a game, so we'll keep doing that."


On the RSL goal:

"The guys are telling me that the ball hit the post, it came back and ricocheted off one of their players and they had some offside players. It would be disappointing if the game was settled on that sort of note."

On the manner of officiating in tonight's match:

"I thought the referee was fabulous throughout the game. I want to give him some real credit - they don't always get a lot of credit - but I'm very interested to see the final goal."


On the way Colorado played throughout the game:

"I thought that we played very well. I thought that we came in to win the game, and we were playing that way all the way up until the end."

On what Colorado takes out of the game:

"It kind of hurts right now. I think that what we are going to take out of it is a good road performance for us. I felt like we should have got something out of that game. We came here and we played, unlike last week [against Dallas]."

There you have all the info from last night, I will offer up my opinions on the match this afternoon.