REAL SALT LAKE STRETCHES MLS HOME UNDEFEATED STREAK
TO 29 GAMES VIA 0-0 DRAW WITH HOUSTON
Both Sides Struggle to Put Chances on Frame during Rugged Stalemate in Sandy;
RSL's Defensive Dominance Continues with Fifth Shutout in Seven League Contests in 2011
SANDY, Utah (Saturday, May 14, 2011) - Real Salt Lake saw both its superb defensive effort and offensive struggles continue tonight against the Houston Dynamo, as the two teams gained a share of the spoils from a 0-0 draw in front of 16,301 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
With its first tie of the 2011 regular season, Real Salt Lake (5-1-1, 16 pts.) failed to make up the gap on a surging FC Dallas side (17 pts.) and the front-running Los Angeles Galaxy (20 pts.) at the top of the in the Western Conference standings, but RSL still holds at least three games in hand on the duo heading into Week 10 play.
more after the jump:
Real Salt Lake Match Notes
- Tonight's draw allowed Real Salt Lake to stretch its MLS record home-unbeaten streak in regular season play to 29 games (20-0-9). On Monday, RSL will surpass the two-year anniversary of its last loss in regular season play, a 0-2 defeat to the then-Kansas City Wizards onMay 16, 2009.
- After breaking his tie with Zach Thornton for second place on MLS' all-time shutout list, RSL netminder Nick Rimando repeated the clean sheet feat tonight, claiming the 78th "zero" of his 12-year career. The fourth shutout of the season for Rimando brings him even with Will Hesmer(CLB), Faryd Mondragon (PHI) and Kevin Hartman (DAL) for the League lead in the category in 2011.
- The shutout for Real Salt Lake was the team's fifth in just seven contests in 2011 and trimmed its MLS-best goals against average down to a miniscule 0.29 (2 GA in 630 minutes). This development should be nothing new to RSL followers, as the Utah side set the record for least goals allowed in a season in 2010 with just 20 tallies relinquished in 30 games (0.67 GAA).
- Tonight saw the 2011 first-team debut of MF Nelson González, who entered the match for MFWill Johnson in the 85th minute.
- With regular strikers Fabian Espíndola (back spasms) and Paulo Jr. (hamstring strain) both nursing injuries, RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis was forced to utilize Jean Alexandre - normally a holding midfielder - up top after substituting striker Arturo Alvarez out in the 74th minute.
- Real Salt Lake will break up its stretch of four-out-of-five games at home next Sunday, May 22, when the Claret-and-Cobalt will head to North Texas to take on FC Dallas (5-3-2, 17 pts.). Kickoff from Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas is set for 5:00 p.m. MT and can be seen live on KMYU 2.2 (Comcast 22 / Dish Network 12).
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 0 0
Houston Dynamo 0 0 0
HOU - Will Bruin (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 25
RSL - Robbie Russell (caution; Reckless Tackle) 27
Houston Dynamo - Tally Hall; Hunter Freeman, Bobby Boswell, Andre Hainault, Corey Ashe; Colin Clark (Je-Vaughn Watson 67), Lovel Palmer, Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis (captain); Cam Weaver (Jason Garey 87), Will Bruin (Koke 69)
Substitutes Not Used: Tyler Deric (GK), Mike Chabala, Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor
Real Salt Lake -- Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert; Ned Grabavoy, Kyle Beckerman (captain), Collen Warner (Andy Williams 60), Will Johnson (Nelson González 85); Álvaro Saborío, Arturo Alvarez (Jean Alexandre 74)
Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish (GK), Tony Beltran, Luis Gil, Chris Schuler
Referee: Abiodun Okulaja
Referee's Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry, Paul Scott
4th Official: Mark Declouet
Time of Game: 1:50
MLS POST-GAME QUOTE SHEET
REAL SALT LAKE HEAD COACH JASON KREIS
On the overall performance from Real Salt Lake:
"Some good, some bad, a little bit ‘ho-hum.' Obviously when we don't get three points at home we know that we didn't achieve our objective."
On the learning curve for Real Salt Lake with the absence of Javier Morales:
"We are going to have to answer questions about who is going to be the integral figure in there to create chances. Can other guys get a little more involved in the attacking third? Some of that is just going to take time."
On RSL's defensive performance:
"It was good. The back four in particular made a lot of really important tackles for us tonight. I don't think that collectively we defended quite as well. Certainly in the second half I saw quite a few of our players run out of gas."
REAL SALT LAKE MIDFIELDER COLLEN WARNER
On the opportunity to start the match:
"It felt pretty good. I was really excited to get the chance to play and I thought that it went pretty well. Overall I thought we were a little off in the final third. A lot of our passes went astray when we got to the crucial moments when you need a good pass."
On what he thought was the difference in play in the second half:
"The game opened up a little bit (in the second half) for sure. We came out with the same energy and I thought they were a little bit tired."
REAL SALT LAKE DEFENDER NAT BORCHERS
On having close opportunities to score:
"It's frustrating because I think that in a couple of those situations we are just so close. We are chomping at the bit right now to get goals and I think they will come. We've just got to keep fighting."
On the importance of getting a shutout when the attack is struggling:
"I think that it's very important that we hold it down. I thought we gave them too many chances though. I like the games where Nick (Rimando) doesn't have much to do. I think that he had a little too much to do in the second half, so we need to clean a few things up there."
HOUSTON DYNAMO HEAD COACH DOMINIC KINNEAR
On tonight's contest:
"Both teams played pretty well and both teams had chances. It was a pretty fair result at the end of the day."
On Houston's defensive effort:
"We're very pleased to get a shutout here. They're a good team and it's a tough place to play. The team showed a lot of determination and I'm happy for the guys."
On the Dynamo attack on the evening:
"We didn't just sit back and soak it up and let Tally (Hall) pull off wonderful saves. We played some good stuff going forward."
HOUSTON DYNAMO MIDFIELDER GEOFF CAMERON
On Houston's struggle to finish tonight:
"You look back and we had chances to put the ball in the back of the net. With a little more composure and that final pass, we could of come out of here with three (points)."
On any differences between the first and second halves:
"The first half we held them strong and fought hard. Then in the second half we turned it on, possessed the ball and I thought we dominated most of the second half."
On playing at Rio Tinto Stadium:
"They're a good team. The ball flies a little bit here, so you're not used to that with the altitude and all that. They've had a pretty good [undefeated] streak here at home, but we came in here in the frame of mind that we were going to come out of here with a point or three, and we did that job tonight."
HOUSTON DYNAMO FORWARD WILL BRUIN
On the match:
"We tried to get a feel for the game from the beginning, but we held our own and kept possession. It could have gone our way. We just focused on it being about us and coming in here and playing well."
On the disappointment of not finishing in front of goal:
"We're pleased, but we had our chances too. We thought we could have stole one or got one and came away with three points, but we didn't give away, didn't make any mistakes or give up stupid goals. So we're happy with that, especially after two losses."
There is all the official info coming out of Saturday's match at Rio Tinto Stadium.
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