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Real Salt Lake 1 - Chivas USA 0 - Official match recap, stats & post match comments

Here is the info as put out by the Real Salt Lake Communications team:


MF Will Johnson's 87th Minute Tally Helps RSL Defeat Nine-Man Chivas USA Squad;

Tackle from Behind Results in MF Javier Morales Suffering Dislocation Fracture to Left Ankle 

SANDY, Utah (Saturday, May 7, 2011) - Real Salt Lake (5-1-1, 15 pts.) used an 87th minute goal from MF Will Johnson to push past its "MLS Class of 2005" brethren Chivas USA (2-4-3, 9 pts.) 1-0 in front of 14,313 fans this afternoon at Rio Tinto Stadium. While RSL might have won the match, it also suffered a big loss during it, as MF Javier Morales suffered a severe ankle injury late in the first half following a tackle from behind by Chivas USA MF Marcos Mondaini.

Real Salt Lake would hold the better of the play from the get-go, and things would only fall more in favor of the home side in the 25th minute when Chivas USA DFAndrew Boyens was ejected for receiving his second yellow card of the match, both for tactical fouls on RSL FW Álvaro Saborío. RSL would gain another man advantage in the 38th minute, but it came at a cost after Mondaini enters a clumsy challenge from behind on Morales as the Argentine readied for a shot from the top of the Chivas USA penalty area. The RSL playmaker suffered a dislocation fracture of his left ankle and is expected to miss 4-6 months of action after undergoing surgery scheduled for Monday.

It was all one way traffic towards Chivas USA GK Dan Kennedy's goal with RSL playing 11-on-9, but the Utah side could not break through until the 87th minute, when DF Nat Borchers flicked on MF Collen Warner's cross towards the right post. It was Johnson that made a crashing run to knock the ball past a recovering Kennedy on the doorstep, allowing RSL to capture an important three points.

more after the jump:

Real Salt Lake Match Notes

  • Today's win for Real Salt Lake allowed the Utahns to push their MLS record home-unbeaten streak in regular season play to 28 games (20-0-8). RSL is approaching the two-year anniversary of its last loss in regular season play, a 0-2 defeat to the then-Kansas City Wizards on May 16, 2009.
  • Real Salt Lake GK Nick Rimando claimed second place on MLS' all-time shutout list with the 77th clean sheet of his illustrious career. Rimando, who snapped a tie with Chivas USA's Zach Thornton with today's "zero," now sits behind only FC Dallas netminder Kevin Hartman in the category (94).
  • The goal for Will Johnson was the first for the Canadian international in League play in over a year, his last finish coming via a diving header against Seattle Sounders FC at Rio Tinto Stadium last April 10.
  • The game-winning assist for Nat Borchers was the first in MLS play for the center back in more than three seasons, his previous helper coming on a Kyle Beckerman goal against D.C. United back on April 12, 2008.
  • With the three points, Real Salt Lake moved even with the Los Angeles Galaxy atop both the Western Conference and overall MLS tables on 15 points, despite having three games in hand on the Southern California side. LA will take on the New York Red Bulls tonight in a marquee match-up of conference leaders at The Home Depot Center (9:00 p.m. MT, live on ESPN2).
  • Real Salt Lake will stay at home for its next League contest next Saturday, May 14, when the Houston Dynamo will come to Sandy for a 7:00 p.m. MT kickoffpresented by U.S. Bank. The contest will mark Real Salt Lake's debut on FOX Soccer's newly-revamped "Soccer Night in America" broadcast, featuring in-depth, 30-minute, pre- and post-game coverage live from Rio Tinto Stadium.




Goals by Period                    1          2          F

Real Salt Lake                        0          1          1

Chivas USA                            0          0          0

Scoring Summary:  
RSL -- Will Johnson 1 (Nat Borchers 1) 87

Misconduct Summary:  
CHV -- Andrew Boyens (caution; Tactical Foul) 15  
CHV -- Andrew Boyens (caution; Tactical Foul) 24  
CHV -- Andrew Boyens (ejection; Second Caution) 24  
CHV -- Marcos Mondaini (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 37

Chivas USA -- Dan Kennedy; Zarek Valentin, Andrew Boyens, Heath Pearce, Ante Jazic; Ben Zemanski, Simon Elliott, Nick LaBrocca, Jorge Flores (Justin Braun 57); Marcos Mondaini, Alejandro Moreno (Mariano Trujillo 72).

Substitutes Not Used: Victor Estupinan, Gerson Mayen, Francisco Mendoza, Michael Umana, Zach Thornton. 
Real Salt Lake -- Nick Rimando; Robbie Russell (Arturo Alvarez 54), Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert; Ned Grabavoy, Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales (Andy Williams 44), Will Johnson; Álvaro Saborío, Fabian Espíndola (Collen Warner 65).

Substitutes Not Used: Jean Alexandre, Tony Beltran, Chris Schuler, Kyle Reynish.
Referee: Paul Ward  
Referee's Assistants: Anthony Vasoli; Chris Strickland  
4th Official: Allen Chapman  
Time of Game: 1:54  
Weather: Sunny-and-69-degrees


On Marcos Mondaini's tackle on Javier Morales:

"To be honest, I didn't think it was the most flagrant of fouls.  It was from behind, which we're trying to get out of the game.  It's in the attacking third and Javi was clearly getting ready to shoot.  I understand the urgency of the situation from the defender trying to make the play and I really don't think it was that egregious."

On having a two-man advantage and scoring one goal:

"This is one of those situations where you can look at it one way and say that up two men we should score a goal--we should score three goals.  Or you can look at it the other way and say when you put eight players in your own half of the field, all of them behind the goal, right on top of the penalty box, it's difficult to score."

On the overall play of his team:

"We need to come out of this funk, and I don't think that performance showed that we're out of this funk.  It's (a lack of) confidence and  willingness of players to take some risks, play a little quicker, and trust that their teammate is going to take a good touch if they play it to them under a little bit of pressure.  Right now it's like we're seeing options and we're hesitating." 


On the way Javier Morales' injury affected the rest of the game:

"It definitely made the game a bit strange for everybody when you see Javi's ankle twisted and in a position that you never want to see. As far as the challenge is concerned I don't think [Mondaini] went in there meaning to break Javi's ankle, but he did mean to foul him." 

On how Real Salt Lake started the second half:

"That second half was really frustrating to be honest. I don't think that we put together the right passes. I don't think we were all on the same page. I don't think we were all working for each other and that's unfortunate. I think that a lot of guys were spooked by that tackle (on Morales)." 


On what Real Salt Lake takes away from the game: 

"The three points were big because that puts us back in the right direction. It was nowhere near good enough for this team with the quality that we have within this group. Sometimes you don't play well and you have to find ways to win games. We'd love to play perfectly every game, never miss a pass and win 5-0, but it doesn't work that way."

On playing against a nine-man Chivas team:

"Even with 11 men I don't think that they were going to do much attacking. Most teams when they come here don't really try to attack."



Overall thoughts on the match:

"We had a pretty good start and were able to put them under some pressure, which is a pretty hard thing to do here. After the first red card the tone of the game changed a bit, and after the second red card the tone changed greatly."

On nearly getting a result playing two men down:

"In the second half we came out and defended as hard as we could. We were down two men against the best team in the league. If we could have walked out of there 0-0, what a tremendous result that would have been for us."

On Marcos Mondaini's tackle from behind on Javier Morales:

"It was a clumsy challenge. It certainly wasn't malicious; it was more like a forward stuck in the midfield having to make tackles. It was a clumsy challenge, but I know 100% there was no malicious intent."


On the tackle on Javier Morales that earned a straight red card:

"It was a very unfortunate play and unfortunately I was involved in it. It wasn't my intention (to cause the injury). I'm aware we are colleagues. This is a sport and we have families and I would never have the intention to injure a colleague.

"I never go out with bad intentions, I just go out there and play hard. I want to tell Morales that I wish he recovers promptly and I hope he returns to playing soon."


On the play of Chivas USA on the afternoon:

"I can't say much after the 25th minute, but for the guys to hold on till the 87th minute, down two men, they put in one hell of a fight and my props go to them."

On receiving a red card 25 minutes in:

"I think I put myself in a vulnerable possession, and when you do that maybe you make a mistake and give the referee a chance to send you off. It happens sometimes."