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Real Salt Lake 2 - Seattle Sounders 1 - Match Recap and post match quotes

Well it was an important win for RSL and once again the RSL Communications team have put together a ton of great info for you:


FW Álvaro Saborío's Second Half Strike Allows RSL to Bring Full Three Points Back from Wild Northwest Affair

SEATTLE (Saturday, September 10, 2011) - Real Salt Lake overcame several obstacles to capture its third consecutive victory Saturday afternoon in Seattle, as FW Álvaro Saborío's 56th minute tally would stand tall to give the Utah side a 2-1 victory over Seattle Sounders FC in front of 35,940 fans at CenturyLink Field. The full three points on the day moved Real Salt Lake (13-7-6, 45 pts.) to within three points of Sounders FC (13-6-9, 48 pts.) for second spot in the crowded Western Conference standings, and, for the time being, to within just one point of third-place FC Dallas (13-7-7, 46 pts. as of press time), which takes to the field this evening at New England in MLS Week 26 action.

The afternoon got off to a bizarre start in the 13th minute, when veteran Seattle ‘keeper Kasey Keller made an uncharacteristic gaffe, mishandling RSL FW Fabian Espíndola's far-post cross from the left flank and shoveling it into his own net to give the visitors the quick advantage. The physical nature of the first half would take its toll on RSL in the 35th minute when DF Tony Beltran received his second caution, resulting in an early trip to the locker room for the fourth-year back.

However, the numbers - both on the field and the scoreboard - would even up shortly thereafter, starting with Seattle DF Jhon Kennedy Hurtado's straight red card for contact to the face of Saborío just four minutes after Beltran's dismissal that brought both squads to 10 men for the duration of the match. It was Sounders FC FW Fredy Montero bringing the score all square at the death of the first half, as his 10-yard blast off MF Mauro Rosales' deflected cross buzzed past RSL GK Nick Rimando for what could have been a deflating equalizer just before the halftime break.

But rather than folding, Real Salt Lake would look comfortable coming out of the gates in the second half, showing great ability to keep possession with the extra space made available via the first half ejections. It was Saborío that would knock home the eventual game winner shy of the hour mark, the Costa Rican international first striking Espíndola's well-placed cross into a pair of defenders before smacking the rebound firmly past Keller and inside the left post to put RSL up 2-1. Despite some nervous moments as Seattle threw everything towards gaining the equalizer in the final 20 minutes, Real Salt Lake was able to stand firm, further extending the Claret-and-Cobalt's momentum as the stretch drive for the playoffs hits full gear.

more after the jump:

Real Salt Lake Match Notes

  • Today's full three points gives Real Salt Lake its second three-game winning streak in MLS play this season, its first such stretch since the Utah side posted four consecutive wins to kick off the 2011 campaign back in March/April.
  • With his 56th minute tally, Álvaro Saborío once again snagged sole possession of Real Salt Lake scoring lead in regular season play, his eighth goal of the season breaking the tie he had with fellow strike-mate Fabian Espíndola.
  • Saborío returned to the starting XI for head coach Jason Kreis after sitting out of last Saturday's 2-1 win over Philadelphia - despite the fact that he was available on the bench in that match after going the full 90 minutes for Costa Rica the night prior against the United States. Also making their returns to the starting line-up today were MF Will Johnson (missed last week due Canadian National Team duty) and DF Nat Borchers (red card suspension).
  • DF Chris Schuler came off the bench for the second straight road contest to provide outstanding support on the backline after seeing a teammate ejected, this time entering at the half in place of MF Luis Gil and stepping in at Tony Beltran left back position.
  • The own goal courtesy of Kasey Keller was the first in an RSL contest this season, and the first to benefit the Claret-and-Cobalt since August 23, 2009, when Darrius Barnes scored for the Utahns in a 1-3 RSL defeat in Foxborough.
  • The red card issued to Tony Beltran was the fifth shown to a Real Salt Lake player in MLS play this season, and also marked the second straight road match in which RSL was reduced to 10-men (8/27 @ CHV, 1-0 W). The fourth-year product out of UCLA had never been ejected in his 77 previous league appearances leading up to today's contest. Thankfully for RSL, its numerical disadvantage was short-lived, as the red card shown to Jhon Kennedy Hurtado just four minutes after Beltran got his marching orders was the eighth issued to an RSL opponent this season. Today marked the third game in 2011 in which RSL had played in a 10-v-10 situation, both previous instances coming against New England [4/09 @ NE, 2-0 W (up for 23 mins.) & 7/04 v. NE, 3-3 T (down for 64 mins.)].
  • Real Salt Lake will carry its momentum back home to Rio Tinto Stadium next Saturday, Sept. 17, when Sporting Kansas City will head to Sandy for a7:00 p.m. MT kickoff. Tickets for the contest - and the special post-game concert by internationally-acclaimed recording group OneRepublic - remain available and can be purchased online at, over the phone at 801-727-2700, or in person at the Rio Tinto Stadium Box Officeduring normal business hours (10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. MT weekdays and open at 10:00 a.m. on gamedays).




Goals by Period 1 2 F

Seattle Sounders FC 1 0 1

Real Salt Lake 1 1 2

Scoring Summary:
RSL -- own goal (Kasey Keller) 13
SEA -- Fredy Montero 7 (Mauro Rosales 10) 47+
RSL -- Alvaro Saborio 8 (unassisted) 56

Misconduct Summary:
RSL -- Tony Beltran (caution; Reckless Tackle) 20
RSL -- Tony Beltran (caution; Reckless Foul) 35
RSL -- Tony Beltran (ejection; Second Caution) 35
SEA -- Servando Carrasco (caution; Reckless Foul) 38
SEA -- Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 39
RSL -- Andy Williams (caution; Reckless Tackle) 68
SEA -- Osvaldo Alonso (caution; Dissent) 94+

Real Salt Lake -- Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran, Kyle Beckerman, Will Johnson, Andy Williams, Luis Gil (Chris Schuler 46), Fabian Espindola (Paulo Araujo Jr. 79), Alvaro Saborio (Ned Grabavoy 68).

Substitutes Not Used: Jean Alexandre, Arturo Alvarez, Collen Warner, Tim Melia.

TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Fabian Espindola 3, Alvaro Saborio 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Will Johnson 2); FOULS: 12 (Tony Beltran 4); OFFSIDES: 2 (Paulo Araujo Jr. 1, Fabian Espindola 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Kyle Beckerman 1, Fabian Espindola 1); SAVES: 4 (Nick Rimando 4)

Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl, Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg (Servando Carrasco 31), Alvaro Fernandez (Lamar Neagle 65), Mike Fucito (Pat Noonan 73), Fredy Montero.

Substitutes Not Used: Patrick Ianni, Nate Jaqua, Zach Scott, Josh Ford.

TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (Fredy Montero 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Mike Fucito 2); FOULS: 10 (Mike Fucito 2, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado 2); OFFSIDES: 3 (Fredy Montero 2); CORNER KICKS: 11 (Mauro Rosales 10); SAVES: 3 (Kasey Keller 3)

Referee: Mark Kadlecik
Referee's Assistants: Mike Kampmeinert; James Conlee
4th Official: Edvin Jurisevic
Attendance: 35,940
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Clear-and-73-degrees


(On winning in Seattle...) "It feels really, really good and I told our guys I'm really proud of all the hard work they put in. The fact that they stuck together and kept working hard and stayed discipline through some pretty interesting decisions in the first half. There were some pretty dire circumstances and I was proud of our guys for getting another hard fought win."

(On the decision to give Seattle a penalty kick...) "I don't think it was embellishment. I just think it was a hard tackle. There was some contact after the ball was away. I agree with Sigi Schmid, and I would go further and say I don't think Seattle's red card was warranted. I don't think their player elbowed Alvaro Saborio on purpose. I just think the referee made some bad decisions and was trying to work his way back into the game. Overall it just wasn't good enough."

(On coming through with some unorthodox wins...) "It is true, going through this season this team started to get rattled but lately they have stayed very resilient, disciplined and together. I'm proud and happy we had learned through all of this and hopefully we are a better team."

(On his adjustments to playing 10 versus 10...) "Not a whole lot, that just means there is more space to cover. We just needed to hold onto the ball, have some patience and work together. Better efficiency with the ball means less defending.

(On his team's first goal...) "It was a strange goal. At first I thought it went towards the side of the goal. I really don't know what happened. Espindola was trying to cross it but it just ended up in the back of the net.


(On saving a goal with his face...) "Oh never, those are the one's you don't expect or train for. When they happen you don't want them to go in the back in the net. I saw the guys playing so I guess I saved it with my face."

(On his reaction to the penalty kick...) "It was one of those ones where I was in a similar situation in 2009. I was fortunate he kicked it little left and it went just wide."

(On Seattle being a tough place to get three points...) "It is definitely a tough place to play. Their crowd is excellent and their team is a good team in this league. We wanted to come in here and prove a point that we are good team even though we lost of couple of games. We gave it everything we had and we won."


(Opening comments...) "Sometimes games go like this. I thought in the first half we had more of the game; we created more of the chances. I thought we gave up a little bit of a soft goal. Second half too. Their goal bounces around and bounces right back to [Alvaro] Saborio and it's underneath his foot and he's able to hit it. Tyson [Wahl] has a shot in the second half, and [Nick] Rimando doesn't know anything about it. It hits him in the shoulder and goes out. Sometimes that's the difference. There were moments I thought we could have played better. We could have done a better job in terms of possessing the ball a little bit. I was disappointed in that. There were also, I thought, in the first half especially, and some in the second half, there were some good moments where we got in and created some chances; where we got behind them on the flanks, which is exactly what we talked about. But at the end of the day we didn't convert."

(On Mauro Rosales missing the penalty kick in the first half, and the team's recent difficulty in converting PKs...) "It's been different people, so I don't what else to do in terms of that. I mean, when we miss PKs in games, it costs us. We missed one in LA and ended up with a tie. We missed one against Chivas and ended up with a tie. Today we missed one, and it would have given us a tie. So obviously that's disappointing. I think right now it's maybe in people's heads because we have missed some. Mauro [Rosales] made his last one without any problems and we were confident he would make this one."

(On the tight positions in the Western Conference...) [Finishing] second is important in terms of home-field advantage and in terms of your draw, who you play. The higher up you finish, the better it is."

(On the foul that resulted in Jhon Kennedy Hurtado's red card...) "I haven't seen the replay. The referee has a tough job. It's tough for him to make the call not knowing, not having the benefit of seeing the replay. The thing that bothers me is if it was simulation. If a player goes down holding his face when he didn't get hit in the face, I think that's an issue. I think that's unprofessional, and I think that's something the league really needs to start looking at and needs to start addressing. Now again, I don't know. I haven't seen the replay personally so I don't know if he got hit in the face, or if he got hit in the chest. But certainly, his actions on the field, he reacted like he got hit in the face."

(On how the play unfolded, leading to the Real Salt Lake goal in the first half...) "I thought we just didn't deal well with the whole sequence of the play. It began with them taking a free kick about 20 yards away from where the foul was committed. So they got the ball into play, [and] we didn't react well to that. A few guys got caught wrong-side of the ball because they played the ball ahead of where the foul had actually occurred, so we got caught wrong-sided. When the cross came in, I thought it was going to be a ball that we were going to get to and whatever it was, hesitation, one guy thinking 'I've got it, you take it,' that kind of a scenario."

(On the decision to remove Erik Friberg in the first half due to an injury...) "He felt something. I don't know exactly if it was his groin or his adductor, but obviously we had to take him out."

(On whether LA Galaxy is still catchable, despite the Sounders being seven points back...) "Everybody is still catchable. This league is always a streaky league, so for us now it's just a matter of - you know, just like after the game against Houston - we just gotta get back after it and take care of business the way we want to."

(On how his game strategy changed after Hurtado's ejection and the ejection of Real Salt Lake's Tony Beltran...) "We went into like a 3-4-2. We felt we could get away with just playing three in the back because we still felt we needed to press the issue of the game. They packed the midfield a little bit more and I didn't think we reacted well to that in the middle part of the second half. That's where it would be great if it were basketball and you could call timeout. Unfortunately that's not the way soccer works. They had a little more of it, and then we gained advantage of it again. I was happy with where we were, [but] wasn't as happy with maybe the execution at certain times."


(On the own goal...) "The first goal was my fault. It crossed, they had pressure, the ball checked up a little bit on the turf and I kind of overran it, and then I just tried to hook it back and get it out of bounds, and unfortunately I got a little too close to the wrong side of the post. So yeah, I've got to do better on that, and that's it."

(On giving up a goal early when the team is on a good run...) "Well, it happens. It happens to all teams. We give up goals we don't normally give up. We miss chances we don't normally miss. That kind of stuff happens, you have those days. The key now is to remember all the reasons why we were on a good run. We had a similar kind of hiccup six or seven games ago in Houston and we bounced back real well from that. Now we're looking to Wednesday and to next weekend and to put today's result right. The tough part is when you have games like today--we were so close to getting something out of it, and you have to take the positives out of it in the end."

(On moving forward...) "Obviously I'm disappointed with the first goal, and now we have to put it behind us and go and get a good result down in Costa Rica and come back up here and beat B.C. It's simple."


(On Real Salt Lake's second goal...) "The second goal we were caught a little bit out of position. We didn't really slide over enough in our 3-5-2 and Fucito got caught having to track back pretty far for a forward, so that was a positional thing we need to clear up a little bit better. On the play, [Alvaro Saborio] trapped it inside, I blocked the first one well, and I think popped back to him, and the second one...he just finished really well."

(On almost coming back...) "I thought we were knocking on the door. I thought in the first half we could have put away a couple chances. I thought we were playing really well in the first half, then just tactically in the second half when it was down to 10 vs. 10, we were a little out of sorts."

(On his shot attempt being blocked by Nick Rimando's face...) "Yeah that was frustrating. It was through a bunch of traffic. I just wanted to hit it on frame, and I didn't get enough to get it in there. I think it hit his forehead...Sometimes we get those bounces and sometime the other team does."

(On if the ten day break affected their performance...) "I kind of think it was irrelevant. We had a couple signs of rust but I don't think we played poorly. It just came down to a couple crucial plays where we need to do better, but for the majority of the game I thought we were the better team, and I didn't think we were that rusty."


(On the game...) "I think it was a little bit of a strange game. I think we controlled the ball, we played good soccer, we just couldn't score more goals."

(On the second half...) "I think there was a lot more space than before because we had 10 against 10...In the last part of the game we were just trying to push it in but we couldn't."

There you go, everything you could want to know about the match, thanks again to the great work from the RSL communications team.