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Real Salt Lake pick up 2-1 win over the Union - post match facts and more

Well I promised I would post the match facts and post match quotes from the locker rooms, here they are plus the video from Saturday night's press conference by RSL head coach Jason Kreis (thanks to RSL Communications):

after the jump you can get the rest of the great info on the match after the jump:

I love the info that RSL puts out after matches (John and Trey, plus all their minions do a great job)


First Half Goals from MF Kyle Beckerman and DF Chris Schuler Lead Claret-and-Cobalt to Second Straight Win; RSL Moves Into 4th Place in Western Conference, Leaping Above Rocky Mountain Rival Rapids as Playoff Race Heats Up

SANDY, Utah (Saturday, September 3, 2011) - Real Salt Lake (12-7-6, 42 points) made its return to Rio Tinto Stadium after nearly a month's hiatus a winning one Saturday night, using first half goals from MF Kyle Beckerman and DF Chris Schuler to post a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union (8-7-10, 34 pts.). With its second win on the trot, Real Salt Lake leapt into fourth place above the Colorado Rapids in the Western Conference standings.

After about 15 minutes of feeling each other out, Real Salt Lake took over the proceedings shortly thereafter, with Beckerman opening the scoring on RSL's first shot of the match in the 18th minute. The RSL captain played a give-and-go off a short corner with FW Paulo Jr. and wound around the outside of the area to open up a shooting lane before placing his 25-yard blast into the right-side netting to give the home side the early advantage. The corner was kind for Beckerman eight minutes later as well, as the U.S. National Team member's dead ball found the head of Schuler, who towered over his defender to nod home from the six-yard box, doubling the lead in the 26th minute.

Philadelphia would get one back quickly at the half hour mark, as FW Sebastien Le Toux's classy first-time strike off a MF Justin Mapp cross pulled the visitors back to within one. However, it was almost all RSL from there on out, as Philadelphia managed just one shot after the 33rd minute, with RSL GK Nick Rimandostanding his ground on Mapp's 1-v-1 opportunity midway through the second half to preserve the full result.

Real Salt Lake Match Notes

  • With the bump into fourth place in the Western Conference, Real Salt Lake (42 points) now sits within two games of third-place FC Dallas (46 pts.) and second-place Seattle Sounders FC (48 pts.), with the Utah side holding two games in hand on both squads. RSL is now one point above its Rocky Mountain Cup rival, the Colorado Rapids, but holds three games in hand on the defending MLS Cup Champs.
  • While Real Salt Lake was missing midfielders Will Johnson (Canada) and Jean Alexandre (Haiti) and F/M Arturo Alvarez (El Salvador) due to national team commitments, one player that served his country last evening, FW Álvaro Saborío, returned to the Wasatch Front in time to make tonight's 18-man roster. The Costa Rican striker, who helped his Ticos to a 1-0 win over the United States at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., was not called upon by Head Coach Jason Kreis after going the full 90 minutes in last night's friendly.T
  • Two players that did come off the bench for Kreis - FW Cody Arnoux and D/M Blake Wagner - made their Real Salt Lake debuts in the second half, Arnoux entering for FW Paulo Jr. in the 66th minute and Wagner for a hobbled DF Robbie Russell in stoppage time. The last time two players made their Claret-and-Cobalt debut in the same game came back on March 28, 2009 at Seattle, when Alexandre and Raphael Cox both saw action as rookies in a 0-2 season-opening defeat in the Emerald City.
  • Tonight's victory featured the return of MF Ned Grabavoy to the field. The midfielder had missed RSL's entire five-game August slate after suffering a left adductor strain in a 0-2 loss vs. Columbus on July 30.
  • The start for FW Paulo Jr. was just his third of the season in MLS play (7 games played), and the first for the Brazilian forward since he scored in a 2-0 win at New England on April 9.
  • Tonight's effort by DF Chris Schuler was almost a carbon-copy of the second-year product's stellar performance in said win at Gillette Stadium back in April. In that match, Schuler - who turns 24 years of age next Friday, Sept. 9 - scored his first career MLS goal, a header off a 27th minute corner kick that served as the game-winner ... exactly the case with tonight's 28th minute tally. The former Creighton Bluejay looked comfortable in his 12th start of the season while stepping in for the suspended DF Nat Borchers, pairing with fellow center back Jamison Olave to keep Philadelphia to just four shots attempted on the evening.
  • The goal-and-assist performance by Kyle Beckerman was the second for the RSL captain in 2011 and his fourth multi-point effort of the campaignin regular season play. The 29-year-old midfielder upped his team leading and single-season career-high assist total to eight - good for a fourth-place tie alongside four other players on the 2011 MLS helper chart, including Union goalscorer Le Toux. In addition, his career-best fifth game-winning assist now places him alone in second place in the league this season, behind only that other "Becks," LA Galaxy midfielder, David Beckham.
  • Beckerman will join up with the rest of the U.S. Men's National Team contingent in Brussels on Sunday in advance of Tuesday's international friendly atBelgium (12:30 p.m. MT, live on ESPN). The trio of Johnson, Alvarez and Alexandre will also suit up in their national team colors on Tuesday when they pick up play in CONCACAF region qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on the road, as Canada travels to Puerto Rico, El Salvador heads to the Cayman Islands, and Haiti plays in Curacao. Saborío will now stay in Utah rather than rejoining Costa Rica for Tuesday's exhibition in Ecuador.
  • Tonight's contest kicked off a six-match month for Real Salt Lake, which will continue next Saturday, Sept. 10 with a matinee six-pointer at Seattle Sounders FC (2:00 p.m. MT kickoff at CenturyLink Field, live on KMYU 2.2 / Comcast 22 / Dish Network 12). Next Saturday's important Western Conference showdown will kick off RSL's stretch of six away affairs in its last nine regular season contests.




Goals by Period 1 2 F

Real Salt Lake 2 0 2

Philadelphia Union 1 0 1

Scoring Summary:
RSL -- Kyle Beckerman 3 (Paulo Jr. 3) 18
RSL -- Chris Schuler 2 (Kyle Beckerman 8) 26
PHI -- Sebastien Le Toux 4 (Justin Mapp 3) 30

Misconduct Summary:
RSL -- Robbie Russell (caution; Reckless Foul) 35
PHI -- Danny Califf (caution; Tactical Foul) 67

Real Salt Lake -- Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave, Chris Schuler, Robbie Russell (Blake Wagner 89), Andy Williams, Kyle Beckerman, Luis Gil, Collen Warner (Ned Grabavoy 73), Paulo Jr. (Cody Arnoux 66), Fabian Espindola.

Substitutes Not Used: Rauwshan McKenzie, Alvaro Saborio, Donny Toia, Tim Melia.

Philadelphia Union --
Faryd Mondragon (Zac MacMath 46), Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Stefani Miglioranzi, Michael Farfan, Justin Mapp (Roger Torres 68), Sebastien Le Toux, Kyle Nakazawa (Freddy Adu 59), Amobi Okugo, Veljko Paunovic, Danny Mwanga.

Substitutes Not Used: Gabriel Farfan, Juan Diego Gonzalez, Jack McInerney, Zach Pfeffer.

Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Referee's Assistants: Frank Anderson; Paul Scott
4th Official: Allen Chapman
Attendance: 18,720
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Clear-and-61-degrees



On having midfielder Kyle Beckerman available:

"I'm pretty pleased, obviously, that he was able to stay with us and contribute in such a meaningful fashion tonight. The first goal was fantastic, and the assist on the second goal was really, really nice too. ...It was important that our captain was with us tonight and leading us."

On the debut play of forward Cody Arnoux:

"Cody [Arnoux] is a player that has a real fighting mentality. Something that I've observed of him in the last couple of weeks, now that he is fully fit and healthy, is that he's a guy that will give you everything he's got. And so I think he came on and did exactly that, and I think that was exactly what we needed."

On the overall play of the team:

"I hope that we're never going to be content with where we're at, at anytime. There's so many details that we're letting slip right now. We need to improve on all those little details, and one of those things is how we finish games. To see it tonight again shows that we're improving. And I think improving at the exact right time."

On the decision to dress forward Álvaro Saborío:

"He came to me after the last game last weekend, and said, ‘Hey coach, I want to be in the 18 next weekend.' At first I said, ‘no chance, I wouldn't want to take that kind of risk with you.' And then I said, ‘if you don't play 90 minutes [with Costa Rica] I'll consider it.' Last night I got a text message from him that said, ‘Coach, I really, really want to be there for you and to try and help this team right now.' I think he felt the same way that all of us do trending forward. We're all in this together, we're all fighting and he really wanted to be a part of it."


On the game as a whole:

"I think that them getting that first goal kind of changed the whole game. We were two-nothing up and then kind of took our foot off the gas pedal just a little bit and they made two great passes and had a great finish. We had a couple more chances to go up 3-1 but the most important thing right now is the three points. We're all glad that we got the three points tonight."


On his goal:

"I just kind of caught them sleeping and tried to get in quick."

On the importance of the game:

"It's a huge game for us. This is one of those games that we had in hand and if we win we jumped Colorado (Rapids) so it had a lot of importance. It was just like any other big game we play."

On getting three points and the significance of those points:

"I think the biggest thing was that it was a gritty performance. It wasn't the prettiest but we were able to stay in there and really fight and make sure we didn't give up the draw late in the game and we were able to manage to keep the three points because it meant a lot to us."


On how the game unfolded:

"I thought they were going to defend a little bit more than that, but they got out and tried to play against us. It was a nice game."


On scoring a goal:

"It's good to get a goal. It was a good ball, and I was able to get up and put it in."

On Real Salt Lake's captain Kyle Beckerman being available to play:

"It's great. He's our captain and he's a huge asset. It's always good to be closer to full-strength."

On improving his consistency in the air:

"I'm just doing everything I can to get better in the air. It's definitely an area I need to improve on."


On the defeat at Rio Tinto Stadium:

"I was pleased with the performance because the tempo was fast and we were still pushing the game. We have to work on those set pieces that we gave the goal up on today, but overall I think it was a good performance and we are looking forward to these two games at home."

On the possibility of moving forward without GK Faryd Mondragon:

"He is our captain. I think Zac MacMath came in and he was calm and he was very secure; I was very pleased with the game from him as well. We will have to see on the status of Faryd."

On the play of recently-acquired Freddy Adu:

"He was okay. I think we need to give him time because we feel that he still needs to work on parts of his game ... fitness, game fitness, making sure that he is ready to play the full 90 minutes."


On the development of his game:

"The biggest thing for me personally is to obviously get game-fit as soon as possible. My game is progressing and getting better and better, especially getting the chance to learn a lot in Europe as well as with the national team. I learned a lot under Bob Bradley as well and playing with some of the best players in the nation, and I just want to bring that here and help this team out.

On getting booed from the Salt Lake fans:

"They're just cheering on their team. You can't worry too much about it because when I was here they cheered me on because I played for Real Salt Lake. They cheer on their team and that's the way it should be."

On his first three games with Philadelphia:

"It's getting better, it's getting much better. It takes a little bit of time to adjust to your teammates and work yourself into the team, but slowly and surely I've been able to do that."


On what the team has to do with only nine games left:

"It's simple, we just have to win games. We have two games coming at home, one Wednesday and one Saturday, we just need wins. With every game that comes, we need to make the most of it."

On falling into a 2-0 hole early in the match:

"It is always difficult to play here in Salt Lake and this is a great team with a lot of experience. They know how to manage a game and that's what happened tonight."

There you go folk, everything and more that you could want to know about RSL's match last night. Now they head into one of the biggest matches left on their schedule a "6 point" match with the Sounders in Seattle next weekend, that should be a very interesting match.