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Real Salt Lake 2 - Tauro FC 0 - Champions League Recap and post match quotes

RSL fans got their money worth on Tuesday night as the team picked up a 2-0 win over Tauro FC in CCL action.
Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
RSL fans got their money worth on Tuesday night as the team picked up a 2-0 win over Tauro FC in CCL action. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

Once again the great team that is the RSL Communications team (the team behind the team) has put together a great match recap for RSL fans recapping the highlights and facts behind RSL's 2-0 win in CONCACAF Champions League action on Tuesday night:


Claret-and-Cobalt Score 2 Second Half Goals, Survive Beckerman's 72nd Minute Red Card to Earn Victory

SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012) - Real Salt Lake (1-1-0, 3 points, Group 2 #2) picked up a huge CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage win on Tuesday night, getting goals from FW Álvaro Saborío and MF Kyle Beckerman and surviving Beckerman's 72nd minute ejection to beat Panama's Tauro FC (0-1-0, 0 points, Group 2 #3) 2-0 in front of a sold-out crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium.

The win - which broke a four-game losing streak across all competitions - moves RSL to 1-1-0 in Group 2 of the CCL. The Claret-and-Cobalt is now even on points with Group leaders C.S. Herediano (1-0-0, 3 points, Group 2 #1), though RSL has just two Group Stage games left while Tauro and Herediano both have three.

RSL dominated the early stages of Tuesday's match, holding a sizable possession advantage and keeping the ball in Tauro's half for long stretches. The Claret-and-Cobalt had its first great look in the 16th minute. FW Paulo Jr. started the play, hitting a low cross from the right wing to MF Ned Grabavoy at the near post. Grabavoy shot with his first touch, hooking a 10-yard right footer across the face of goal that Tauro GK Alvaro Anzola did well to keep out.

Despite its dominance, RSL - which was without regular DF's Nat Borchers (suspension) and Jamison Olave (injury), and had to play usual left back Chris Wingert in the middle - was a bit sloppy at the back. The team made several bad turnovers in the first half and nearly paid the price in the 20th minute, when Tauro MF Rolando Botello picked up DF Kwame Watson-Siriboe's giveaway 25 yards from goal and lashed a half volley inches wide of the left post.

more of the recap and some quotes from both locker rooms after the jump:

Real Salt Lake really put the pressure on toward the end of the half, registering three great chances. The first came in the 36th minute, when Grabavoy trapped a loose ball at the top of the box and smashed a left-footed half volley off the left post.

RSL had another great look in the 39th minute. Saborío played Paulo through the middle of the box for a 1-v-1 with the keeper, but the Brazilian striker couldn't finish, getting two successive shots stopped by Anzola.

The Claret-and-Cobalt had one more chance before the break. Saborío had the opportunity, lofting a close-range header toward goal following a RSL corner that Anzola acrobatically tipped over the bar.

RSL continued attacking strongly after halftime, finally breaking through for a goal in the 48th minute. Saborío scored, pouncing on a rebound after a shot from Paulo - who made a 40-yard on-the-ball run into the box to set up the play - at the top-right corner of the six-yard box and easily slotting home for his 15th goal of the year across all competitions.

Saborío nearly added a second in the 49th before Beckerman made it 2-0 in the 58th minute. Again it was Paulo who started the play, passing to Beckerman from the left wing to allow the RSL captain to bury a low 25-yard shot inside the left post from the middle of the field.

Beckerman was at the center of the action again in the 72nd minute, though this time it was for the wrong reasons, with the U.S. international getting shown a straight red from referee Oscar Reyna for an after-the-whistle tackle on Tauro MF Carlos Salazar.

The red card forced RSL head coach Jason Kreis to bring on MF Yordany Alvarez for Saborío, switching the Claret-and-Cobalt from a 4-1-2-1-2 formation and into a 4-1-2-1-1.

Tauro began to attack in earnest after Beckerman's ejection, pushing numbers up the field and holding much more of the ball. But RSL stayed disciplined defensively, keeping a compact shape and not allowing Tauro any serious looks at goal.

Real Salt Lake's busy three-game in six-day stretch will come to an end on Friday, when the team will take on the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. The Claret-and-Cobalt returns to CONCACAF Champions League action with a match at Tauro on Sept. 18.

Real Salt Lake Match Notes - RSL 2-TAURO FC 0

  • Kyle Beckerman will be suspended for RSL's Sept. 18 CCL match at Tauro after being ejected in the 72nd minute. The red card was Beckerman's third in the last 11 months.
  • Alvaro Saborío's goal was his 15th across all competitions in 2012. The Costa Rican international now has 49 goals in 88 games for RSL across all competitions, the most in Real Salt Lake history. The team is now 28-5-5 in games in which he scores.
  • Tuesday's sellout crowd of 20,430 was the seventh sold-out game at Rio Tinto Stadium this year, tying the record for most sellouts in a season set in 2011. The Claret-and-Cobalt are now 3-3-1 when playing in front of a sold-out home crowd in 2012.
  • RSL DF Kenny Mansally had to leave Tuesday's game in the 66th minute after spraining his left MCL.
  • Aside from a few communication issues in the first half, RSL's makeshift back four of Chris Wingert, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Tony Beltran and Kenny Mansally - and, after he went out injured, MF Will Johnson - performed well against Tauro, allowing just three shots throughout the match.


On the satisfaction of the win in wake of the four-game losing streak...

"Why'd you have to bring up the losing part, I was feeling good for a minute. It's really good. In the first half, I think we were right on the brink of driving ourselves to madness with frustration for not scoring a goal, after so many chances. But it was good to see that the guys stuck with it. We got the one early in the second half and then I think it was a fairly simple matter of finishing off the game, with the one wrinkle of the ejection."

On the changes in the lineup...

"I think they all worked really hard. I think we were pretty sharp for the most part, maybe there was one dead ball situation in the first half, apart from that the guys stayed really composed, worked really hard, stayed really organized and kept the shutout which we needed."

On the team's performance...

"It felt like we were the team that was pushing things for most of the 90 minutes. Having said that, I think the ejection really cost us not to be able to put in our complete effort, because then there are holes as there would be when you're down a man. We make a point to really try to keep the tempo high in the first half, and we feel like if we do that, often times the work that we put in the first 15, 20 minutes can lead to big benefits at the end of games. Because of the altitude, I think you saw a team in Tauro that was really tiring, and if it hadn't had been for the ejection, I think we could have scored more goals."

On Kyle Beckerman's ejections this year...

"Yes, it's something that concerns me. I don't like to see my players pick up ejections in any matches and I think every individual one you have to look at a little bit differently, review the tape and decide whether it was something you feel was completely the wrong call or whether there was some culpability by the player. I think that with the challenge that Kyle went into he put himself in a place for the referee to make a decision, of course the ref didn't make the one we liked, but we've just got to talk about not putting yourself in that position."

On Paulo Jr.'s performance...

"It was a performance decision. He started on Saturday and I thought he did a good job, so I wanted to reward him on the good work he put in and give him another game in a row. I was surprised by his run up to goal, as surprised as the defenders around him. He really, really did well to get to where he had gotten, and then I want him to score. He had two or three clear cut chances. Towards the end of the game, he was weaving through on the left side of the goal and passes it to Javier, and I would argue that he should finish it himself. "

On the importance of the support of the fans...

"I think it's huge. I continue to believe that they are a big part of every success we've had here at Rio Tinto Stadium. We couldn't be more happy with the number of fans, and how passionate they are, especially at the beginning of the games. It feels like a big surge of momentum when they're singing the song and it's awesome. But I would ask for one the end of our last two matches, our crowd has been very, very quiet, and that's when we need a little bit of an uplift again."

On what's coming up for RSL...

"I think we're at a good spot, but I wouldn't go any further than that. I think we did right tonight by getting a result 2-0, and that could be important, but it's going to hurt to not have our captain for the next match. I think we've got to take the confidence, we scored the goals. We were on top of things. It was a night where finally things went right for us. Often when you do that you see floodgates open. We have to continue with that confidence and say ok, we're playing well, and we scored goals, and we won, and we had a shutout. So we need to take all those positive things and roll them into the game on Friday."


On getting the victory...

"It was huge for us and something we were really all focused for. I thought we played some really good soccer, especially the first half actually I think. We looked like our old self where we really pinned the other team, where they can't get out and we were creating chances after chances. It just felt like if we get one maybe we can get three or four."

On mindset entering the second half...

"We felt like just stick to what we were doing and that it would finally come and once we got one we thought we would get two maybe three. So we did that and we were able to be successful with it."

On receiving the red card...

"Yeah, so the ball was in the air and it was coming from one side from the other and I'm going to play the ball and this guy comes out of my blind spot and kind of runs into my foot and rolls around like he got shot, which is standard CONCACAF, but yeah I really didn't see him at all. Today, there was nothing I could do. It might have looked bad but I really didn't see him. I was trying to play a ball that was in the air. You know red cards, they happen in soccer but you don't want to get them so you try not to."

On feeling like it was the right amount of effort...

"Yeah, it was pretty solid. I think the energy, the intensity, the ball movement - really everything was there. Hopefully we can continue with this onto Friday."


Overall thoughts on the match...

"It was a good match we played in the first half but the goalie did fantastic. The second half we scored early and the match changed."

On his goal to put RSL up 1:0...

"We said finally we want to score and after that we played more passes to get behind them."

On satisfaction with the result and looking ahead...

"We are happy now. We have to focus on Philadelphia and hopefully get a result there."


On how things would have gone if team went 90 minutes without a red card...

"I think we would have put up a big number. If we kept our 11 guys on the field for the last 20 minutes, I think it would have laid it on them, but they're a good team."

On Panama's playing style...

"They came to get a draw. I think it was pretty clear what they wanted to do. Sit in, and they did that pretty well in the first half, but once we were able to open them up and get that first goal, it was a completely different game and they had it going. We were able to get that second one, so it was nice."

On the satisfying result after past struggles...

"Good! The fans deserve it more than anybody. I think they were just fantastic and we had awesome support from them tonight. We never get too high or too low. It's just who we are and what we're about and we will move on, and we need to keep going with this string of results. We've got to get a little more consistent heading into the next stretch."


On the importance of the momentum to go back to Panama and win...

"I thought the boys played really well. We moved the ball really well and our offense was clicking. Defensively we're great, even without Olave or Nat in there and that definitely gives us confidence, so we can go into Philly and knock the ball, keep the ball, you can see that we have a lot more energy out there because we kept the ball and moved off the ball. If we can do that at the away game, I think the boys will be good."

On the RSL defense...

"We were good, and I think we all knew what Panama was going to try to do when they came here, and sit back and fall down. Their trainer probably ran more than their players did today. All in all I thought defensively when we lost the ball; I thought that our forwards were getting that ball right away in that first half. That really, really got momentum for us: Winning the ball quick right when we lose it, and we got our chances off of that."


Overall thoughts on the match...

"I thought it was a great performance from the guys, the 90 minutes we put together and dominating possession. I think it's a good result and I think we came together and showed them we're really up for the fight."

On coming away with a win after drought...

"We're going to stick to what we do game in and game out. Nothing has changed and I don't think it's going to change. It's just things weren't going our way and tonight things went our way. We kept possession of the ball, a high possession of the ball, and our chances came and we took them."

On different atmospheres in CONCACAF & MLS matches...

"I think we stayed in the same mindset. We go into every game knowing what we are going to do and what are jobs are. The outcome, you know we go into a MLS game knowing each and every single job and that's what we did tonight."

On the fans showing up and the sellout crowd...

"Unbelievable. Every game is unbelievable with 20,000 fans showing up. How many? 20,000 whatever just showing their loyalty to us and we'll repay them hopefully by going and playing in the championship."


Overall thoughts on the match...

"We knew Real Salt Lake was a strong team at home, with important players. They got two goals due to two mistakes. The idea was to show what Tauro soccer was about. The important thing is to show that Panamanian soccer and Tauro FC is on the right path."

On your team's performance...

"We tried to play a good game, but we had individual mistakes that cost us goals. When you're down 2-0 it's difficult to overcome a team like Salt Lake, especially with strong players like Alvaro Saborίo and Paulo Jr. I think we had some moments where we dominated Salt Lake, and that's important for us."

On the environment at Rio Tinto and if it made an influence...

"To see a beautiful stadium, so full of enthusiasm...I think soccer is growing in the U.S. in an incredible way."

On preparing for the next match vs. RSL at home...

"We'll maintain the same. I think we've been doing a good job since we've started this season. Panama is entering a stage where we are changing the image of soccer. It's a type of soccer that is played well, treated well, and we're not going to change much. I think both these teams, Real Salt Lake and C.S. Herediano, are going to face a challenge in Panama, because at home we're strong. We know how to play the ball and I think they will be good games. I'm not anxious because in soccer sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, today wasn't our day. In Panama we can overcome this, with both Salt Lake and Herediano. These three teams are competing to go on, all three have played well, and in the end the team that plays the best soccer, the one that proposes better soccer, is going to be victorious."

So there you go a great look back at Tuesday's big win and some of the facts from the match. It was also RSL's 100th win as an organization across all competitions.

Now it is time to get ready for Friday night, how excited are you that RSL will finally be on National TV?