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Texas? No problem: RSL defeat Dallas 3-0 for first win in Lone Star State


For the first time since entering the league in 2005, Real Salt Lake earned all three points in Texas — without the services of four international players and a handful of backups, and after losing Josh Saunders to injury.

Goals from Javier Morales, Ned Grabavoy and Olmes Garcia — all three of some real quality — handed the points to RSL, but early struggles nearly made the goings more difficult. But Kenny Cooper managed to block his teammates shots on multiple occasions, such was his the poor quality performance for FC Dallas.

Josh Saunders made his own positive contributions to keep a first-half shutout, but an incident with his knee late in the half saw him struggle, and after taking a goal kick in the second half, he was removed from the affair entirely with an LCL injury. Naturally, Jeff Attinella entered the match for his Real Salt Lake debut.

Javier Morales broke the match open with a fantastic goal, breaking through on the left side, then shielding his shot from Raul Fernandez and nutmegging a player. His shot slid perfectly in at the far post for his fifth on the season. He was also involved in the other two goals, playing in Abdoulie Mansally on the second goal, with Mansally cutting the ball in for goalscorer Ned Grabavoy, and sending in the cross that saw Olmes Garcia finish the affair.

It was Olmes Garcia that broke the match wide open, as when he came on in the second half, he consistently and dangerously ran at defenders, forcing Dallas to push their play further back at a vital time in the match. His involvement late on — and his goal — were game-changing in its most literal interpretation.

Grabavoy's fourth goal marks his most productive MLS season in his nine-year career, and Garcia scored his fifth goal of his debut RSL season.

The win puts RSL at the top of the combined table — with 37 points from 20 matches, RSL could only realistically be reached through games-in-hand by Montreal Impact, who have 31 from 18.