A perfect start for a Real Salt Lake saw them defeat Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 on the road with a starting lineup unchanged from this week's reserves outing.
The sole goal in the match came in the 9th minute, with Devon Sandoval finishing from the center of the box. Lovel Palmer sent in an out-swinging cross that left a gap-ridden Whitecaps defense exploited.
Throughout most of the match, Real Salt Lake controlled play, by and large, and by the time Vancouver exerted the effort and commitment to control the match, it was too late.
The final 15 minutes were strewn with RSL chances, perhaps some of which should have been finished, although Vancouver controlled the run of play, putting eight players in the opposition half. Once stoppage time hit — of which there were five minutes — even Danish goalkeeper David Ousted took up positions in RSL's half, and when the ball was loose, he proceeded to pressure rather than beat a hasty retreat.
Of note: Chris Schuler made his first return to the lineup since suffering recurring foot fracture concerns, and he had some very strong moments as well as some very nervy ones. He formed a good partnership with Brandon McDonald.
RSL's substitutes outstripped those of Vancouver's as well, with Ned Grabavoy, Joao Plata and Chris Wingert coming on to good effect.
Jeff Attinella, in for Nick Rimando, who was left in Salt Lake City, put in a fine shift with some fantastic parries.