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Real Salt Lake wins first match of preseason; Saunders faces old friends in LA Galaxy

Obviously enough, this photo is from a different match, but look at that dive to grab the ball off the feet of Morales.
Obviously enough, this photo is from a different match, but look at that dive to grab the ball off the feet of Morales.
George Frey

Real Salt Lake has — yes — won a preseason match. This one, the third match and against perhaps the strongest opponents thus far (Denmark U-20s and a UC Irvine side certainly don't match up), saw us finally break through and, yes, score.

Let's go through things and derive what we can.

Starting XI

Rimando; Palmer, Schuler, Watson-Siriboe, Mansally; Beckerman; Grabavoy, Stephenson; Velasquez; Plata, Sandoval

62' changes

Saunders (in at half); Granger, Maund, Salcedo, Davis; Alvarez; Stertzer, Martinez; Grossman; Viana, Lopez

Notes and thoughts

Ned Grabavoy, Kyle Beckerman, and Nick Rimando all started, giving Real Salt Lake a more veteran look and feel. Ned Grabavoy was especially essential, as he scored the goal. Were the veterans otherwise influential? I don't know, but it's easy to assume that they were.

David Viana saw some time up front, which, given our rather thin striker selection with Findley out and a player yet to arrive, isn't too surprising. Was he good? I don't know.

Cole Granger is still in camp after being selected in the Supplemental Draft, which would seem to bode well for the player. I still don't know that he signs, but he's at least getting some valuable time in camp that will aid in his development.

Speaking of draft picks, Justin Davis, 2010 second round SuperDraft pick, has been in camp for a bit. Will he sign? Again, I don't know, but it's good experience. He's no longer on our college protected list, for whatever that's worth. (That list, at least as of the 2012 rules, was for two years - the second December 31 after the draft is the expiry date.)

Benji Lopez remains in camp, boosting thoughts that we may end up signing the youngster to a homegrown contract, although whether he occupies a homegrown slot is difficult to discern.

Josh Saunders faced his old team and had to make some stops, although I'm not sure how difficult they were. (Sensing a pattern here? I can't wait to watch the first preseason match that's streamed.)

Grossman apparently played at the top of the diamond, although I'd be surprised if there wasn't some significant rotation in the ranks with 2013 draft pick John Stertzer and Generation Adidas player Enzo Martinez on either side of him.

It was the first win of preseason against better opponents than faced so far - things are strange sometimes, but maybe there was motivation involved, or maybe it had to do with getting veterans involved again.

Khari Stephenson remains in camp. Will we sign him? (All together now-) I don't know.

For further details, check the Twitter timelines of @RealSaltLake and @LAGalaxyInsider.