LAKE’S 1-1 DRAW AT TORONTO FC PUTS UTAH SIDE INTO CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Result Clinches Defending MLS Cup Champs’ Passage to Quarterfinal Round of Regional Championship Next Spring;
MF Javier Morales Returns to Line-up, Scores on Second Half Free Kick to Help RSL Move On in Tournament
TORONTO (Tuesday, September 28, 2010) – Real Salt Lake used a free kick goal by MF Javier Morales in the 67th minute to get the result it needed against Toronto FC, a 1-1 draw tonight at BMO Field securing its passage into the knockout phase of the CONCACAF Champions League in its first appearance in the regional championship. Thanks to the draw, Real Salt Lake and Cruz Azul share the Group A lead on 10 points with identical 3-1-1 records, ensuring both squads will move out of the CCL’s “Group of Death” and into the home-and-away Quarterfinal Round, which begins in late February.
It was déjà vu all over again for Real Salt Lake, which fell behind for the fifth time in as many CCL contests in the 20th minute, a lightning-quick counter-attack started by a long throw by Toronto GK Jon Conway being finished with authority from distance by FW Jacob Peterson to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. But a patient and resilient RSL side would dominate possession throughout the contest, its persistence paying off when FW Robbie Findley was fouled 25 yards straight out from goal midway through the second half. Morales would take it from there, striking his free kick towards the left side of goal and past Conway to even things up.
The defending MLS titlist’s stout defensive effort would allow TFC precious few dangerous moments from there on out, with the result allowing RSL to cross a second major accomplishment off its 2010 checklist in four days time, following on the heels of another 1-1 comeback draw against Colorado last Saturday that made the Utah side the second club to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes
· In tonight’s other Group A contest, Mexican side Cruz Azul defended its home turf against Árabe Unido of Panama via a 2-0 scoreline at Estadio Azul to also clinch a spot in the CCL’s Quarterfinal Round. That result sets up a showdown for first place in Group A between co-leaders Real Salt Lake and Cruz Azul during the CCL’s Group Stage finale in Matchweek #6, set to take place at Rio Tinto Stadium on Tuesday, Oct. 19 (8:00 p.m. MT kickoff).
· The gauntlet-like portion of the late season schedule will wrap up this Saturday, Oct. 2, when Real Salt Lake (13-4-9, 48 pts. in MLS play) resumes the chase for its first-ever Supporters Shield (MLS regular season) crown by taking on the New England Revolution (7-14-5, 26 pts.). Kickoff from Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., on Saturday is set for 5:00 p.m. MT for a contest that can be seen live on KUSG 2.2 (Comcast 111 / Dish Network 12) and will be followed by the America First Credit Union Post-match Report.
· Tonight’s match was the second-to-last in a brutal stretch that will see the Utah side play 14 matches in 56 days. RSL has collected a 6-1-6 record across all competitions during this stretch, including a 3-1-1 mark in CCL play and a 3-0-5 record in MLS action to this point. The contest was the fifth tilt of a hectic six-game, 18-day run within that larger stretch that will finish Saturday in New England and has already taken the Claret-and-Cobalt to Panama and Canada. RSL came within seconds of going undefeated to this point during the stretch, its lone defeat coming via a heartbreaking 4-5 result against Cruz Azul in Mexico City, during which RSL led deep into the second half, equalized in stoppage time, and fell on a deflected shot on the match’s final play.
· The goal for Morales was his first of the tournament in three appearances. The tally also marked the first-ever goal for Real Salt Lake at BMO Field in five matches since the “Reds” entered the League in 2006, snapping the Utah side’s 427-minute scoreless streak on the shores of Lake Ontario (RSL now 0-2-3 in Toronto all-time).
· Tonight marked the return of MF Javier Morales to the RSL 18-man gameday roster, the Argentine playmaker hampered in recent weeks by a right quadriceps strain. Morales, who entered in the half in place of MF Collen Warner, sat out the last four matches across all competitions (9/15 v. TFC, 9/18 v. CHI, 9/22 @ Arabe Unido & 9/25 v. COL) due to the injury, his last appearance a 90-minute effort in a 0-0 draw with Seattle back on Sept. 9 at Qwest Field.
· Peterson’s 20th minute counter-attack tally marked the fifth time in as many CCL contests that Real Salt Lake allowed the first goal of the match. However, unlike the first four occasions, the Utah side failed to even up the proceedings by the halftime break.
· MF Kyle Beckerman’s 61st minute caution was his second of the Group Stage, meaning he will be forced to sit out of RSL’s battle for Group A supremacy against Cruz Azul next month. After missing tonight’s match, FW Fabian Espíndola (red card @ Árabe Unido) and MF Nelson González (two cautions) will once again be available for selection by Head Coach Jason Kreis against the Mexican side.
2010/11 CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE MATCH #49 – GROUP A
TORONTO FC (1-2-2, 5 pts.) v. REAL SALT LAKE (3-1-1, 10 pts.)
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2010 – BMO FIELD – TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Toronto FC 1 0 1
Real Salt Lake 0 1 1
TFC – Jacob Peterson (Jon Conway) 20
RSL – Javier Morales (unassisted) 67
RSL – Collen Warner (caution) 35
TFC – Maksim Usanov (caution) 53
RSL – Kyle Beckerman (caution) 61
Toronto FC – Jon Conway; Maksim Usanov, Adrian Cann, Nana Attakora, Nick Garcia; Dan Gargan, Nick LaBrocca (O’Brian White 77), Julian de Guzman, Jacob Peterson (Mista 65); Dwayne De Rosario (Capt.), Maicon Santos (Chad Barrett 30)
Substitutes Not Used: Milos Kocic (GK), Ty Harden, Raivis Hscanovics, Nicholas Lindsay
TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (De Rosario 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (De Rosario, Peterson 1); FOULS: 8 (Gargan, Usanov 2); OFFSIDES: 1 (De Rosario 1); CORNER KICKS: 1 (LaBrocca 1); SAVES: 4 (Conway 4)
Real Salt Lake – Nick Rimando; Robbie Russell, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert; Andy Williams, Kyle Beckerman (Capt.), Collen Warner (Javier Morales 46), Will Johnson (Ned Grabavoy 62); Robbie Findley, Álvaro Saborío (Jean Alexandre 83)
Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish (GK), Tony Beltran, Pablo Campos, Chris Schuler
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Findley 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Findley 2); FOULS: 8 (Warner 3); OFFSIDES: 3 (Findley 2); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Morales, Williams 2); SAVES: 1 (Rimando 1)
Referee: Trevor Taylor (BRB)
Referee's Assistants: Adrian Goddard, Mark Moses (BRB)
4th Official: Silviu Petrescu (CAN)
Weather: Cloudy and 59 degrees
All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial
RSL CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE POST-GAME
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2010
TORONTO FC 1 : 1 REAL SALT LAKE
REAL SALT LAKE HEAD COACH JASON KREIS
On the result:
“We are an extremely pleased team to have accomplished one of our major goals for the season. At the beginning of the year we stressed that we wanted to put a lot of focus on this tournament, and it’s a credit to our guys that they’ve done that and, deservedly, we’re into the next round.”
On how RSL’s travel woes to Toronto affected the squad:
“It’s hard to describe how difficult our travel situation was, and how much I think little things like that affect teams. The travel situation made it nearly impossible for us to be our best, and I knew that coming into the game.
“The fact that we didn’t create much in the first 20 minutes was not a big deal for me because, to be honest, we didn’t need to. We needed to do what we did, which was possess the ball for long stretches of time and have [Toronto] come out of their shell a little bit. I thought the guys gave everything they had, and I know that there weren’t a lot of full tanks out there.”
On the return of Javier Morales to the line-up:
“We brought [Javier] out a couple of hours before the match and put him through a fitness test and he passed that and felt good, but we were concerned with how long he could last. Being that Collen Warner picked up a yellow card we thought it was a necessary switch so we wouldn’t put ourselves in jeopardy of going down a man, and we also know how important Javier is for us, so it was a gamble that paid off.”
REAL SALT LAKE DEFENDER CHRIS WINGERT
On once again coming back from an early deficit in Champions League play:
“We came in and talked at halftime knowing that we’ve been in situations like this before this season. We’ve done a great job of digging ourselves out of a hole like that in the past and we did it again tonight. We’re really proud of the effort and are excited to move forward and play in the knockout rounds.”
On containing Toronto FC’s attack:
“We talked a lot about how dangerous [Toronto FC] can be, especially on the counter-attack. We know what kind of quality they have up top in guys like [Dwayne De Rosario] and Jacob Peterson, who did an outstanding job on their goal. I was a little disappointed in myself in the way the first half went. We talked over and over about how dangerous they were on the counter, and we should have done a better job on that, but we felt like we didn’t allow them many other chances.”