REAL SALT LAKE AND SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC DUEL TO 3-3 EXHIBITION DRAW IN DESERT
RSL’s First Squad Earns 1-1 Stalemate during First 80 Minutes of Action;
Young Guns and Academy Players Push SSFC’s Starters to 2-2 Tie across Final Half Hour
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (Tuesday, February 8, 2011) – Real Salt Lake twice fell behind, yet also managed to lose a lead during a 3-3 exhibition draw against fellow MLS Western Conference side Seattle Sounders FC this afternoon at the Grande Sports World training complex.
In a 110-minute affair played across three periods (45/35/30), RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis continued to build towards CONCACAF Champions League play in just two weeks’ time against Columbus, playing the bulk of his starting XI for 80 minutes, during which time the teams played to a 1-1 stalemate. The goals would come fast and furious in the last 30-minute stanza, when MF Collen Warner bagged a pair of goals two minutes apart to pull the Claret-and-Cobalt even and into the lead in the 97th and 99th minutes, respectively. However, a last-gasp attack by Sounders FC would lead to a penalty kick conversion from FW Fredy Montero in the final minute, forcing a share of the spoils on the day.
The preseason affair got off to an ominous start for the Utahans just three minutes in, when Seattle striker Lamar Neagle picked off a back pass by DF Robbie Russell 30 yards from goal before fighting off the challenge of DF Nat Borchers and slotting low and inside GK Nick Rimando’s left post to push Seattle ahead early. Putting the early lapse behind it, Real Salt Lake would build confidence in its attack through long stretches of possession and tight passing, paying off in the 37th minute when a build-up ended with a foul just outside the Sounders FC penalty area. With the ball sitting just 20 yards from goal it was no surprise that MF Javier Morales would get the opportunity to hit one of his patented free kicks, and the Argentine would oblige, dipping his shot over the wall and inside the left post to tie the match at 1-1.
While the scoring would dry up in the second period, that was certainly not the case in the third, when the younger side of RSL’s roster and a handful of the team’s RSL-Arizona U-18 Academy members and guest players meshed well and went toe-to-toe with SSFC’s first team. The explosion towards goal started in the 90th minute when ex-Toronto FC striker O’Brian White would finish off a quick counter-attack after another RSL turnover, once again giving Seattle the lead, this time at 2-1. But Warner would bring RSL back in fine fashion seven minutes later, accepting a perfectly chipped pass from MF Luis Gil in the outer corner of the area before turning to the endline and rifling a shot past Seattle ‘keeper Bryan Meredith to even the proceedings at 2-2.
Only two minutes later it was RSL taking advantage of a defensive miscue by Seattle, with Warner stealing the ball and playing a 1-2 with MF Nelson Gonzalez before firing past Meredith once again, this time from outside the area, to give RSL its first lead of the day at 3-2. But just when it looked Real Salt Lake would escape with the win, Seattle’s last run down the field would earn a spot kick, as guest player DF Jamie Cunningham did well to track back inside the area to block a certain 1-v-1 attempt on GK Tim Melia, but his sliding attempt saw him trap the ball underneath him with his hand, leading to an immediate point to the spot. Montero would finish from the 12-yard mark, and seconds after the ensuing kickoff the match would be called as a draw.
SEA – Lamar Neagle (unassisted) 3
RSL – Javier Morales (unassisted) 37
SEA – O’Brian White (Erik Friberg, Fredy Montero) 90
RSL – Collen Warner (Luis Gil, Donny Toia) 97
RSL – Collen Warner (Nelson Gonzalez) 99
SEA – Fredy Montero (penalty kick) 110
Real Salt Lake Line-ups
Periods 1&2 (45/35 minutes): GK-Nick Rimando; DF-Robbie Russell, DF-Jamison Olave, DF-Nat Borchers, DF-Chris Wingert (Tony Beltran 45); MF-Kyle Beckerman, MF-Andy Williams, MF-Ned Grabavoy (Nelson González 69), MF-Javier Morales; FW-Álvaro Saborío (Collen Warner 62), FW-Paulo Jr.
Period 3 (30 minutes): GK-Tim Melia; DF-Tony Beltran, DF-Jamie Cunningham, DF-Rauwshan McKenzie, DF-Nelson Gonzalez; MF-Nico Muniz, MF-Collen Warner, MF-David Flores, MF-Luis Gil; FW-Mikey Orellana, FW-Donny Toia
Seattle Sounders FC Line-ups
Period 1 (45 minutes): Terry Boss, Zach Scott, Leone Cruz, Patrick Ianni, Danny Earls, David Estrada, Jonathan Prieto, Servando Carrasco, Miguel Montano, Lamar Neagle, Seedy Bah.
Period 2 (35 minutes): Josh Ford, Roger Levesque, Zach Scott (Jeff Parke 17’), Patrick Ianni (Jhon Kennedy Hurtado 17’), Danny Earls (Tyson Wahl 17’), David Estrada (Alvaro Fernandez 17’), Jonathan Prieto (Erik Friberg 10’), Servando Carrasco (Osvaldo Alonso 17’), Michael Tetteh, Lamar Neagle (Fredy Montero 17’), Mike Fucito.
Period 3 (30 minutes): Bryan Meredith, James Riley, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl, Alvaro Fernandez, Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg, Steve Zakuani, O’Brian White, Fredy Montero.
RSL Preseason News & Notes
- Six RSL players either saw limited minutes or no time at all during today’s scrimmage due to injury, headlined by DF Chris Wingert (L adductor strain), who was able to start and go 45 minutes before giving way to DF Tony Beltran. Forwards Fabian Espíndola (L quadriceps strain) and Pablo Campos (R knee contusion) both suffered minor injury setbacks during training on Monday and were held out of today’s match for precautionary measures, as were GK Kyle Reynish (R shoulder impingement) and DF Chris Schuler (R broken foot/surgery), who have returned to full team training in recent days. Rookie DF Jarad vanSchaik (R MCL sprain) continues on the road to recovery after suffering his injury on just the third day of spring training and could be back to limited training with the squad by the end of the stay in Phoenix.
- Injuries weren’t the only absences Real Salt Lake had to contend with today, as three players – MF Jean Alexandre, FW Arturo Alvarez, and MF Will Johnson – have been with their respective national teams since the weekend in advance of international friendly action on Wednesday. Johnson and his Canadian cohorts have taken a rare trip to Europe to square off against Greece in Larissa (8:00 a.m. MT), while Alvarez’s El Salvador squad will play host to Alexandre and his Haitian National Team mates in San Salvador (6:30 p.m. MT). The trio is scheduled to rejoin their RSL teammates in Phoenix by Friday.
- Three of the four RSL-Arizona Academy projects that have trained with the team in recent weeks featured during the final 30 minutes of today’s contest – MF David Flores, MF Nico Muniz, and FW Mikey Orellana – while GK Lalo Fernandez has also been entrenched with the RSL first team during the early days of the current camp. In addition, former RSL-Arizona product Donny Toia and recent guest player Jamie Cunningham also saw action across the final half hour of the scrimmage.
- Real Salt Lake will enjoy what is scheduled to be its first and only off day of the 10-day trip on Wednesday before training at least once at the Reach 11 Sports Complex from Thursday through Monday (11:00 a.m. sessions, open to the public). RSL will close out its second Arizona trip back down in Casa Grande next Tuesday, Feb. 15, when it will hold split-squad scrimmages against the RSL-Arizona Academy U-18 squad (10:00 a.m.) and old friend Robin Fraser and his Chivas USA side (12:00 p.m.) before returning to Utah that evening.
- Only two weeks remain until Real Salt Lake returns to meaningful competition, as the squad continues to focus on its CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal Round series against the Columbus Crew, with the home-and-home set beginning on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at Crew Stadium (6:00 p.m. MT, live on Fox Soccer Channel). The home leg is scheduled for one week later on Tuesday, March 1, with kickoff at Rio Tinto Stadium set for 8:00 p.m. MT. Tickets for the pivotal second leg remain on sale and can be purchased online at www.RealSaltLake.com, over the phone at 801-727-2700, or in person at the Rio Tinto Stadium Box Office Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.