REAL SALT LAKE DOMINATES 4-1 OVER L.A. GALAXY IN 2011 MLS HOME OPENER
Record Rio Tinto Stadium Crowd of 20,507 Braves the Cold to See RSL’s Red-Hot Start to Campaign Continue
SANDY, Utah (Saturday, March 26, 2011) – Real Salt Lake shot out of the gates in tonight’s marquee match-up against the Los Angeles Galaxy and never looked back, racking up a three-goal lead by halftime en route to a 4-1 victory. A new record crowd of 20,507 at Rio Tinto Stadium witnessed Real Salt Lake (2-0-0, 6 pts.) set the tone for the Western Conference race against the Galaxy (1-1-1, 4 pts.) and extend it dominance in Sandy, with tonight’s result pushing the team’s MLS-record home undefeated streak to 26 games (18-0-8). The result also pushed RSL’s overall regular season unbeaten mark to 16 games, which now stands alone as the second-longest such run in MLS history.
The record audience in Sandy barely had time to take its seats before MF Andy Williams finished off a cross from FW Paulo Jr. at the far right post to put the Galaxy on its heels just 84 second into the match. The diminutive Brazilian striker was also involved on RSL’s second goal in the 10th minute when he drew a foul in the area that set up MF Javier Morales’ penalty kick conversion, which he finished past a wrong-footed Galaxy GK Josh Saunders with a stutter-step delivery into the lower right corner Morales wasn’t done, as the Argentine finished with aplomb from the corner of the area, rocketing a shot into the far upper 90 in the 41st minute to all but finish things before the halftime whistle blew.
After playing creator in the first half, Paulo Jr. would get one of his own in the 68th minute, his tap-in at the far post off of fellow striker Fabian Espindola’s low cross from the left flank sealing the deal. Galaxy FW Juan Pablo Angel would notch his first goal in a Galaxy uniform off of a MF David Beckham free kick in the 80th minute, but it was too-little-too-late for the visitors by that point as RSL cruised to the win in front of its raucous home crowd.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes
- Real Salt Lake’s 26-match undefeated streak at home in regular season play is part of its larger 36-game run (26-0-10) across all contests (including friendlies) since May of 2009. Since then, RSL has gone 16-0-10 in MLS play, 5-0-0 in CONCACAF Champions League action, 1-0-1 in MLS Cup Playoff games and 2-0-1 in international friendlies.
- Real Salt Lake not only picked up where it left off in regular season play on the field, but the Utah side's fans did the same off the field as well. Tonight's crowd of 20,507 broke the single-game Rio Tinto Stadium record of 20,463 set last Oct. 19 against Cruz Azul ... which beat the previous record of 20,236 for last year's regular season finale against FC Dallas, which stood for all of three days (Oct. 16).
- Andy Williams’ goal was the second-fastest tally in RSL history, ranking behind only Matias Mantilla’s tally 40 seconds into a 3-1 win over Kansas City on Aug. 29, 2007.
- MF Luis Gil made his regular season debut for Real Salt Lake, playing the final 13 minutes in place of Paulo Jr. The 18-year-old Gil saw time for RSL in one U.S. Open Cup and one CONCACAF Champions League match during his rookie season in 2010 but never hit the field in MLS play last year.
- Tonight’s result for the Claret-and-Cobalt came despite the absence of three players on international duty – FW Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica), MF Will Johnson (Canada) and M/F Arturo Alvarez (El Salvador). The trio will rejoin the squad in time for its next contest, the second leg of RSL’s CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal at Costa Rica’s Deportivo Saprissa on Tuesday, April 5.
- Tonight’s high-octane output on the offensive end marked the fourth time in Real Salt Lake’s regular season history in which it scored at least four goals, and its first instance in 17 regular season contests. The last occasion came last July 2, when the Claret-and-Cobalt put five up on the New England Revolution in Sandy.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER QUOTE SHEET
REAL SALT LAKE 4 : 1 LOS ANGELES GALAXY
REAL SALT LAKE HEAD COACH JASON KREIS
On Real Salt Lake’s performance:
“For forty-five minutes, that was probably the best soccer I’ve ever seen in this stadium and from this team. It was a sheer delight to watch that.”
On Paulo Jr.’s play in his first start of 2011:
“He was really good when we had the ball. Tonight, the first half, I thought he was dangerous every time he touched [the ball] and every time he was around it. He obviously made a lot of things happen.”
On his contract extension coming on the heels of tonight’s match:
“To have those things kind of happen at the same time meant that I was receiving a lot of text messages and phone calls. But, at the end of it all, I’ll take the game, I’ll take the result, I’ll take the forty-five minutes of watching my team play unbelievably well.”
REAL SALT LAKE MIDFIELDER JAVIER MORALES
On his two goals vs. the Galaxy:
“The truth is I am very happy, but the most important thing was the victory – at home, with four goals – against a team like the Galaxy. It’s something very important to us.”
On the outcome of the match:
“We were confident from the first minute. Having scored in the first couple of minutes, it gave us an opportunity to do much more.”
REAL SALT LAKE GOALKEEPER NICK RIMANDO
On the possibility of being kept out due to injury:
“I had in my head that I was going to start. I had positive thoughts going into the testing before the game, and I felt 10 times better than the previous days.”
On RSL’s performance against Los Angeles:
“That’s how we play. We’re aggressive at home, and even when we’re away; it’s the only way we know how to play. When we play at home and have the support of 18,000 or a sellout, we’ll always play aggressive.”
REAL SALT LAKE MIDFIELDER ANDY WILLIAMS
On the key to defeating the Galaxy:
“The way we attacked in the first ten minutes, and the way we took control of the game. Plus the crowd … we were all pumped up today”
REAL SALT LAKE FORWARD PAULO JR.
On his first regular season goal for Real Salt Lake in the 68th minute:
“When I saw [Fabian] Espindola with the ball I knew there was a chance for goal, so I imagined the goalie would go for the near post. So I went to the far post and (Espindola) crossed it, and I just tapped it in.”
On any controversy involving the penalty he drew for RSL’s second goal:
“I don’t know if there was (an offside), I just saw the ball and I ran to it.”
LOS ANGELES GALAXY HEAD COACH BRUCE ARENA
On the start of the match:
“We came out poorly, there’s no question about that. We turned the ball over and made some bad plays and they capitalized. The second goal off the penalty kick I think was a terrible call by the referee, but it didn’t certainly didn’t cost us the game. We were completely outplayed in the first half and we were punished properly.”
On if Los Angeles can take anything out of this game:
“You take a lot out of this [game]. I think sometimes you can learn more when you lose games than when you win. Tonight there were a lot of individual mistakes. Obviously I point the finger at the coach when the team shows up and plays the way we played in the first 15 minutes of the game.”
LOS ANGELES GALAXY MIDFIELDER DAVID BECKHAM
On playing in front of a sell-out crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium:
“It’s great to see the fans turn out in a full house. Obviously you enjoy atmospheres like this when you are away from home and fans are against you, but it was a tough night for us.”
On what makes it so difficult to win at Rio Tinto Stadium:
“We expected that. We knew what was coming. Obviously we didn’t start the game well, and when you don’t start the game well against any team it’s difficult. But when you start the game like we did against a team like this that can score quick goals then it’s difficult.”
LOS ANGELES GALAXY FORWARD JUAN PABLO ANGEL
On scoring his first goal in a Galaxy uniform:
“It was good, but I wish it would have been under different circumstances. But it is always important to get off the mark, especially on a new team. I have a mix of emotions because it wasn’t a good game for us.”
On how he thought the game played out for the Galaxy:
“It wasn’t a good game overall. We didn’t start off the game well and we got punished by it. We made mistakes and they capitalized on our mistakes. We’ve got to make sure we start off games better than that.”