REAL SALT LAKE BLANKS FC DALLAS FOR PIVOTAL 2-0 WIN IN SANDY
Goals to Open and Close Second Half from Andy Williams and Fabian Espíndola Push RSL’s Undefeated Run to Six Games;
RSL Takes First of Back-to-Back Matches against Hoops, with Rematch Set for Tuesday in U.S. Open Cup Play in Texas
SANDY, Utah (Saturday, July 9, 2011) – Real Salt Lake went a long way in climbing to the top of the Western Conference table Saturday night, the Utah side knocking off rival FC Dallas 2-0 in front of 17,734 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium.
After a scoreless – and physical – first half in Sandy, Real Salt Lake (8-3-6, 30 pts; 4th in West) broke the deadlock against FC Dallas (10-5-4, 34 pts.; 2nd in West) just moments into the second half when MF Andy Williams connected from range to beat GK Kevin Hartman, who bobbled the dipping shot and couldn’t coral the ball before it trickled over the goal line.
Dallas would have a golden chance to equalize in the 84th minute, when a run from MF Brek Shea would bring RSL GK Nick Rimando out of position. After making a run into the box, Shea left the ball off for MF Jackson in front of an open net, only to see his teammate tap the ball weakly towards goal before DF Chris Wingert raced in to make a goal line save to keep RSL’s 1-0 lead in tact.
The home side would seal the victory in stoppage time, when MF Will Johnson would connect with FW Fabian Espíndola to put the game out of reach. Upon receiving the pass from Johnson, Espindola was able to shake the Dallas defense and beat Hartman near-post in the closing moments of the match for his team-leading sixth goal in MLS play this season.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes
- Tonight’s victory pushed Real Salt Lake’s unbeaten streak in League play to six games (2-0-4), which now stands alone as the third-longest undefeated run in club history. Heading into this evening, RSL had posted six unbeaten runs of five games, behind only the 18-game and 10-game runs that originated during the club’s record-setting 2010 campaign. Counting the U.S. Open Cup win over Wilmington on June 28, the Utah side is unbeaten in seven matches across all competitions.
- Real Salt Lake played the role of streak-buster for the second straight season against Dallas, who came into Rio Tinto Stadium with a three-game winning streak and a 9-1-3 record across its previous 14 games dating back to late-April. Dallas now sits four points clear of RSL in the Western Conference standings, but the Claret-and-Cobalt still hold two games in hand over the Hoops. RSL snapped the Hoops’ MLS-record-tying 19-match unbeaten run in MLS play last October in Sandy.
- Andy Williams’ goal in the 47th minute was his second of the season and his first in 13 MLS regular season games, his previous tally coming during the 4-1 win over the LA Galaxy at Rio Tinto Stadium back on March 26.
- Kyle Beckerman assisted Williams on the opening goal, giving the RSL captain his team-high fourth assist this season, breaking a tie with MF Collen Warner in the category. It was Beckerman’s third helper in as many games, following up on his pair of assists in RSL’s 3-1 win over Toronto FC two weekends ago on June 25.
- Fabian Espíndola’s stoppage time goal pushed his team-high goal total in MLS play to six. The red-hot Argentine striker has now scored in back-to-back games and found the back of the net five times in his last seven league appearances.
- The shutout was RSL’s ninth in league play this season and Nick Rimando’s eighth of 2011, with the last clean-sheet coming on June 22 in a scoreless draw at Chicago. Rimando trails only his opposite number from tonight, Dallas backstop Kevin Hartman (9), by one for the league lead in shutouts. The clean sheet also marks the first time Dallas has failed to score since the club hosted RSL back on May 22, when the two sides played to a scoreless draw. Rimando (82) and Hartman (101) are also 1-2 on the League’s career shutout list.
- The same two sides will be forced to make a quick turnaround, as RSL and FC Dallas will meet once again this Tuesday, July 12, in Frisco, Texas, this time in the Quarterfinal Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Pizza Hut Park (7:00 p.m. MT kickoff). Fans can follow the action live via streaming video at FCDallas.com and over the airwaves via ESPN 700 and ESPN700Sports.com (pre-game begins at 6:00 p.m.). The Claret-and-Cobalt have never won in Dallas (0-9-1 across all competitions), but did earn their first-ever point on the road against the Hoops when the two sides played to that scoreless draw in late-May.
- Real Salt Lake will take to the road against next weekend, when it will pick up League play with its first ever trip to British Columbia to take on the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Next Saturday’s matinee kickoff at Empire Field is set for 2:00 p.m. MT and can be seen live on KMYU 2.2 (Comcast 22 / Dish & DIRECTV 12).
MLS POST-GAME QUOTE SHEET
REAL SALT LAKE 2 : 0 FC DALLAS
REAL SALT LAKE HEAD COACH JASON KRIES
On the result:
“This was a huge, huge match for us; probably the biggest one we’ve had this season against what I think is arguably the team that is in the best form right now. A positive result, doesn’t matter to me the score, to get all three points at home against them was big for us. It wraps up the series where we drew with them away and win at home.”
On the goal by midfielder Andy Williams:
“Kevin [Hartman] has been extremely good against us – I think he’s been extremely good against everybody – but for some reason he’s pulled off some incredible saves against us in the last year and a half since he’s been [with FC Dallas]. … Some of the assistant coaches and I were talking about ‘couldn’t we just get one bounce to go past Kevin Hartman,’ and we got it. I think a bounce has been a long time coming for this club.”
On the play of midfielder Luis Gil:
“[Luis Gil] has a ton of respect for the players around him and I think he’s often times thinking about how he can make a goal for somebody else rather than take the final responsibility. He did get himself into some really, really nice positions tonight and was a little bit hesitant [to take shots].”
On going into Quarterfinal Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against Dallas:
"When I said this match was one of the biggest, if not the biggest one that we’ve played in MLS this year, I wasn’t only talking about MLS. I knew there would be a positive statement to make to get a little confidence and go down to Dallas and hopefully move on in the U.S. Open Cup.”
REAL SALT LAKE DEFENDER TONY BELTRAN
On matching up against FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea:
“Sometimes it can be an interesting matchup for me because I’m a shorter guy but I also have speed. So I just have to be smart where I am setting up all of the time and with the tackles that I’m going in for… It’s about being sharp mentally.”
On playing well as a team against the speed of FC Dallas:
“They are a counter-attacking team, but if we keep the ball, which we did well at times, they can’t really get anything against us because they can’t have any opportunity to counter.”
REAL SALT LAKE MIDFIELDER/FORWARD LUIS GIL
On the different mindset of moving from forward to midfield:
“Dropping back in the midfield the first thing I had to think about was to defend. We have to defend the midfield first. From there when we get the ball, we can have fun with it and we create chances.”
On his reluctance to take shots:
“Yeah, I’m a little hesitant here and there, sometimes I don’t feel like I have the right shot and sometimes I give it up. It’s coming; it’s taken me a while. I’ve had my chances and stuff, I’ve just got to keep on going and it will come.”
REAL SALT LAKE MIDFIELDER WILL JOHNSON
On how the first goal changed the match for Real Salt Lake:
“Obviously getting that first goal, no matter how it comes, it’s always big. That was a bit of a relief because then they couldn’t just sit back and try to counter us anymore.”
FC DALLAS HEAD COACH SCHELLAS HYNDMAN
On playing without their captain, Daniel Hernandez:
“We’re going without our captain and team leader, Daniel Hernandez. We left him behind at the last minute and I think that there was a little bit of confusion in our midfield between the three of them. But I thought they did do a pretty good job of just trying to stay compact and block the passing lanes and try to make the play predictable going out wide.”
On Kevin Hartman’s uncharacteristic mishandling of Andy Williams’ shot:
“I think that it was so easy that he took his eye off the ball to be honest. You see in the other football sport, when a ball is thrown right to a receiver and he’s got it in his hand and he drops it because he’s looking somewhere else. I think that was very uncharacteristic of Kevin.”
On Jackson’s second half opportunity to equalize:
“It was a great ball to Brek Shea and he took it down extremely well and he was going in to try to take the shot himself and he played a great ball across to Jackson and I don’t think he hit it as cleanly as he wanted to hit it. Give credit to [Chris] Wingert for never giving up and for coming in. I mean, that’s a 1-1 game and I don’t think Salt Lake scores unless the gods are with them.”
On returning to Dallas to play a U.S. Open Cup contest in three days’ time:
“We’re at home. We won’t be listening to a fantastic crowd like [Real Salt Lake] have. Hopefully the officiating is something we can live with. I think it’s a great opportunity for a recovery. We lost here, tied at home. It gives us a good opportunity to have a third match.”
FC DALLAS GOALKEEPER KEVIN HARTMAN
On allowing the first RSL goal:
“It just seemed like the ball moved late. They obviously had guys in the box kind of anticipating me losing it and I just thought about that too much and it maybe knuckled and got behind me. It was unfortunate. I think the most important thing for me is it really kind of changed the game.”
On playing at Rio Tinto Stadium
It’s a tough place to play, between the altitude and the atmosphere and the confidence that they play with here. It’s always a difficult thing to come here and get a result and unfortunately tonight we weren’t able to do it.”
On FC Dallas’ fighting spirit trailing 1-0:
“I think that we are a team that battles and I thought we continued to push and we really had a great opportunity to tie it up when Jackson had that opportunity from six to eight yards out and we weren’t able to convert that and I think that we just continued to push and then gave up that second goal.”