Real Salt Lake Preseason Update
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Training Camp #1, Day 5 – Phoenix, AZ
Four Goals Knocked Home in Sunday’s Intra-squad Scrimmage
The first game experience for Real Salt Lake during its 2012 preseason camp came via Sunday afternoon’s “Claret-and-Cobalt” intra-squad scrimmage, which saw four goals tallied across 75 minutes, split into a trio of 25-minute periods.
Period 1 Recap
Claret: Kyle Reynish; Wes Knight (R), Chris Schuler, Leone Cruz, Chris Wingert (L); Ned Grabavoy (deep), Jonny Steele (R), Enzo Martinez (L), Sebastian Velasquez (top); Fabian Espíndola, Emiliano Bonfigli
Cobalt: Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran (R), Jamison Olave, Diogo de Almeida, Samir Bengelloun (L); Yordany Alvarez (deep), Mike Banner (R), Lewis Neal (L), Luis Gil (top); Paulo Jr., Cody Arnoux
Cobalt: Fabian Espíndola (Emiliano Bonfigli) 7’
Cobalt: Emiliano Bonfigli (Fabian Espindola) 22’
The chances were relatively even in the opening stanza, but it was the Cobalt side able to capitalize on their chances. High pressure paid off in the 7th minute, when FW Fabian Espíndola and MF Enzo Martinez created a turnover at midfield to force a quick counter. Supplemental draft pick FW Emiliano Bonfigli would end up finding Espíndola in the left side of the area, and the veteran was able to get around GK Kyle Reynish and slot home the scrimmage’s opening goal.
Second round SuperDraft pick DF Diogo de Almeida nearly got the Clarets on the board five minutes later, but his rising 15-yard volley off a corner kick sailed a couple feet over from. In the 22nd minute it was Espíndola returning the favor to his fellow Argentine Bonfigli, as the newcomer was able to redirect Espíndola’s skipping ball towards the heart of the area with a first-time touch past Reynish to put the “Blues” up 2-0.
Period 2 Recap
Claret: Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran (R), Jamison Olave, Leone Cruz, Diogo de Almeida (L); Yordany Alvarez (deep), Austin da Luz (L), Mick Banner (R), Luis Gil (top); Fabian Espíndola, Cody Arnoux
Cobalt: Kyle Reynish; Terukazu Tanaka (R), Chris Schuler, Chris Wingert, Donny Toia (L); Nico Muñiz (deep), Ned Grabavoy (R), Jonny Steele (L), Enzo Martinez (top); Chris Agorsor, Paulo Jr.
Cobalt: Ned Grabavoy 12’
The middle period was heavily influenced by MF Ned Grabavoy, as he wrecked havoc for the Cobalt side after sliding over to his normal spot on the right side of the midfield diamond after sitting deep in the opening stanza. The veteran’s turn-and-fire chance from the right side of the area slammed the outside netting three minutes into the period, but he would not be denied in the 12th minute, when he put a curling strike on frame from 20 yards out. GK Nick Rimando got a touch to the shot, but it was too well-placed to do much about it, the far upper-90 finish extending the Cobalt lead to 3-0. Grabavoy nearly stretched the lead further in the final minute of play, but Rimando was on the spot to protect his right post, knocking the shot out for a corner.
The Claret side had some fine chances of its own in the period, the best coming off a 10th minute counter that ended with trialist MF Austin da Luz’s low effort from the edge of the area being smothered by Reynish. Late in the period, MF Luis Gil had a fair shot to make it 2-1, but Reynish darted off his line to meet the youngster to a looping through ball at the corner of the 6-yard box, blocking the attempt off of Gil’s foot.
Period 3 Recap
Claret: Lalo Fernandez; Wes Knight (R), Leone Cruz, Jamie Cunningham, Diogo de Almeida; Nico Muñiz (deep), Yordany Alvarez (R), Lewis Neal (L), Luis Gil (top); Chris Agorsor, Emiliano Bonfigli
Cobalt: Jonathan Lester; Terukazu Tanaka (R), C.J. Brown, Chris Schuler, Samir Bengelloun (L); Jonny Steele (deep), Enzo Martinez (R), Austin da Luz (L), Sebastian Velasquez (top); Donny Toia, Paulo Jr.
Claret: Luis Gil (Wes Knight) 23’
The closing period was all about getting a closer look at the newcomers and younger roster players, with Gil, DF Chris Schuler and FW Paulo Jr. being the only ones representing what could be considered the “old guard” (not counting assistant coach C.J. Brown, that is). While the Cobalt side was able to push forward and produce a number of corner kick opportunities, it was Gil managing to push one across in the 21st minute for the Clarets, as the youngster rose to meet DF Wes Knight’s well-placed cross from the right side at the penalty spot.
- A pair of trialists, midfielders Mike Banner and Austin da Luz, was thrown into the mix on Sunday after arriving in RSL camp on Thursday. The 27-year-old Banner racked up 56 regular season appearances with Chicago from 2007-2010 (3G/3A), but injuries derailed his 2011 campaign, in which he did not appear for the first-team for the Fire. The 24-year-old da Luz was drafted by the New York Red Bulls in 2010, and, after not seeing the field during his rookie campaign, he made seven appearances at the start of 2011 before being traded to D.C. United, where he played in 14 more regular season contests (1G/2A during the season).
- In addition, a pair of guest players took part in the action, GK Jonathan Lester, who has trained with the squad all week, and DF Jamie Cunningham, who was also a guest player during last year’s preseason camps in Arizona.
- MLSsoccer.com was on hand at the Reach 11 Sports Complex to take in the action … click here for Jose Romero’s recap of the proceedings.
- Click here for a photo gallery from Sunday’s Claret-and-Cobalt scrimmage on RSL’s Facebook home.
- Click here for looks at all four tallies and post-match thoughts from Jason Kreis, Chris Wingert and Ned Grabavoy courtesy of MLSsoccer.com's video home.
- Sepaking of Grabavoy and Wingert, visit RSL’s YouTube home to see the vets give their predictions on today's Super Bowl 46 and check how they did in the RSL.com "Big Game Trivia Challenge!"
- Real Salt Lake will enjoy the first off day of its two-week preseason on Monday before getting back to work with a double-session on Tuesday afternoon.
Head Coach Jason Kreis Quote Sheet
On what he wanted to see out of today’s scrimmage:
“It’s all about what we did without the ball today and about the philosophy on how we want to defend. I thought it was quite good; obviously you’d like to walk out of here with no goals being scored, but I think we’ve got some talented players that can break things down once in a while, so all in all I’m very pleased.”
On being able to evaluate players fairly during an intra-squad game:
“We try to be as fair as possible and give everybody the best chance we can, and that means equal minutes and opportunities with different veteran players around them and mixing it up with different combinations in places, and I think it worked out today.
“I think it can often be a little bit difficult because maybe there’s a 50-50 ball that you’re not quite going into that we need you to go into. That probably happens in an intra-squad game and wouldn’t happen if the opponent you’re playing against isn’t wearing our shield. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what we do Friday against Vancouver and next Tuesday against D.C. United.”
On if players scoring/creating goals in today’s game might be ahead of the curve at this point in preseason:
“What you see typically this time of year is the guys that can make individual plays are going to be the ones scoring the goals. The goals aren’t coming through 15 or 16 passes in a row and all kinds of dynamic movements; the goals are coming from maybe a steal here and two passes later, or Fabian makes an individual play to make the goal. Typically it’s the guys that can break things down themselves a little bit that are going to end up on the stat sheet, but completely not a concern of mine, nor even a thought.”
On Luis Gil’s play this afternoon:
“Pretty good. He still has a ways to go and I walk out of the game wishing I had seen a little bit more, but we’ll keep asking for more and we’ll see what he can do for us. But all in all a good performance.”