SANDY, Utah (Friday, July 27, 2012) – Real Salt Lake (13-7-3, 39 points, West #2) got a pair of goals from FW Álvaro Saborío to beat Vancouver Whitecaps FC (9-7-7, 34 points, West #3) 2-1 in front of a crowd of 18,702 at Rio Tinto Stadium on Friday night. Saborío twice gave RSL the lead, opening the scoring in the 33rd minute and cancelling out Vancouver FW Darren Mattocks’ second half equalizer with a 58th minute strike.
RSL controlled most of the match’s early stages, holding the majority of possession and creating a few half chances through the run of play. Vancouver wasn’t able to generate much in opening minutes, only creating on the counterattack or through set pieces.
The Claret-and-Cobalt took the lead in the 34th minute, when Saborío buried a penalty kick into the bottom-left corner. RSL captain Kyle Beckerman drew the PK, challenging Jay DeMerit for a header in the box and forcing a hand ball from the Vancouver captain. Saborío easily converted, moving to 11-for-11 from the spot in his RSL career.
Vancouver’s best chance of the first half came four minutes after Saborío’s goal. Mattocks ran onto a long ball deep in RSL’s half, dribbling to the top of the 18 before dragging a relatively open shot wide of the far post.
RSL started the second half poorly and Vancouver quickly took advantage, tying the game through Mattocks in the 52nd minute. Vancouver MF Camilo set the play up, chipping a gorgeous ball over the RSL defense and into the right side of the box. Mattocks did the rest, running onto Camilo’s pass and slotting home past RSL GK Nick Rimando.
Vancouver continued attacking after the equalizer, nearly taking the lead just a minute after tying the game up. Mattocks was at the heart of the play again, playing a back pass to the top of the box to MF Jun Marques Davidson, who hit a driven first time shot off of the left post.
The ‘Caps weren’t done attacking, coming close again in the 57th when Mattocks headed a corner kick just wide of the right post from close range.
RSL regained its footing – and the lead – in the 58th minute, getting a second goal from Saborío to go up 2-1. Substitute MF Ned Grabavoy started the play, finding MF Javier Morales open on the left wing. The Argentine playmaker quickly lofted in a curling cross and Saborío did the rest, majestically climbing over Vancouver DF Martin Bonjour to head home just inside the left post.
Vancouver would’ve equalized for a second time had Rimando not come up big in the 71st minute. The veteran keeper absolutely stoned Camilo, beautifully blocking the Brazilian’s hard 12-yarder.
Already down a goal, Whitecaps FC went down a man when GK Joe Cannon was shown a straight red card in the 76th minute. DeMerit played a poor back pass to Cannon and RSL FW Fabian Espíndola made the ‘Caps pay, beating Cannon to the ball outside the box and putting a touch around the veteran goalie. Espíndola would have been in alone on goal, but Cannon handled the ball several yards outside the 18, giving referee Kevin Stott no choice but to show him a straight red.
Despite playing with only 10 men, Vancouver had another near miss in the 82nd minute, when substitute FW Kenny Miller acrobatically headed FW Dane Richards’ cross just wide of the left post.
RSL saw the rest of the match out with little incident. The team has a quick turnaround ahead of its next game, opening its CONCACAF Champions League schedule with a Group 2 match at Costa Rican champion C.S. Herediano on Tuesday, July 31. RSL will travel to Costa Rica on Sunday, flying into the capital city of San Jose on a chartered flight. The team will return to Utah on Wednesday and resume training later in the week ahead of its Aug. 4 league match at the Colorado Rapids.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 2-VAN 1
- Saborío’s two goals give him six in five games during the month of July. The Costa Rican international now has 13 goals on the season, one more than his previous RSL best and just three shy of the team record of 16 set by Jeff Cunningham in 2006.
- RSL is now 10-1-0 in 2012 when scoring the first goal.
- The team now has an all-time mark of 27-4-5 when Saborío scores.
- RSL’s 42 points is the second-best mark through 23 games in team history, trailing the 2010 squad by just one point.
- Real Salt Lake began the match with three regular starters – Olave, Grabavoy and DF Chris Wingert – on the bench. Olave didn’t even make the 18, with head coach Jason Kreis choosing to rest the banged-up center back ahead of Tuesday’s CCL match. Both Wingert and Grabavoy came into the match as second half subs.
- MF Luis Gil and DF’s Kwame Watson-Siriboe and Kenny Mansally filled in for Grabavoy, Olave and Wingert, respectively. Watson-Siriboe was the only one to play the entire 90 minutes, as both Gil and Mansally were subbed out in the second half.
- Friday’s win is the first time this year that RSL has won without Olave in the starting lineup. DF Tony Beltran is now the only Real Salt Lake player to have featured in all 13 of the team’s wins.
- Captain Kyle Beckerman returned to action on Friday, six days after missing RSL’s 2-0 win over Colorado due to a red card suspension. It wasn’t certain that Beckerman would feature in Friday’s game after playing 34 minutes in the MLS All-Stars’ 3-2 win over Chelsea FC in Chester, Pa. on Wednesday night.
- RSL is now just one point behind San Jose for the Western Conference and MLS lead. The Earthquakes – which have a game in hand on RSL – host Chicago on Saturday night.
REAL SALT LAKE 2 – VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC 1
FRIDAY, JULY 27, 2012
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 1 2
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0 1 1
Scoring Summary: RSL – Álvaro Saborío (Penalty) – 34’
VAN – Darren Mattocks (Camilo) – 52’
RSL - Álvaro Saborío (Javier Morales, Ned Grabavoy) – 58’
Misconduct Summary: VAN – Jay DeMerit (Foul) – 33’
VAN – Joe Cannon (red card, hand ball) – 76’
VAN – Darren Mattocks (Foul) – 86’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) – Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Nat Borchers, Kenny Mansally (Chris Wingert, 72’); Kyle Beckerman (C); Luis Gil (Ned Grabavoy, 56’) Will Johnson; Javier Morales; Fabian Espíndola (Yordany Alvarez, 85’), Álvaro Saborío
Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish (GK), Justin Braun, Emiliano Bonfigli, Sebastian Velasquez
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (4-3-3) – Joe Cannon (Ejected, 76’); Martin Bonjour, Jay DeMerit (C) (Jordan Harvey, 85’), Alain Rochat, Lee Young-Pyo; Jun Marques Davidson, Gershon Koffie (Kenny Miller, 71’), Barry Robson; Camilo (Brad Knighton, 77’), Darren Mattocks, Dane Richards
Substitutes Not Used: Atiba Harris, Carlyle Mitchell, John Thorrington, Matt Watson
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee's Assistants: Jason Callum, Jonathan Johnson
4th Official: Allen Chapman
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Clear and 95 degrees