SANDY, Utah (Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012) – Real Salt Lake (14-10-4, 46 points, West #2) extended its unbeaten and shutout streaks to three games across all competitions on Saturday night, beating DC United (12-10-5, 41 points, East #4) 1-0 in front of a sold-out crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium. MF Will Johnson scored to lead the Claret-and-Cobalt to victory, its first in league play since July 27.
Saturday’s sell-out crowd was RSL’s eighth of 2012 – a Rio Tinto Stadium record. It was also the third consecutive full house and fourth sell-out in the last five matches in Sandy.
Unfortunately, the big crowd had to wait a while for things to start in earnest, with the game going into a lightning-delay in just the fourth minute. Area storms persisted for nearly an hour, keeping the teams off the field for a total of 1 hour and 24 minutes.
Things got off to a quick start following the delay, with both teams registering good chances in the early going. RSL had the first opportunity in the 10th minute, when MF Javier Morales nut-megged DC MF Marcelo Saragosa on the left wing before cutting in and firing a long-range shot that United GK Bill Hamid tipped over the bar.
DC hit back with an opportunity in the 11th. MF Chris Pontius had the chance, collecting a long diagonal ball from MF Perry Kitchen in the left side of the 18, cutting in on his right and flashing a curler just wide of the far post.
United continued attacking after its first chance, controlling most of the play and creating another opportunity in the 21st minute. Pontius was again at the center of things, pouncing on a giveaway by RSL DF Chris Wingert just outside the 18 before hitting a dangerous shot that Wingert deflected out for a corner.
DC FW Dwayne De Rosario had the best chance of the first half in the 28th minute. The dynamic Canadian attacker – who scored the 100th goal of his MLS career on Wednesday – led DC’s break following a failed RSL set piece, running at the Claret-and-Cobalt defense and taking advantage of space in the middle to rocket a shot from 25 yards. The blast looked ticketed for the back of the net, but RSL GK Nick Rimando made a fantastic save, flying through the air to tip the ball off the left post.
RSL settled down a bit after De Rosario’s chance, controlling more of the game and registering a couple of half chances before taking things into the break.
The Claret-and-Cobalt came out strong to start the second half, playing quickly and decisively before going ahead through Johnson in the 48th minute. MF Ned Grabavoy started the play, neatly flicking a ball to put FW Paulo Jr. through on the left edge of the box. The Brazilian striker quickly hit a cross, with the ball deflecting off of DC DF Brandon McDonald before Johnson ran onto it to head home from the top of the six.
DC put RSL under heavy pressure in the 15 minutes following the goal, nearly equalizing on several occasions after Johnson’s opener. FW Lionard Pajoy started things with a chance in the 54th minute, rounding RSL DF’s Tony Beltran and Nat Borchers in the left side of the 18 only to have the ball swept away by the onrushing Rimando.
Pajoy came even closer to scoring in the 60th minute. The chance came direct from a free kick, with the Colombian attacker curling a 25-yard effort inches wide of the top-left corner.
RSL settled things down quite a bit after Pajoy’s near miss, keeping the lion’s share of possession and getting a few good looks at goal. DF Kwame Watson-Siriboe had a pair of good chances, seeing a goal disallowed for an apparent hand ball in the 61st minute and heading a corner kick not far over the bar in the 79th.
Real Salt Lake FW Alvaro Saborio had a golden look in the 81st. The Costa Rican international ran onto substitute FW Fabian Espindola’s through ball in the left side of the box and would’ve slotted home inside the near post if it weren’t for a great diving stop from Hamid.
DC desperately pressed for an equalizer in the final 10 minutes but – while they looked dangerous – couldn’t quite create any clear cut opportunities.
Real Salt Lake returns to action on Thursday, Sept. 6, when the Claret-and-Cobalt will travel to Texas to take on the red hot Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. RSL’s next home game isn’t until Sept. 22 against the Portland Timbers.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 1-DC 0
- With the win, RSL extended its three-game unbeaten and shutout streaks across all competitions. The Claret-and-Cobalt started both streaks with the 2-0 CONCACAF Champions League win over Tauro FC on Aug. 21 and continued them with the 0-0 draw at Philadelphia on Aug. 24.
- RSL will lose at least two – and possibly four – players to international duty on Sunday. MF Will Johnson (Canada) and FW Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica) have already been called up for their countries’ respective World Cup Qualifiers, while captain Kyle Beckerman (US) and GK Nick Rimando could possibly be called up by the US on Sunday.
- Saturday’s win moves RSL past Seattle and into second-place in the Western Conference. The Claret-and-Cobalt is now three points ahead of both LA and Seattle, though the Sounders have three games in hand on both RSL and the Galaxy.
- Saturday’s sell-out crowd is the eighth of the year at Rio Tinto Stadium – a new stadium record. RSL’s fans have filled Rio Tinto to capacity for three-straight games and four of the last five.
- Real Salt Lake DF Chris Wingert picked up a yellow card in the 71st minute of Saturday’s match, meaning he’ll miss RSL’s next game on Thursday at Houston due to yellow card accumulation.
- Claret-and-Cobalt DF Kwame Watson-Siriboe turned in yet another full shift on Saturday night, playing all 90 minutes at center back. The third-year pro now has played more MLS minutes (738) since joining RSL from Chicago on June 27 than he had in his previous two-and-a-half years in the league (681).
REAL SALT LAKE 1–DC UNITED 0
SATURDAY, SEPT. 1, 2012
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 1 1
DC United 0 0 0
Scoring Summary: RSL – Will Johnson – 48’
Misconduct Summary: RSL – Javier Morales (Tactical foul) – 25’
DC – Marcelo Saragosa (Persistent infringement) – 60’
RSL – Chris Wingert (Tactical foul) – 71’
DC – Emiliano Dudar – 78’
RSL – Kwame Watson-Siriboe (Foul) – 82’
DC – Chris Korb (Foul) – 87’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) – Nick Rimando; Chris Wingert, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran; Kyle Beckerman (C); Ned Grabavoy, Will Johnson; Javier Morales; Alvaro Saborio (Yordany Alvarez, 89’), Paulo Jr. (Fabian Espindola, 64’)
Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish (GK), Chris Schuler, Jonny Steele, Luis Gil, Emiliano Bonfigli
DC United (4-4-2) – Bill Hamid; Chris Korb, Dejan Jakovic, Emiliano Dudar, Brandon McDonald (Lewis Neal, 83’); Nick DeLeon, Perry Kitchen, Marcelo Saragosa (Maicon Santos, 81’), Chris Pontius; Dwayne De Rosario (C), Lionard Pajoy
Substitutes Not Used: Joe Willis (GK), Mike Chabala, Ethan White, Stephen King, Long Tan
Referee: Silviu Petruscu
Referee's Assistants: Darren Clark, Marco Arruda
4th Official: Paul Ward
Time of Game: 3:14
Weather: Cloudy and 73 degrees