TUCSON, Ariz. (Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013) – Real Salt Lake drew its opening match of the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup on Wednesday night, tying the New York Red Bulls 2-2 at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium in Tucson, Ariz.
RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis ran out a reserve laden starting lineup, beginning the match with zero expected 2013 regulars on the field. New York took a different approach, running Designated Players Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill out in a strong first XI.
Despite the on-paper disparity, RSL got off to a blistering start, scoring two goals in the first three minutes of action. FW Joao Plata got the first, putting the Claret-and-Cobalt on the board in the 1st minute. The diminutive Ecuadorian collected a through ball in the right side of the area and quickly turned to goal before firing a 10-yard shot inside the near post of New York GK Santiago Castano.
The Claret-and-Cobalt’s dream start continued in the third minute when MF Cole Grossman slotted a loose ball into the back of the net from six yards. Plata started the play, hitting a hard 10-yarder from the right side of the box that Castano could only parry into the area. Grossman took full advantage, running onto the ball at the left corner of the six-yard-box and burying it home to put RSL up 2-0.
New York started to settle in after Grossman’s goal, holding more possession and frequently testing RSL trialist GK Josh Saunders. The former LA ‘keeper came up big on a number of occasions, making big stops in the 11th, 16th and 27th minutes.
New York slipped one past Saunders in the 31st minute. Former Real Salt Lake DF Jamison Olave – who was traded by RSL along with FW Fabian Espindola to New York in December – got on the end of a failed corner kick clearance in the box, sneaking a close-range shot past Saunders to halve RSL’s advantage.
RSL dodged a bullet in the 39th minute, when Red Bulls MF Tim Cahill headed MF Dax McCarty’s cross off the bar from eight yards out.
Kreis made two changes at the break, bringing in DF Tony Beltran for trialist DF Nickardo Blake and GK Jeff Attinella for Saunders. New York made nine substitutions at halftime, with McCarty and Castano the only holdovers from the first half.
New York equalized in the 61st minute. Substitute MF Michael Bustamante ran onto DF Roy Miller’s cross eight yards out, slamming a hard volley past Attinella to tie the game 2-2.
RSL made nine changes immediately after Bustamante’s goal, bringing in DF’s Kenny Mansally, Chris Schuler and Kwame Watson-Siriboe; MF’s Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy, Sebastian Velasquez and trialist Khari Stephenson; and FW’s Alvaro Saborio and Robbie Findley.
The Claret-and-Cobalt controlled more of the ball after making its substitutions, but couldn’t quite carve out any clear cut chances. New York didn’t have much luck in getting forward either, and the final 30 minutes went by without much incident.
RSL is currently tied for second with New York in the DDC standings with one point. Seattle Sounders FC is currently in first-place with three points after beating fourth-place New England 2-0 earlier Wednesday night. RSL plays Seattle in its second DDC match on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. MT. That match will be streamed live at MLSsoccer.com.
REAL SALT LAKE 2–2 NEW YORK RED BULLS
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 13, 2013
KINO VETERANS MEMORIAL STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 2 0 2
New York Red Bulls 1 1 2
Scoring Summary: RSL – Joao Plata – 1’
RSL – Cole Grossman – 3’
NY – Jamison Olave – 31’
NY – Michael Bustamante (Roy Miller) – 61’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) – Josh Saunders** (Jeff Attinella, 46’); Lovel Palmer (Kenny Mansally, 62’), Carlos Salcedo (Chris Schuler, 62’), Aaron Maund (Kwame Watson-Siriboe, 62’), Nickardo Blake** (Tony Beltran, 46’); Yordany Alvarez (Kyle Beckerman, 62’); Cole Grossman (Sebastian Velasquez, 62’), John Stertzer (Khari Stephenson**, 62’); David Viana (Ned Grabavoy, 62’); Joao Plata (Robbie Findley, 62’), Devon Sandoval* (Alvaro Saborio, 62’)
New York Red Bulls (4-3-3) – Santiago Castano; Brandon Barklage (Kosuke Kimura, 46’), Markus Holgersson (Heath Pearce, 46’), Jamison Olave (Tyler Ruthven, 46’), Connor Lade (Roy Miller, 46’); Dax McCarty (Amando Moreno, 74’), Tim Cahill (Michael Bustamante*, 46’), Lloyd Sam (Eric Alexander, 35’); Juninho (Rafhael Domingues**, 46’; Josue Martinez, 84’), Fabian Espindola (Marius Obekop**, 46’), Thierry Henry (Peguy Luyindula**, 46’)
* Unsigned Draft Pick; ** Trialist