SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake (1-1-1, 4 points) played Rocky Mountain Cup Presented by Mark Miller Subaru rival the Colorado Rapids (0-2-1, 1 point) to a 1-1 draw in its 2013 home opener at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.
RSL controlled Saturday’s match, holding a 70-30 possession edge and creating a number of good chances. Despite that, the Claret-and-Cobalt didn’t score until the 80th minute, when FW Alvaro Saborio bagged one to tie the game at 1-1. Rookie FW Deshorn Brown had Colorado’s goal, putting the Rapids up 1-0 in the 37th minute.
Real Salt Lake started the match strongly, registering its first chance of the game in just the third minute. Captain Kyle Beckerman had the look, hitting a shot from distance that Colorado GK Matt Pickens tapped over the bar.
Pickens went down with an injury just one minute later; breaking his left forearm after it collided with the head of RSL DF Kwame Watson-Siriboe. GK Clint Irwin came in for Pickens, subbing on in the sixth minute to make his MLS debut.
Colorado had the next chance, with Brown forcing RSL GK Nick Rimando into a save in the 24th minute. The sixth-overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, Brown collected the ball on the left side before cutting along the endline and firing a close-range shot that Rimando parried away at the near post.
Brown put the Rapids on the board in the 37th minute. The Jamaican attacker stripped RSL DF Chris Schuler deep in the Claret-and-Cobalt’s defensive third, running into the right side of the box before firing a low shot inside the far post from 15 yards out.
Brown nearly doubled Colorado’s advantage in the 39th minute, collecting a through ball and running into the middle of the box for a 1-v-1 chance before firing a shot that Rimando stopped nicely.
RSL MF Luis Gil almost equalized in the 41st. The U.S. Under-20 international collected a MF Sebastian Velasquez pass at the top of the box, turning a firing a shot toward the top-left corner that Irwin made a diving stop on.
RSL had another look in the 44th, when Velasquez curled a Saborio lay off inches wide of the top-left corner from 15 yards out.
The Claret-and-Cobalt made one change at the break, bringing on MF Ned Grabavoy – who had missed RSL’s first two matches while dealing with a family matter – for MF Khari Stephenson, who suffered a mild sprain to his left knee in the first half.
Grabavoy nearly had an assist in the 64th minute, getting to the endline on the left side and firing a cross through a goalmouth scrum to wide open DF Tony Beltran at the back post. Beltran looked poised to put the chance away, but his 15-yard shot was stoned by Irwin, who ran quickly off his line and parried the shot away.
Colorado had a golden chance on the counter in the 68th, when substitute MF Nick LaBrocca ran in on Rimando on a breakaway. The former Chivas USA player couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity, hitting a weak shot right at Rimando, who held comfortably.
Rimando had a big save in the 78th minute. Colorado FW Tony Cascio slalomed through the RSL defense on the left side, firing a low shot from 10 yards that Rimando dove to parry away.
Saborio made Rimando’s saves count when he equalized in the 80th minute. Gil started the play, picking up a loose ball on the edge of the area before finding substitute FW Joao Plata in the right side of the box. Plata turned and played Saborio through to the right edge of the six, allowing the Costa Rican international to slam a low shot home inside the far post.
Saborio had a good look at a winner in the 83rd. Substitute FW Devon Sandoval laid a lofted long ball off of his chest to an open Saborio at the top of the box, but the 30-year-old striker couldn’t quite corral it, sending his half-volley well over the bar.
The Rapids had a final look on the counter in the 89th minute. FW Atiba Harris had the chance, dribbling into the left side of the box before firing a close-range shot that hit Rimando flush in the chest. LaBrocca followed up the shot, collecting the rebound and firing a low effort toward goal that Schuler blocked.
RSL will take a couple of days off before returning to training on Tuesday ahead of its March 23 road game at FC Dallas. The Claret-and-Cobalt next plays at home on March 30, when the team will take on Seattle Sounders FC at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 1-1 COL
- RSL GK Nick Rimando was honored by the club in a pregame ceremony for becoming the second player in MLS history to reach 100 career regular season shutouts. Rimando trails only unsigned ‘keeper Kevin Hartman (112) on the all-time clean sheet list.
- Saturday’s sold-out crowd of 20,370 was the sixth straight MLS regular season match with a capacity crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium.
- Saturday’s result keeps RSL unbeaten all-time in home openers, moving the Claret-and-Cobalt to 4-0-5 all-time.
- RSL FW Alvaro Saborio’s goal was his third of the 2013 season. The Costa Rican international scored two goals in RSL’s 2-0 win over San Jose on March 3. RSL is now 31-5-6 when Saborio scores.
- RSL MF Ned Grabavoy made his first appearance of the season on Saturday, coming on in the 46th minute for injured MF Khari Stephenson. A regular starter, Grabavoy missed the first two matches of the season due to a family matter. He wore “Grabavoys” on his jersey on Saturday to honor his family.
- Saborio will depart for duty with the Costa Rican national team on Sunday. Costa Rica will play the U.S. in Denver on March 22 and Jamaica in San Jose, Costa Rica on March 26.
Saborio’s 80th minute goal broke a 404-minute home scoreless streak for RSL. MF Javier Morales scored the Claret-and-Cobalt’s last goal at Rio Tinto Stadium in the 36th minute of RSL’s 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers on Sept. 22, 2012.
REAL SALT LAKE 1–COLORADO RAPIDS 1
SATURDAY, MARCH 16, 2013
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 1 1
Colorado Rapids 1 0 1
COL – Deshorn Brown – 37’
RSL – Alvaro Saborio (Joao Plata, Luis Gil) – 80’
RSL – Kwame Watson-Siriboe (Foul) – 6’
COL – Atiba Harris (Foul) – 9’
COL – Hendry Thomas (Foul) – 49’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) – Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Chris Schuler, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Lovel Palmer (Devon Sandoval, 79’); Kyle Beckerman (C); Sebastian Velasquez, Luis Gil; Khari Stephenson (Ned Grabavoy, 46’); Alvaro Saborio, Robbie Findley (Joao Plata, 67’)
Substitutes Not Used: Josh Saunders (GK), Yordany Alvarez, Cole Grossman, Carlos Salcedo
Colorado Rapids (4-3-3) – Matt Pickens (Clint Irwin, 7’); Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Diego Calderon, Brian Mullan; Dillon Powers, Kevin Harbottle (Nick LaBrocca, 65’), Hendry Thomas; Atiba Harris, Deshorn Brown (Jamie Smith, 81’), Tony Cascio
Substitutes Not Used: Andre Akpan, Kamani Hill, Christopher Klute, Shane O’Neill
Referee: David Gantar
Referee's Assistants: Kevin Duliba, Baboucarr Jallow
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Weather: Clear and 56 degrees