SANDY, Utah –The Real Salt Lake Reserves (2-1-2, 8 points, West #1) played USL Pro side Phoenix FC to a wild scoreless draw in front of a great crowd of 8,263 at Rio Tinto Stadium in MLS Reserve League play on Monday night.
Three players – Phoenix FC GK Andrew Weber and DF Renan Boueflour and Real Salt Lake DF Kwame Watson-Siriboe – were shown straight red cards and ejected from the game in first half stoppage time for their role in a melee. The scrum started just outside the Phoenix box following a RSL set play and involved numerous players from both sides.
RSL put Phoenix FC under siege following the ejections, holding a huge possession advantage and registering 24 total shots against the nine-man minor-league club. Despite that, the Claret-and-Cobalt couldn’t tally a winner, struggling to find any openings near goal against the bunkered-in Phoenix defense.
“It’s disappointing,” RSL Reserves Head Coach Jeff Cassar said after the match. “You get the fan support that we had – and we wanted it to be a special night – and we just didn’t come out with the energy we needed. [Phoenix FC] wanted it, their players all want our players’ jobs and they played hungrier than we did and that’s sad because we had a great crowd out there and we wanted to put on a good performance for them.”
Real Salt Lake did come close to scoring on several occasions. MF Khari Stephenson had a good look in the first half, ripping a 40-yard free kick toward the bottom right corner that Weber blocked in the 27th minute. Substitute MF David Viana had a decent chance almost immediately after coming on in the 65th, driving a low shot from 25 yards just wide of the left post.
RSL’s best look came in the 67th minute, when DF Carlos Salcedo collected a ball left of center and let fly from 20 yards, rocketing his driven shot inches over the crossbar at the top right corner. Viana had another long-range shot go wide in the 68th and Stephenson had a booming drive tipped out for a corner by substitute GK Sheldon Parkinson in the 79th. RSL pushed hard for a goal in the closing minutes of the match, but couldn’t quite find the elusive winner.
Monday’s game was a part of the groundbreaking partnership announced by MLS and USL Pro earlier this year. As part of the partnership, each MLS side that isn’t directly affiliated with a USL Pro club will play a home-and-home Reserve League series against a team from the third-division league. The RSL Reserves will travel to Arizona for this series’ return leg at Phoenix FC on June 15 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
The Claret-and-Cobalt will return to MLS regular season action this Saturday, when it will host Western Conference rival L.A. Galaxy at 7:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium. A limited number of tickets are still available to Saturday’s match and can be purchased at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets or over the phone at 801-727-2700.
The RSL Reserves’ next game is on Sunday against the L.A. Galaxy Reserves. Sunday’s Reserve League match will kickoff at 11:00 a.m. MT at America First Field in Sandy and will be free to the public.
REAL SALT LAKE RESERVES 0–0 PHOENIX FC
MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 0 0
Phoenix FC 0 0 0
PHX – Renan Boueflour (Straight Red; Fighting) – 45+’
PHX – Andrew Weber (Straight Red; Fighting) – 45+’
RSL – Kwame Watson-Siriboe (Straight Red; Fighting) – 45+’
PHX – Travis Bowen (Foul) – 64’
PHX – Diego Faria (Dissent) – 81’
Shots: Real Salt Lake 24-4 Phoenix FC
Shots on Goal: Real Salt Lake 4-2 Phoenix FC
Saves: Real Salt Lake 2-4 Phoenix FC
Fouls: Real Salt Lake 7-10 Phoenix FC
Corners: Real Salt Lake 10-0 Phoenix FC
Offside: Real Salt Lake 1-1 Phoenix FC
Real Salt Lake Reserves (4-1-2-1-2) – Lalo Fernandez (Jeff Attinella, 46’); Abdoulie Mansally (Rich Balchan, 69’), Kwame Watson-Siriboe (Ejected), Carlos Salcedo, Chris Wingert (C); Enzo Martinez (Aaron Maund, 41’); John Stertzer, Khari Stephenson; Sebastian Velasquez; Robbie Findley (Devon Sandoval, 46’), Joao Plata (David Viana, 65’)
Substitutes Not Used: Josh Saunders (GK)
Phoenix FC (4-4-2) – Andrew Weber (C) (Ejected); Netinho (Reid Schmitt, 77’), Renan Boufleur (Ejected), Cyprian Hendrick, Donny Toia; Anthony Obodai, Scott Morrison, Jose Ramos (Sheldon Parkinson – GK – 45+), Diego Faria; Travis Bowen (Thomas Ramos, 86’), Aaron King (Elliot Weber, 39’; Peabo Doue, 68’)
Substitutes Not Used: Bradley Keller, Cameron Vickers
Referee: Tyler Ploeger
Assistant Referees: Colin Arblaster, Brad Jensen
Fourth Official: Mitch Lillywhite