SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake advanced to the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinals on Wednesday night, defeating the NASL’s Carolina RailHawks 3-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium to move past the tournament’s Quarterfinal stage for the first time in club history.
Real Salt Lake will host the Portland Timbers in the Open Cup Semifinals on Aug. 7 at 7:30 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium. The match will be the first time that former RSL MF and current Timbers Captain Will Johnson will meet the Claret-and-Cobalt since he was traded by the Utah side to Portland this offseason. It will also be the first of three meetings between RSL and Portland in the month of August.
DF Tony Beltran, DF Chris Wingert and FW Alvaro Saborio scored for RSL, which has now won six-straight games across all competitions.
The Claret-and-Cobalt controlled Wednesday’s affair from the very start, holding the lion’s share of possession against a Carolina team that was content to drop 10 – and occasionally 11 – players behind the ball. RSL had the game’s first chance in the 11th minute. Captain Kyle Beckerman picked up a loose corner kick outside the 18 on the left side, taking a touch and curling a wonderfully shaped shot toward the top-right corner. The ball looked ticketed for the back of the net, but RailHawks GK Akira Fitzgerald came up with a big stop to keep things scoreless.
RSL continued pushing after Beckerman’s chance, nearly scoring through FW Robbie Findley in the 21st. Saborio laid a ball to MF Ned Grabavoy just to the left of the arc, allowing Grabavoy to find Findley in the middle with a short square pass. Findley shot with his first touch, driving his low effort inches wide of the left post.
Beltran scored the second goal of his professional career to put RSL up 1-0 in the 35th minute. The right back picked up a loose ball outside the box on the right side, took a touch and let fly, rifling a low shot through the Carolina defense, past Fitzgerald and inside the far post.
Beltran nearly added a second in the 44th minute, collecting a ball in the right side of the area before cutting back onto his left foot and curling a 10-yard effort toward the top-left corner that Fitzgerald saved fantastically.
Fitzgerald made another big stop in the 49th minute, diving to his left to get his fingertips to a 20-yard blast from Beckerman.
Wingert got the better of Fitzgerald in the 51st minute to put RSL up 2-0. The veteran left back collected a ball on the left side, dribbling it onto his right foot and hitting a shot that deflected off of a RailHawks player, past a wrong-footed Fitzgerald and into the net. The strike was just the second of Wingert’s professional career and his first in Open Cup play.
RSL came agonizingly close to making it 3-0 in the 64th. MF Javier Morales curled in a corner from the right side and Saborio ran onto it, powering a header off of the near post from five yards out.
Saborio wasn’t so cruelly denied in the 85th, when he flicked a header home to make it 3-0 RSL. Grabavoy started the play, slipping substitute FW Olmes Garcia through on the right wing. The 20-year-old Colombian took a touch and curled a gorgeous cross into Saborio, who beat a Carolina player to the ball and flicked a fantastic header inside the far post from the top-right corner of the six.
Real Salt Lake almost made it 4-0 on several occasions in the dying minutes but couldn’t quite find the goal. The Claret-and-Cobalt has a quick turnaround following Wednesday’s match, leaving Salt Lake on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s match against Toronto FC at BMO Field.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 3-0 CAR
- Tonight’s 3-0 RSL win catapults the club to unprecedented heights in the U.S. Open Cup, the team dropping its two previous Quarterfinal appearances in 2006 (0-2 v Colorado) and 2011 (0-2 at Dallas) … With its third consecutive Open Cup win in the 2013 tourney, RSL is now just two victories from winning the club’s second-ever trophy (MLS Cup 2009) and a berth in the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League tourney …
- By virtue of tonight’s win and a predetermined coin flip, RSL will host its first MLS opponent in this year’s tourney – Portland Timbers – on Wednesday, August 7 at Rio Tinto Stadium … Kickoff is at 7:30p MT, with TV/radio carriage and ticket sales information currently to be announced at a future date …
- Despite playing more than 30,000 minutes in their RSL careers, outside backs Chris Wingert and Tony Beltran each tallied their second career goals tonight … Beltran still has zero goals in MLS play, but previously scored in a home 2011 Open Cup match against the Wilmington Hammerheads … Wingert found the back of the net for his lone MLS goal back in 2010 in an RSL win at Chivas prior to tonight’s deflected shot from distance … Tonight’s game marked the first time in RSL’s 310-game history that two defenders scored in the same game …
- Tonight’s third RSL goalscorer was FW Alvaro Saborio, whose 85th-minute header marked his first-ever goal in Open Cup play (227 career minutes played, including tonight’s full 90 performance) … Tonight’s score was the 58th of Saborio’s illustrious RSL career in 105 games, breaking down as follows: MLS – 44; CCL – 13; Open Cup – 1 … When Saborio finds the back of the net, RSL now boasts a record of 32-5-7 (W-L-T) across all competitions …
- Tonight was RSL’s sixth consecutive win in 2013, setting a new club record to surpass five-game win streaks in 2010 and 2011 … Dating back to a 1-1 home draw with Chicago on May 25, RSL has scored multiple goals in each of the six wins (3 MLS, 3 Open Cup), defeating opponents by an aggregate 19-5 scoreline … RSL is 7-0-1 since its last loss – a 2-3 stoppage-time heartbreaker at Montreal – downing opponents 24-7 in that span …
- The crowd of 10,287 at Rio Tinto Stadium tonight marked the 5th-highest attendance in Open Cup Quarterfinal history, and was the highest of the night’s four games tonight … During the eight games at Rio Tinto Stadium between May 25 and June 26, nearly 136,000 fans passed through for RSL games in MLS (3-0-1, 75,250 fans); Open Cup (3-0-0, 39,500); and U.S. Men’s National Team (1-0-0, 20,250) …
REAL SALT LAKE 3–0 CAROLINA RAILHAWKS
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26, 2013
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 2 3
Carolina RailHawks 0 0 0
RSL – Tony Beltran (Alvaro Saborio) -35’
RSL – Chris Wingert – 51’
RSL – Alvaro Saborio (Olmes Garcia, Ned Grabavoy) – 85’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Josh Saunders; Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Carlos Salcedo, Chris Wingert; Kyle Beckerman (C); Ned Grabavoy, Khari Stephenson (Olmes Garcia, 79’); Javier Morales (Yordany Alvarez, 79’); Robbie Findley (Joao Plata, 64’), Alvaro Saborio
Substitutes not used: Nick Rimando (GK), Lovel Palmer, Sebastian Velasquez, Devon Sandoval
Carolina RailHawks (4-4-2): Akira Fitzgerald; Jordan Graye, Austen King, Kevin Rutkiewicz, Kupono Low (C); Justin Willis (Cesar Elizondo, 62’), Nick Millington, Jonathan Greenfield (Austin da Luz, 80’), Eddie Ababio (Brian Shriver, 62’); Ciaran O’Brien, Brian Ackley
Substitutes not used: Tim Murray (GK), Floyd Franks, Paul Hamilton, Zack Schilawski
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referees: Baboucarr Jallow, Brandon Major
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Weather: Clear and 94 degrees