SANDY, Utah – The Real Salt Lake Reserves (4-3-3, 15 points) scored two goals in the final six minutes to beat the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves (3-1-3, 12 points) 3-2 in MLS Reserve League action at America First Field in Sandy, Utah on Tuesday morning.
MF Sebastian Velasquez played a key role in the Claret-and-Cobalt’s comeback win, bringing RSL within 2-1 with a cracking goal in the 64th minute before assisting on guest player MF John Paul Piñeda’s game-winner in the 89th after FW Benji Lopez equalized in the 84th.
Vancouver got on the board early, taking the lead in the sixth minute through DF Kevin Cobby. FW Kekuta Manneh served a corner in from the left side and Cobby met it at the back post, beating his marker and heading into the top-right corner from the top of the six.
RSL had a good look in the 13th minute. FW Olmes Garcia made a good run through the middle of the field, finding MF Joao Plata on the left side before collecting Plata’s return ball in the left side of the area. Garcia immediately looked for goal, dragging a 15-yard left-footer just wide of the right post.
Vancouver nearly doubled its advantage in the 29th minute. FW Erik Hurtado picked up a through ball in the left side of the area, getting into the box for a 1-v-1 with RSL GK Lalo Fernandez before pushing his 12-yard effort wide of the far post.
Whitecaps FC made it 2-0 in the 55th. FW Tommy Heinemann flicked a long ball down the right wing to Manneh, who collected and quickly scampered into the box for a 1-v-1 with Fernandez. The RSL ‘keeper came well off his line to challenge Manneh, getting both hands on the ball before it caromed off both players and toward goal. Manneh took advantage of the good bounce, running onto the ball and passing it into the open net from the left side to give the ‘Caps a 2-0 lead.
Velasquez halved RSL’s deficit in the 64th minute. The tricky playmaker made a long run down the right side, eventually cutting in on his favored left foot before rifling his shot into the top-left corner from the top of the box for a fantastic goal.
RSL continued pushing after Velasquez’s goal, nearly scoring in the 66th, 67th, 69th and 81st minutes before eventually equalizing through Lopez in the 84th. Piñeda started the play, hitting a shot from the left side that was blocked by a Vancouver player directly to an open Lopez just inside the box. The RSL-Arizona Academy product made no mistake with his chance, half-volleying his 15-yard shot into the lower-left corner from the right side of the area with his first touch.
The Claret-and-Cobalt found the winner in the 89th, with Piñeda slotting home to give the RSL Reserves all three points. Velasquez created the chance, slipping the guest player into the right side of the area for a 1-v-1 with Vancouver GK David Ousted. Piñeda calmly buried the opportunity, taking a touch before curling the ball into the top-right corner from 15 yards out.
First-place Real Salt Lake will return to action this Saturday, when they’ll host second-place Sporting Kansas City at 8:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium. Tickets for the match – which will be followed by a postgame fireworks show in celebration of Pioneer Day – 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 play on Aug. 31, when they’ll take on the Portland Timbers Reserves at 11:00 a.m. MT at America First Field in Sandy.
REAL SALT LAKE RESERVES 3–2 VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC RESERVES
TUESDAY, JULY 16, 2013
AMERICA FIRST FIELD
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake Reserves 0 3 3
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves 1 1 2
VAN – Kevin Cobby (Kekuta Manneh) – 6’
VAN – Kekuta Manneh (Tommy Heinemann) – 55’
RSL – Sebastian Velasquez – 64’
RSL – Benji Lopez – 84’
RSL – John Paul Piñeda (Sebastian Velasquez) – 89’
VAN – Kekuta Manneh (Yellow; Foul) – 2’
VAN – Aminu Abdallah (Yellow; Persistent Infringement) – 55’
Fouls: RSL 9-9 VAN
Shots: RSL 15-8 VAN
Shots on Goal: RSL 5-4 VAN
Saves: RSL 2-2 VAN
Corners: RSL 4-5 VAN
Offside: RSL 0-1 VAN
Real Salt Lake Reserves (4-1-2-1-2) – Lalo Fernandez; Lovel Palmer (John Paul Piñeda**, 46’), Aaron Maund, Chris Wingert (C), Jordan Allen* (Jon Zabasajja*, 77’); Enzo Martinez; Cole Grossman, Khari Stephenson (David Viana**, 64’); Joao Plata (Sebastian Velasquez, 46’); Olmes Garcia (Benji Lopez, 46’), Devon Sandoval
Substitutes Not Used: Gaston Siboldi (GK)
*RSL-AZ Academy Product; **Guest Player
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves (4-3-3) – David Ousted; Greg Klazura, Colin Falvey, Kevin Cobby, Emmanuel Adjety; Bryce Alderson, Matt Watson, Aminu Abdallah (Alejandro Sucre, 86’); Erik Hurtado, Tommy Heinemann (Josh Patterson, 79’), Kekuta Manneh
Substitutes Not Used: Simon Thomas (GK), Darren Mattocks
Referee: Mitch Lillywhite
Referee's Assistants: Brad Jensen, Brad Lynn
4th Official: Alex Krelow