VANCOUVER – Real Salt Lake (15-10-6, 51 points, West #1) bounced back from back-to-back losses in a big way on Saturday, getting a very strong performance out of a makeshift lineup to beat Vancouver Whitecaps FC (11-11-8, 41 points, West #6) 1-0 at BC Place.
RSL is now temporarily in first-place in both the Supporters’ Shield and Western Conference races, though the Claret-and-Cobalt will fall out of the Supporters’ Shield lead following Sunday’s game between Seattle Sounders FC and New York Red Bulls. RSL will remain in first place in the Western Conference if Seattle ties or loses on Sunday.
FW Devon Sandoval scored for the Claret-and-Cobalt, which made 10 changes to the lineup that lost last Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes ahead of Tuesday’s 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final against D.C. United at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Sandoval put the Claret-and-Cobalt on top in the ninth minute. DF Lovel Palmer collected a FW Olmes Garcia pass on the right wing, taking a touch into space and curling an early cross into the area. Sandoval got on the end of Palmer’s lofted ball, finding space in between two Vancouver defenders and heading home inside the near post from the top of the six-yard-box.
Vancouver very nearly equalized in the 14th minute. Whitecaps FC FW Camilo Sanvezzo collected a loose RSL corner kick on the left flank and took off on the counter, racing down the sideline and finding open MF Nigel Reo-Coker just outside the top of the box for a 1-v-1 with RSL GK Jeff Attinella. Attinella came up big on the play, racing off his line to swipe the ball off of Reo-Coker’s foot as he hit his shot.
Attinella came up with another fantastic stop in the 36th minute. Vancouver FW Russell Teibert collected a clipped ball in the left side of the area, controlling it with his chest and slamming a left-footed volley on frame from 10 yards that Attinella parried over the bar.
Vancouver Manager Martin Rennie made a pair of attacking substitutions in the 54th minute, bringing speedy FW’s Kekuta Manneh and Darren Mattocks on for FW Tommy Heinemann and MF Gershon Koffie.
The game opened up greatly following the changes, with both sides creating numerous opportunities. Vancouver almost bagged an equalizer in the 55th. The ‘Caps clipped a ball in from the left corner and RSL wasn’t able to clear, allowing several Vancouver players to hit shots from close range. Thankfully, the Claret-and-Cobalt came up with some solid last-ditch defending, with DF’s Chris Schuler and Abdoulie Mansally among those who made important blocks.
RSL had a pair of good looks in the 57th and 61st minutes. MF Luis Gil had the first opportunity, collecting a through ball from MF Sebastian Velasquez on the left side before cutting in on his right foot and curling a 15-yard shot just wide of the far post.
Vancouver GK David Ousted robbed RSL Captain Yordany Alvarez of a goal in the 61st. Alvarez corralled a loose ball just outside the 18 on the right side, volleying a shot that looked ticketed for the back of the net. Ousted had other ideas, however, scrambling to the far post and fully extending to touch the ball around the left upright.
RSL was denied by Ousted again in the 73rd minute, when Garcia got free in the right side of the area and hit a shot on goal that the Danish ‘keeper blocked nicely.
The Claret-and-Cobalt held strong against desperate Whitecaps attacks in the final minutes, limiting Vancouver to just one real opportunity. Manneh had the chance, collecting a ball just outside the box and firing a shot just wide of the top-left corner.
Substitute FW Joao Plata nearly sealed the game for RSL in the second minute of stoppage time, collecting a ball on the left flank and cutting in on his right foot before firing a low shot off the near post from 15 yards.
Real Salt Lake will return to action on Tuesday, when the club will host the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final against D.C. United at Rio Tinto Stadium. Tickets to Tuesday’s 100th Open Cup Final can be purchased at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets or over the phone at 801-727-2700.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 1-0 VAN
- Tonight’s win makes RSL the first team in MLS’s post-shootout era to reach the 15-win and 50-point plateaus in four consecutive seasons. Real Salt Lake now has a total of 51 points, retaking the lead in the Western Conference and the Supporters’ Shield race, albeit shortly, as Seattle Sounders FC and the New York Red Bulls face off tomorrow. RSL will remain in first place in the Western Conference if Seattle loses or ties against New York.
- Tonight’s win was the Claret-and-Cobalt’s first-ever win at BC Place. RSL went 2-0-1 against the Caps’ this year, improving to 4-2-2 all-time against the Canadian side. RSL has now won two straight games in Canada after never having won north of the border until beating Toronto FC 1-0 at BMO Field on June 29.
- RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis ran out a makeshift lineup tonight, making 10 changes to the team that lost 2-1 to the San Jose Earthquakes last Saturday. The team didn’t miss a beat, however, outperforming Vancouver’s first-choice squad throughout the 90 minutes en route to the win.
- Tonight’s game was RSL DF Chris Schuler’s first appearance since May 11. Schuler had been out due to injury, first with a left foot stress response and then with an ankle sprain. Prior to going out injured, Schuler had played every minute of RSL’s first 12 matches.
- RSL DF Brandon McDonald paired Schuler at center back tonight, marking the ninth different center back pairing the Claret-and-Cobalt has used this year. McDonald has now appeared in three games for Real Salt Lake since being acquired in a trade with D.C. United earlier this year. RSL has a 1-0-2 record when McDonald plays, with all three of his appearances coming on the road.
- Real Salt Lake looks ahead to Tuesday as they host D.C. United in the 100th Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Open Cup Final presents RSL with an opportunity to win its first trophy of the year, and earn automatic entry into the 2014/2015 CONCACAF Champions League.
- Tonight’s win was the first career MLS victory and first career MLS shutout for RSL GK Jeff Attinella. Attinella was 0-2-1 as a starter entering tonight’s match, though he did come on in relief of injured RSL GK Josh Saunders in the Claret-and-Cobalt’s 3-0 win at FC Dallas on July 13.
REAL SALT LAKE 1-0 VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
SATURDAY, SEPT. 28, 2013
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 0 1
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0 0 0
RSL – Devon Sandoval (Lovel Palmer) – 9’
VAN – Carlyle Mitchell (Yellow; Foul) – 51’
VAN – Jay DeMerit (Yellow; Off the ball foul) – 63’
VAN – Jordan Harvey (Yellow, Off the ball foul) – 80’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Jeff Attinella; Abdoulie Mansally (Joao Plata, 88’); Brandon McDonald; Chris Schuler; Lovel Palmer; Yordany Alvarez; Sebastian Velasquez; Cole Grossman (Ned Grabavoy, 72’); Luis Gil; Devon Sandoval; Olmes Garcia (Chris Wingert, 83’)
Substitutes not used: Lalo Fernandez (GK), Khari Stephenson, Aaron Maund, John Stertzer
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (4-3-3): David Ousted; Young-Pyo Lee; Carlyle Mitchell; Jay DeMerit; Jordan Harvey; Nigel Reo-Coker; Jun Marques Davidson (Daigo Kobayashi, 71’); Gershon Koffie (Kekuta Manneh, 54’); Russell Teibert; Tom Heinemann (Darren Mattocks, 54’); Camilo Sanvezzo
Substitutes not used: Brad Knighton (GK), Erik Hurtado, Matt Watson, Johnny Leveron
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referees: Greg Barkey, C.J. Morgante
4th Official: Juan Guzman
Weather: Roof closed