IRVINE, Calif. – Real Salt Lake drew 1-1 Saturday against UC-Irvine in a closed scrimmage at Anteater Stadium, with first-year MF Luke Mulholland finding the back of the net in the 15th minute in one of several dangerous forays during the game’s first 30 minutes. RSL conceded a late goal for the final result, as the Irvine group deftly strung together several one-touch passes in the 83rd minute on a rare counter to catch RSL on the back foot. 25 players saw action for RSL against Irvine, with MF Cole Grossman (68’) and FW Olmes Garcia (61’) the only two to go more than 45.
Monday will see the return of RSL’s United States Men’s National Team trio, Captain Kyle Beckerman, GK Nick Rimando and MF Luis Gil, each of whom spent January with Jurgen Klinsmann and company in Los Angeles and Brazil, leading up to last week’s 2-0 win over South Korea. Both Beckerman and Rimando started that match and went the full 90 minutes, Rimando improving to 10-0-0 as a USMNT starter, with his fourth career clean sheet. Gil, now entering his fifth season with RSL despite just turning 20 years old, came on in the 75th minute to earn his first cap for the United States, after starring in last summer’s U-20 World Championship.
Several other familiar RSL veterans are in California but sat out of action Saturday, as DF Nat Borchers, MF Ned Grabavoy, DF Chris Schuler, FW Alvaro Saborio, DF Kwame Watson-Siriboe and MF John Stertzer observed from the sideline. FW Robbie Findley, DF Tony Beltran and DF Rich Balchan are back in Salt Lake undergoing rehabilitation. All three are expected to join the team in the final preseason stage beginning Feb. 17 at the Desert Diamond Cup hosted by FC Tucson, with four games in two weeks culminating on March 1.
Following its stint in Irvine, the team will head back to Utah for a weekend before returning to Arizona on Feb. 17 for a two-week stint in Tucson to participate in the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup preseason tournament. This will be Real Salt Lake’s third-consecutive year in the round-robin competition, which will also include fellow MLS clubs Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids and New England Revolution, along with USL Premier Development League club FC Tucson.
The FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 19 and will conclude with the Championship and 3rd-Place matches on Saturday, March 1. A full schedule and ticketing information for all of the 2014 MLS Preseason games in Tucson can be found at www.FCTucson.com.
Following the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup, RSL will return to Utah to begin preparations for its MLS season opener on Saturday, March 8 at LA Galaxy. Following the opener at the Galaxy, RSL will travel up the California coast to take on San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday, March 15. The Claret-and-Cobalt will open its 2014 home schedule on Saturday, March 22, when it will host the Galaxy at 2:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium in a nationally televised game on NBC Sports Network. Click here for Real Salt Lake’s full 2014 MLS regular season schedule
RSL Head Coach Jeff Cassar, on the contrast between the first and second halves:
On the match:
“What we saw today was what I would call a mixed bag, some good and some bad soccer out there … A very good effort in the first half, it was good to see a lot of the things we’ve worked on during the first 10 days of preseason … The second half group wasn’t as good, but there were a lot of new faces out there, probably seven guys that are extremely new to RSL.”
On how he feels about RSL’s preseason thus far:
“Still feeling very positive about the group, and the direction we are heading in … Today we were missing nine of our top guys, our leaders, due to injury, national team rest, etc., so you have to have a little perspective … Sunday (Feb. 9) is really the first day off of this preseason, and it is very well-earned by the boys … Today’s game comes on the heels of three straight days of two-a-day sessions, so everyone deserves time to have a little R&R.”
UC-IRVINE 1-1 REAL SALT LAKE
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2014
ANTEATER STADIUM – IRVINE, CA
Goals by Period 1 2 F
UC-Irvine 0 1 1
Real Salt Lake 1 0 1
RSL – Luke Mulholland (Joao Plata) – 15’
UCI – 83’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) – Jeff Attinella (Lalo Fernandez, 46); Ryan Neil (Justen Glad**, 46), Carlos Salcedo (Aaron Maund, 46), Alec Arsht* (Etchu Tabe*, 46), Chris Wingert (Abdoulie Mansally, 46); Cole Grossman (Enrique Cardenas*, 69); Dylan Mares* (Jordan Allen, 46, Abraham Villon*, 81), Luke Mulholland (Joey Dillon, 46’), Javier Morales (Sebastian Velasquez, 46’), Olmes Garcia (Devon Sandoval, 61’), Joao Plata (Benji Lopez, 46’)
* Trialist; ** RSL-Arizona Academy
REAL SALT LAKE PRESEASON ROSTER, VIDEO, ETC.
Please visit http://www.realsaltlake.com/preseason-central for all the team’s up-to-date preseason information, including a PDF copy of Real Salt Lake’s roster for each leg, as well as video vignettes behind-the-scenes, Q&A sessions with the players, etc.
REAL SALT LAKE 2014 SEASON TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW
The only way to currently secure tickets to any of Real Salt Lake’s 17 regular season home games is to Join the Pride and become a 2014 RSL Season Ticket Holder. RSL fans can purchase 2014 season tickets at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, online at www.realsaltlake.com/tickets/jointhepride or over the phone at 801-727-2700. Becoming a 2014 Season Ticket Holder guarantees the same seats for all MLS regular season home games and additional bonus games for a total of 20 home games. A full rundown of all the benefits included in the 2014 season ticket package can be found here.
REAL SALT LAKE 2014 PRESEASON KEY DATES/SCHEDULE (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
Preseason Training Trip No. 2 – Irvine, Calif.
Feb. 4 – Travel to Irvine, Calif.
Feb. 4-13 – Training at the University of California-Irvine in Irvine, Calif.
Feb. 13 – Closed-door scrimmage at Chivas USA – Stubhub Center, Carson, Calif. – 11:00 a.m.
Feb. 13 – Return to Utah
Preseason Training Trip No. 3 – FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup
Feb. 17 – Travel to Tucson, Ariz.
Feb. 18 – Training at Kino Sports Complex
Feb. 19 – RSL vs. New England Revolution - North Stadium at Kino Sports Complex – 6:00 p.m.
Feb. 20-21 – Training at Kino Sports Complex
Feb. 22 – RSL vs. Chicago Fire – North Stadium at Kino Sports Complex – 3:30 p.m. (MLSsoccer.com)
Feb. 23-25 – Training at Kino Sports Complex
Feb. 26 – RSL vs. FC Tucson – North Stadium at Kino Sports Complex – 6:00 p.m. (MLSsoccer.com)
Feb. 27-28 – Training at Kino Sports Complex
March 1 – Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium
5th Place vs. 6th Place – 2:30 p.m.
3rd Place vs. 4th Place – 5:00 p.m.
1st Place vs. 2nd Place – 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
2014 MLS Regular Season Opener
Real Salt Lake at LA Galaxy – Saturday, March 8 - StubHub Center – 8:30 p.m. MT (ABC4)
2014 RSL Home Opener
Real Salt Lake v. LA Galaxy – Saturday, March 22 - Rio Tinto Stadium – 2:00 p.m. MT (NBCSN)