TUCSON – Real Salt Lake drew its final preseason game of 2014 on Saturday, coming from behind to tie Chivas USA 1-1 on a rainy day at the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup at North Stadium at Kino Sports Complex.
Substitute FW Alvaro Saborio scored in the 70th minute for the Claret-and-Cobalt, which fell behind after Chivas USA FW Erick Torres found the back of the net in the 10th minute. RSL will return to Utah on Sunday, where it will begin preparations for next Saturday’s 2014 MLS regular season opener at LA Galaxy.
RSL controlled most of the game, and had the first chance of the match in the seventh minute. Morales had the look, curling a 19-yard free kick over the Chivas USA wall and off the crossbar after he was fouled just outside the area.
The Claret-and-Cobalt had another opportunity in the ninth minute. Captain Kyle Beckerman collected on the left side of the attacking third, turning to goal and firing a low 30-yarder just wide of the left post.
Torres scored against the run of play a minute later to put Chivas USA ahead. A Chivas USA trialist whipped in a cross from the left wing, and RSL DF Carlos Salcedo couldn’t deal with it, failing to clear in the wind and the rain. Torres pounced on the loose ball in the box, scuffing a shot past onrushing RSL GK Nick Rimando and inside the left post.
Real Salt Lake had several good looks at an equalizer before the break. The Claret-and-Cobalt’s first chance at a tying goal came in the 28th minute, when MF Ned Grabavoy collected a Morales pass in the left side of the area and blasted a low 15-yarder just wide of far post.
RSL had two more looks before halftime. Beckerman and MF Luis Gil combined for the first, with Beckerman rifling in a shot from 25 yards that Kennedy parried away. The rebound fell to Gil in the right side of the box, with the 20-year-old American international powering his shot over the bar.
Gil had another opportunity in the 42nd minute, this time on the counterattack. Grabavoy started the play, collecting an errant free kick deep in RSL’s half and playing to Gil in the middle. Gil quickly found FW Joao Plata on the right, who took a few touches down the field before finding Gil again for a 1-on-1 with Kennedy. Unfortunately for RSL, Gil couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity hitting his shot over the bar from 15 yards.
The second half got off to a bit of a sleepy start, with neither team registering a chance until Salcedo nearly put RSL on the board on two different occasions in the 62nd minute. Plata created the first look, crossing in from the right to a wide-open Salcedo at the back post. Salcedo hit a side-volley with his first touch, with Kennedy coming up with a big save on the six-yard effort. Salcedo had his second look on the ensuing corner kick, getting on the end of Morales’ cross at the left post before heading high and wide from eight yards out.
Saborio pulled RSL level in the 70th minute. Some great interplay on the right side between Morales, Beckerman, Grabavoy and DF Tony Beltran freed up Morales deep in Chivas USA’s third, with the Argentine playmaker dribbling into the area along the end-line before threading a beautiful ball through several defenders and to Saborio just a yard out. The Costa Rican international had no trouble with the straightforward chance, tapping home into the open net with his first touch.
Saborio nearly put RSL ahead in the 76th minute, collecting a ball from substitute MF Luke Mulholland in the right side of the area before turning and absolutely slamming a 10-yard effort past Kennedy and off the crossbar. Saborio and Mulholland combined for another opportunity in the 78th minute, with Mulholland sending a cross in from the right side that a diving Saborio nearly got on the end of at the top of the six.
Real Salt Lake will return to Utah on Sunday. The Claret-and-Cobalt will hold its first training session in Utah on Tuesday ahead of next Saturday’s 2014 MLS regular season opener at LA. RSL’s full schedule for the upcoming week – including training times, media availability, and Jersey Event details – will be released later this weekend.
REAL SALT LAKE 1-1 CHIVAS USA
SATURDAY, MARCH 1, 2014
NORTH STADIUM – KINO SPORTS COMPLEX
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 1 1
Chivas USA 1 0 1
CHV – Erick Torres (Unnamed Guest Player 1) – 10’
RSL – Alvaro Saborio (Javier Morales) – 70’
CHV – Oswaldo Minda (Yellow; Foul) – 14’
CHV – Adolfo Bautista (Yellow; Foul) – 81’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Carlos Salcedo, Chris Wingert; Kyle Beckerman (C); Ned Grabavoy, Luis Gil (Luke Mulholland, 75’); Javier Morales; Joao Plata (Jordan Allen, 85’), Olmes Garcia (Alvaro Saborio, 64’)
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella (GK), Lalo Fernandez (GK), Aaron Maund, Cole Grossman, Rich Balchan, Abdoulie Mansally, John Stertzer, Joey Dillon, Ryan Neil, Benji Lopez, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Justen Glad*, Dylan Mares**
*RSL-AZ Academy Player; **Guest Player
Chivas USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy; Eric Avila, Bobby Burling, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Tony Lochhead; Oswaldo Minda (Agustin Pelletieri, 60’), Unnamed Guest Player 1 (Donny Toia, 74’), Thomas McNamara, Unnamed Guest Player 2; Matthew Fondy (Adolfo Bautista, 65’), Erick Torres (Luke Moore, 71’)
Substitutes not used: Tim Melia (GK), Unnamed Guest Player 3 (GK), Marco Delgado, Caleb Calvert, Andrew Ribeiro, Carlos Alvarez, Fejiro Okiomah, Carlos Bocanegra
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Referee's Assistants: George Gansner, Jonathan Johnson
4th Official: Ramy Touchan