ATLANTA – Real Salt Lake was knocked out of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Saturday night, suffering a 2-1 defeat to the NASL Atlanta Silverbacks at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
Real Salt Lake jumped out to an early lead, going ahead in the 10th minute through FW Robbie Findley, who was making his first start for the Claret-and-Cobalt in 2014 since undergoing knee surgery last December. Real Salt Lake spent the rest of the match on the back foot, allowing an equalizer in the 33rd minute and conceding late in second half stoppage time to fall to the Silverbacks 2-1.
Real Salt Lake started the match brightly, registering the first chance in the ninth minute. RSL DF Tony Beltran found Findley open on the right flank who decided to test Atlanta GK Derby Carrillo from distance, sending a curling right-footed shot into the side netting of the near post.
Findley went on to give the Claret-and-Cobalt the lead moments later in the 10th minute, for his first goal of 2014. The speedy striker was able to take advantage of a mistake from Atlanta ‘keeper Carrillo at the top of the box. Carrillo came out of his area in an attempt to clear the ball but whiffed his kick, allowing Findley to pick up the pieces and easily dribble the ball into the back of the net.
Despite going down early, Atlanta went on to control the rest of the first half. The Silverbacks almost equalized in the 23rd minute, finding room on the left side and whipping a cross into the box that Atlanta FW Jaime Chavez headed into the back of the net. The goal was called back though after Chavez was called for a foul on RSL DF Aaron Maund inside the box.
RSL dodged another bullet in the 30th minute. The Silverbacks earned a free kick outside the box on the right side and sent in a cross that Atlanta headed just wide of the post.
Atlanta eventually found its long-awaited equalizer in the 33rd minute through a great solo effort from Atlanta MF Junior Burgos. The Salvadoran decided to test Attinella from distance, firing a shot from 20 yards out that took a skip and bounced off the inside of the right post past the RSL ‘keeper.
The Silverbacks continued to apply pressure after leveling the score, testing Attinella again in the 37th minute. Atlanta found room on the left side and sent a dangerous curling cross into the box that the former NASL goalkeeper had to come out and punch away to safety.
Atlanta had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 40th minute. With room to maneuver on the right side, Atlanta lashed a cross into the box that found an unmarked Chavez. Chavez headed the attempt on frame but Attinella came up big, punching the attempt out for a corner kick.
The Silverbacks continued to threaten at the start of the second half, registering a decent look in the 49th minute. Atlanta MF Kwadwo Poku pounced on a giveaway in RSL’s final third, hurtling his way past RSL MF Cole Grossman to fire a shot from the top of the box that went just wide of the net.
Real Salt Lake’s Attinella made a fantastic save in the 60th minute. Atlanta’s Chavez continued to be the threat, heading a corner kick that seemed destined for the back of the net, but Attinella was able to make a fingertip save to push the shot over the bar.
Claret-and-Cobalt Head Coach Jeff Cassar made a pair of attacking substitutions in the 63rd minute with FW Joao Plata and MF Sebastian Velasquez entering the match, but neither were able to spark any real offense for the Claret-and-Cobalt.
Real Salt Lake MF John Stertzer made a huge play in the 73rd minute to preserve the 1-1 scoreline. Atlanta earned another corner kick that Silverbacks MF Alex Harlley headed to the far post that had Attinella beat, but Stertzer was in the right place at the right time to head the shot off the goal line.
RSL registered its first real chance of the second half in the 83rd minute. Plata was able to hold the ball up on the left flank and laid off a nice pass to oncoming MF Luke Mulholland at the top of box. Mulholland blasted a shot but the attempt was unable to make it through traffic in the box, deflecting off an Atlanta defender. RSL substitute FW Olmes Garcia was there for the follow-up shot inside the box but scuffed his effort.
Atlanta let another chance to take the lead slip by in the 86th minute. The home side was able to catch RSL on the counter, with Poku making another dangerous run down the middle of the pitch and firing a shot from inside the box. Attinella made the save but was unable to hold onto the shot, spilling it for a corner kick.
The Silverbacks found the game-winner it was desperately searching for in stoppage time. Atlanta’s Poku found room at the top of the box to rifle a long-range shot that found the bottom left corner, beating a diving Attinella.
The Claret-and-Cobalt had one last chance to even things up in the final minute of stoppage time. RSL’s Maund sent a beautiful ball over the top to sneak Findley in behind Atlanta’s back line. Findley found himself 1v1 with the goalkeeper but mishit his shot, ending RSL’s chance of a comeback.
Real Salt Lake will not return to action until June 28 when it takes on Chivas USA at StubHub Center. The RSL-Chivas USA contest will be broadcast live on ABC 4, ESPN 700 and 102.3 La Gran D FM. RSL won’t return home until Friday, July 4 when it hosts New England Revolution at 8:00 p.m. Tickets to the RSL-New England contest 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 1–2 ATL
- Tonight’s result moved RSL to 8-10-1 all-time in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play.
- Tonight’s match was just RSL’s second-ever Open Cup game at a minor-league opponent. RSL lost its lone previous USOC match at a minor-league side, falling 4-6 at NASL club Minnesota in 2005.
- Tonight’s result moved RSL’s Open Cup record against minor-league sides to 5-3-0. Both of RSL’s previous USOC losses to minor-league came at the hands of Minnesota, first in 2005 and again in 2012.
- This is the second-straight year that RSL and the Silverbacks met in the U.S. Open Cup fourth round. The Claret-and-Cobalt beat Atlanta last year, topping the Silverbacks 3-2 after extra time at Rio Tinto Stadium on May 28, 2013.
- Tonight’s match was RSL FW Robbie Findley’s first start in any competition this year. Findley underwent right knee surgery last December, going under the knife three days after starting in MLS Cup 2013. The veteran striker has been limited to just one MLS appearance this year while rehabbing his injury, coming on for the final 25 minutes of RSL’s 0-0 draw against FC Dallas on May 24.
- Tonight’s match marked the second career start for RSL MF John Stertzer. A first-round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, Stertzer made his first career start in RSL’s 1-1 draw at Columbus on June 4.
- Tonight’s start was RSL GK Jeff Attinella’s first for the Claret-and-Cobalt in Open Cup play. Attinella – who signed with RSL last offseason – did not feature for RSL in the 2013 Open Cup, with RSL GK’s Josh Saunders and Nick Rimando playing in all five of the Claret-and-Cobalt’s USOC matches. ‘
- RSL was without a slew of regulars tonight, missing Captain Kyle Beckerman, GK Nick Rimando, FW Alvaro Saborio, DF Nat Borchers, DF Chris Schuler, MF Javier Morales and MF Ned Grabavoy due to a variety of reasons.
- Tonight’s match marked the first time this year that DF Kwame Watson-Siriboe appeared in the 18. Watson-Siriboe missed the beginning stages of this season while recovering from a torn ACL suffered last June.
- Tonight’s match also marked RSL MF Sebastian Velasquez’s return to the 18. Velasquez’s last appearance on the gameday roster came in RSL’s 2-1 win over Colorado Rapids on May 17. Velasquez came into the match as a second half sub, replacing fellow MF Luis Gil in the 63rd minute.
- Atlanta will play at the winner of Tuesday’s Colorado Rapids-Orlando City SC match in the USOC fifth round on June 24th.
REAL SALT LAKE 1–2 ATLANTA SILVERBACKS
SATURDAY, JUNE 14, 2014
ATLANTA SILVERBACKS PARK
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 0 1
Atlanta Silverbacks 1 1 2
RSL – Robbie Findley (Luke Mulholland) – 10’
ATL – Junior Burgos (Kwadwo Poku) – 33’
ATL – Kwadwo Poku – 90’
RSL – Aaron Maund (Yellow; Foul) – 27’
ATL – Blair Gavin (Yellow; Foul) – 44’
ATL – Junior Burgos (Yellow; Foul) – 55’
RSL – Carlos Salcedo (Yellow; Foul) – 65’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Jeff Attinella; Tony Beltran, Carlos Salcedo, Aaron Maund, Chris Wingert (C); Cole Grossman; Luke Mulholland, John Stertzer (Olmes Garcia, 78’); Luis Gil (Sebastian Velasquez, 63’); Robbie Findley, Devon Sandoval (Joao Plata, 63’)
Substitutes not used: Lalo Fernandez (GK), Rich Balchan, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Abdoulie Mansally
Atlanta Silverbacks (3-5-2): Derby Carillo; Bobby Reiss, Beto Navarro, Mike Randolph; Borfor Carr, Junior Sandoval, Junior Burgos (Alex Harlley, 56’), Blair Gavin (Jesus Gonzalez, 66’), Pablo Cruz (Deon McCaulay, 89’); Jaime Chavez, Kwadwo Poku
Substitutes not used: Thomas Hunter (GK), Ramiro Canovas, Ryan Massoud Roushandel, Janny Rivera
Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referees: Jeff Muschik, Matthew Nelson
4th Official: Guido Gonzales, Jr.