REAL SALT LAKE UNBEATEN IN FOUR STRAIGHT FOLLOWING
0-0 DRAW AT CHICAGO
RSL Defense, GK Kyle Reynish Post Fourth Shutout of Year;
Claret & Cobalt Improve to 7-3-2, League-high 23 Points
CHICAGO (Wednesday, May 9, 2012) – Real Salt Lake (7-3-2, 23 points, West #1) moved atop both the overall and Western Conference standings by virtue of tonight’s 0-0 road draw against the Chicago Fire, in a game both teams will remember mostly for the halftime ceremony honoring current RSL Assistant Coach and former Fire defender/captain C.J. Brown. In front of 13,544 fans at Toyota Park, the RSL rearguard – with GK Kyle Reynish making his first start of the season - notched its fourth clean sheet of its league-high 12-game season to extend RSL’s active unbeaten streak to four games entering Saturday’s marquee match at Seattle (8:00 p.m. MT, ABC4).
Just three minutes after kickoff, that clean sheet was nearly in jeopardy, as Fire FW Dominic Oduro got his head on a cross over Reynish inside the six-yard box and slammed his offering off the crossbar, with MF Marco Pappa – who tallied a hat trick in his last match against RSL in Sandy, UT, last September – sailing the follow-up over the goal from 12 yards away. In the game’s 10th minute, Pappa sent a long-range blast to force Reynish’s only save of the first half, the Fire unable to penetrate the RSL defense of Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave, Chicago native Chris Schuler and Chris Wingert.
The RSL midfield began to establish its possession dominance midway through the first half despite a right quadriceps injury to talismanic playmaker Javier Morales. The Argentine midfielder will be evaluated upon the team’s return to Salt Lake on Thursday, his status for Saturday’s 2011 MLS Cup Playoff Western Conference Semifinal rematch in Seattle to be determined.
RSL’s best attacking chances came through the attacking tandem of FW Alvaro Saborio and Paulo Junior, each of whom saw excellent chances inside the box sent just inches wide left of the post in the first half. Only 30 seconds into the second half, Paulo Junior – starting in place of an absent FW Fabian Espindola, in Salt Lake enjoying newborn son Jayko with wife Barbara – forced Fire ‘keeper Sean Johnson into a sprawling save, as Paulo’s wickedly-curving shot from distance knuckled en route to goal, but could not get past Johnson.
Click here for the MLSsoccer.com recap of tonight’s contest at Toyota Park
Click here to access video highlights, courtesy of MLSsoccer.com
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – CHI 0 : 0 RSL
• RSL GK Kyle Reynish improved his career MLS record to 1-0-4 with 3 clean sheets, allowing only 3 goals in 505 minutes of action … Perennial ‘keeper Nick Rimando – out tonight with right shoulder impingement – is expected to return to the lineup Saturday at Seattle.
• RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman earned his fifth yellow card of the season, just one game after escaping “yellow peril” due to the League’s “Good Behavior Incentive.” Due to tonight’s caution, Beckerman will be forced to serve a one-game suspension upon receipt of his next yellow card.
• With the absence tonight of Rimando, RSL MF Kyle Beckerman is the only player remaining on the RSL roster to have played every one of this season’s 1,080 minutes … Only DF Tony Beltran and FW Alvaro Saborio have appeared in all 12 games.
• RSL MF Will Johnson – suspended for tonight’s game due to a red card received in last Saturday’s 2-1 win over New England – is eligible to return on the weekend at Seattle.
• Playing its third three-game week of the year, RSL has posted a 1-0-1 mark (4 pts.) thus far, equaling the point total accumulate a few weeks ago @SJ, @DAL and v TOR. At the beginning of April, RSL took the full 9 pts. in wins @ POR, v MON & v COL … With Saturday’s contest at SEA, RSL will have completed 19 three-game weeks in its eight-year history (counting all competitions), with at least two more on the docket in 2012.
• RSL returns to the site of its greatest glory, Century Link Field, Saturday night in Seattle, in a rematch of last year’s tightly-contested MLS Cup Playoff series between RSL and the Sounders. Kickoff at Seattle is set for 8:00 p.m. MT with the game televised live locally in HD on ABC4, with Bill Riley & Brian Dunseth on the call.
• Following the Seattle match, Real Salt Lake enjoys a bye week on May 19 before returning to action at its Rio Tinto Stadium home against FC Dallas on Saturday, May 26. Tickets for that night’s game can be purchased at www.RealSaltLake.com or by calling (801) 727.2701.
CHICAGO FIRE 0 : 0 REAL SALT LAKE
WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 2012
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Chicago Fire 0 0 0
Real Salt Lake 0 0 0
Misconduct Summary: RSL – Kyle Beckerman (caution, dissent) 71
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) – Kyle Reynish; Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave, Chris Schuler, Chris Wingert; Kyle Beckerman (c), Ned Grabavoy, Jonny Steele, Javier Morales (Luis Gil 26, Yordany Alvarez 89); Alvaro Saborio, Paulo Junior (Emiliano Bonfigli 67)
Substitutes Not Used: Lalo Fernandez (GK), Nat Borchers, Sebastian Velasquez, Terukazu Tanaka
Chicago Fire (4-5-1) – Sean Johnson; Arne Friedrich, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares, Dan Gargan (Jalil Anibaba 51); Logan Pause (Rafael Robayo 72), Pavel Pardo, Sebastian Grazzini, Marco Pappa, Patrick Nyarko (Frederico Puppo 60); Dominic Oduro
Substitutes Not Used: Paulo Tornagi (GK), Hunter Jumper, Orr Baruch,
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee's Assistants: Eric Boria, Peter Balciunas
4th Official: Leszek Stalmach
Time of Game: 1:59
Weather: Cool and 55 degrees