10-MAN REAL SALT LAKE SURVIVES NEW ENGLAND WITH 2-1 HOME VICTORY
Saborio Brace, Rimando Heroics Send 18,219
Rio Tinto Stadium Faithful Home Tied Atop West Standings
SANDY, UT (Saturday, May 5, 2012) – Real Salt Lake (7-3-1, 22 points, West #1) moved back into a tie atop the Western Conference standings with first-place San Jose Earthquakes (7-2-1, 22 points) by virtue of tonight’s 2-1, come-from-behind victory against the New England Revolution. In front of 18,219 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium, RSL survived playing a man down for 22 minutes and rode two goals by FW Alvaro Saborio to the victory, which boosted RSL to its best-ever 11-game start.
Rolling out his presumed “first-choice” XI for the first time in 2012, RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis saw his side dominate the run of play in the first 20 minutes of the game, with several golden opportunities by Saborio and strike partner Fabian Espindola – the brand-new father of son Jayko, born yesterday, and also celebrating his own 27th birthday Friday – denied by Revolution GK Matt Reis. However, RSL saw the visitors strike first, as FW Blake Brettschneider stormed down the right side of the defense and cut back to his deadly accurate right foot against Jamison Olave and Tony Beltran, who helplessly watched a curling blast go far post over RSL GK Nick Rimando for the Revolution’s 1-0 lead.
That lead was short-lived, however, as RSL continued to pepper Reis’ goal, finally breaking through in the 32nd minute. RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman cut a looping cross into the box from the endline, with Javier Morales battling for a header at the top of the six, the loose ball falling to Saborio’s left foot and seeing the Costa Rican slamming the ball home for what would eventually become a 1-1 halftime score.
Just 10 minutes into the second half, Morales again set up Saborio, who struck for his 37th and 38th goals in 70 games across all competitions since joining Real Salt Lake at the inception of the 2010 season. Following a scuffle 40 yards from goal, Morales’ free kick found the head of Saborio on the opposite corner of the six, outjumping Revolution icon Shalrie Joseph for what would prove to be the Costa Rican’s club-record 11th game-winning goal in 60 MLS contests all-time. Morales’ assist was his team-high third of the young season.
Only four minutes later, with a half-hour remaining in the match, the contest changed as RSL MF Will Johnson was adjudged to have gone studs-up on Revolution MF Clyde Simms, earning a straight red following an extended conversation between center referee David Gantar and assistant Corey Rockwell. With RSL playing a man down for the second time this season – the team saw red twice on April 21 in San Jose – it relied on its longest-tenured player – GK Nick Rimando – to “earn us three points” as Kreis told the assembled media post-game. Rimando came up huge with back-to-back saves in the 71st minute, denying first Fernando Cardenas long-range effort from the top of the 18 yard box and then the goal-scorer Brettschneider’s diving header from the top of the six.
RSL hero Saborio – searching for the second MLS hat trick in club history – saw several late opportunities denied by Reis, the veteran ‘keeper who became the sixth GK in league annals to earn 100 or more wins with his club’s 2-1 win on Wednesday. In the 79th minute, Reis survived a one-on-one confrontation with Saborio, taking the shot from the six in the face. Minutes later, Saborio went in alone again on Reis, sending his shot wide right.
Between those two Saborio opportunities, the teams ended up even with 10-on-10 soccer for the final eight minutes, as Cardenas was shown a straight red in the 82nd minute for another studs-up adjudication by referee David Gantar, this time a challenge with RSL DF Olave.
Click here for the MLSsoccer.com matchcenter of tonight’s contest at Rio Tinto Stadium
Click here to access video highlights, courtesy of MLSsoccer.com
Click here for the post-game quote sheet for reaction from players and coaches on both sides
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 2 : 1 NE
- The home victory tonight improved RSL to 7-3-1 and 22 points after 11 games, the eighth-year club’s best-ever start.
- Five years ago tonight marked Kreis’ coaching debut, as May 5, 2007 saw RSL score two late goals – including the stoppage-time equalizer by MF Chris Brown – to draw 3-3 with visiting New York, coached by current LA boss Bruce Arena. Tonight’s win improved Kreis to 79-67-53 in all competitions, including a 64-53-44 mark in MLS regular-season play and a 55-14-22 mark at home across MLS, CONCACAF and U.S. Open Cup matches.
- Tonight’s matchup extends the Claret-and-Cobalt’s domination over New England, as RSL improved to 6-1-2 over the Revolution since 2008, outscoring NE 25-11 since Jason Kreis’ first full season at the RSL helm.
- RSL also improved to 23-3-5 all-time when FW Alvaro Saborio finds the back of the net, the Costa Rican notching his club-record 11th game-winning goal in 61 career MLS matches. “Sabo” also has 38 goals in 70 RSL matches across all competitions.
- RSL began its third three-game week of the season on a winning note, following up on its similar run at the beginning of April (full 9 pts. in wins @ POR, v MON & v COL) and 75% of the way to the 4 points gained last week (loss @ SJ, draw @ DAL & win v TOR).
- “Iron Men” RSL GK Nick Rimando and MF Kyle Beckerman remain the only players on the RSL roster that have played every one of this season’s 990 minutes, while DF Tony Beltran is the only other player to also start all 11 RSL games this year.
- RSL MF Will Johnson became the third RSL player to see a red card through 11 games in 2012, and suffered the team’s 10th ejection in its last 43 games. Johnson’s card – which will see the Chicago native miss a homecoming against his former club, the Fire – was the 40th ejection in RSL history, the team playing 970 minutes at a man disadvantage over 229 MLS games.
- Tonight’s affair marked the last home game for RSL until Saturday, May 26, when Dallas visits Rio Tinto Stadium; tickets for Saturday night’s home game can be purchased at www.RealSaltLake.com or by calling (801) 727.2701. In the meantime, RSL visits Chicago midweek and then travels to the site of the club’s greatest glory, Century Link Field in Seattle, for a critical early-season rematch of last year’s Western Conference playoffs against the Sounders.
- On Wednesday, Chicago natives Ned Grabavoy, Chris Schuler and GM Garth Lagerwey lead the Claret-and-Cobalt into Toyota Park against the Fire, who will honor RSL assistant coach C.J. Brown – who played for Chicago for 13 years, winning one MLS Cup and four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups – with a halftime “Ring of Fire” induction ceremony. Kickoff Wednesday against the Fire is set for 6:30 p.m. MT with the game televised locally in HD on CW30 on a tape-delayed basis at 9:00 p.m. MT. Saturday’s game in Seattle will air LIVE on ABC4 at 8:00 p.m. MT.
REAL SALT LAKE 2 : 1 N.E. REVOLUTION
SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2012
RIO TINTO STADIUM – SANDY, UT
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 1 2
New England Revolution 1 0 1
Scoring Summary: NE – Blake Brettschneider (Joseph) 22
RSL – Alvaro Saborio 33
RSL – Alvaro Saborio (Morales) 55
Misconduct Summary: RSL – Jamison Olave (caution, foul) 36
NE – Chris Tierney (caution, foul) 57
RSL – Will Johnson (ejection) 59
NE – Fernando Cardenas (ejection) 81
RSL – Alvaro Saborio (caution, failure to enter) 95
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) -- Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert; Kyle Beckerman (c); Ned Grabavoy, Will Johnson, Javier Morales, Fabian Espindola (Jonny Steele 63), Álvaro Saborío
Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish (GK), Chris Schuler, Yordany Alvarez, Luis Gil, Paulo Jr, Emiliano Bonfigli
New England Revolution (4-2-3-1) – Matt Reis; Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares (Diego Fagundez 79), John Lozano (Saer Sene 65), Chris Tierney; Clyde Simms, Shalrie Joseph (c), Benny Feilhaber, Kelyn Rowe (Fernando Cardenas 59), Lee Nguyen; Blake Brettschneider
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttlesworth (GK), Stephen McCarthy, Darrius Barnes, Bjorn Runstrom
Referee: David Gantar Referee's Assistants: Corey Rockwell, Adam Garner 4th Official: Abiodun Okulaja
Time of Game: 2:00 Weather: Clear and 59 degrees