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Record-Setting Crowd of 17,212 Witness 4th Multi-goal Loss in 80 Home Games since 2008

SANDY, UTAH (Tuesday, May 29, 2012) – Real Salt Lake (9-3-2, 29 points, West #1) was one of numerous MLS victims in the Third Round of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tonight, falling at home to the NASL Minnesota Stars FC by a 1-3 scoreline in front of a record crowd of 17,212 – the biggest non-Final, non-doubleheader in Open Cup history. The loss dropped RSL to 54-9-17 in the 80 home games across all competitions since the beginning of the 2008 season, Jason Kreis’ first full campaign at the helm.

RSL went down early, allowing a Minnesota goal in the third minute. A long free kick from the near touchline was sent into the box, where it was cleared by RSL GK Kyle Reynish, but not out of danger. The bouncing ball in the mixer was finally controlled 10 yards out by Stars MF Kevin Venegas, whose looping header went over the outstretched arm of an extended Reynish but under the bar to shock the still-arriving crowd.

The Claret-and-Cobalt allowed last year’s NASL champions to dictate the pace of the game for another 15 minutes, Reynish saving a fine effort from distance by Stars DF Brian Kallman. RSL then knocked on the door for a 20-minute period in the middle of the first half, unable to crack Minnesota GK Matt VanOekel until 18-year old MF Luis Gil took a pass from Ned Grabavoy, firing a laser to the lower left corner to breathe some life into the RSL attack.

VanOekel came up huge with back-to-back saves in the 38th minute to keep the game level at 1-1. RSL FW Paulo Junior was in alone on the ‘keeper, who parried the Brazilian’s shot wide to the RSL attack’s right, where an awaiting Grabavoy one-timed a rocket at the goalmouth, only to see the Stars GK tip the ball over the bar.

Shortly before halftime, a long clearance out of the Minnesota defense found fleet-footed FW Amani Walker in the clear, where he was tracked down by RSL DF Jamison Olave. Walker’s cross into the box hit Olave’s arm as it was nestled next to his body, but the penalty kick was awarded in the 45th minute to the visitors. The chance from the spot was slammed home by Neil Hlavaty to give Minnesota a 2-1 halftime lead.

In the second half, Minnesota made its biggest chance count, as MF Simone Bracalello poked home a long Kallman service from outside the area to essentially ice the game. RSL saw numerous chances in the second 45, with Paulo, Emiliano Bonfigli, Olave and DF Nat Borchers each seeing opportunities to narrow the gap go wanting. Despite outshooting the Stars 21-14 on the night and having a 9-1 advantage in corner kicks, RSL could not force extra time and saw its hopes for hoisting the oldest trophy in U.S. Soccer thwarted, just as they began.

Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 1 : 3 MIN

  • All-time in Open Cup-related play, RSL is now just 5-8-0, scoring 21 goals and conceding 27. Against lower-division teams, RSL is now 2-2-0 in Open Cup action, losing 4-6 at Minnesota in 2005 (despite a Jason Kreis hat trick) before defeating the USL Virginia Beach Mariners 2-1 at home in 2006 and the Wilmington Hammerheads 2-0 a season ago. Each of the 2005 and 2006 games went 120 minutes after being tied in regulation.

  • Dating back to 1914, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the oldest cup competition in United States soccer and is among the oldest in the world. Open to all affiliated amateur and professional teams in the United States, the annual U.S. Open Cup is now a 99-year-old single-elimination tournament. The U.S. Open Cup is similar to domestic cup competitions popular throughout Europe, South America and the rest of the world. Since its inception in 1996, Major League Soccer teams have won 15 of the last 16 U.S. Open Cup titles, with Seattle Sounders FC aiming to become the first-ever team to win four consecutive titles in 2012.

  • With tonight’s loss to Minnesota (4-0-4; 2nd NASL), DF Tony Beltran leads the Claret-and-Cobalt in games played in the U.S. Open Cup at eight, two behind RSL’s head scout Andy Williams and two ahead of fellow teammate Kyle Beckerman, currently on international duty with the United States, preparing to face Brazil Wednesday at FedExField in Landover, Md.

  • Five of the starting XI (Tanaka, Alvarez, Steele, Paulo Jr. and Bonfigli) in tonight’s matchup made their U.S. Open Cup debut, while two others (Arnoux and Velasquez) entered the match to also make their first appearance.

  • Tonight’s disappointing loss drops Real Salt Lake’s U.S. Open Cup record to 5-8-0. Fans came out to support the Claret-and-Cobalt poured into Rio Tinto Stadium as it filled to an attendance of 17,212, the highest non-final, non-doubleheader in U.S. Open Cup history. RSL’s last U.S. Open Cup victory at Rio Tinto Stadium came on June 28, 2011 winning 2-0 against the Wilmington Hammerheads (USL PRO), before 7,620 fans, the highest turnout in last year’s tourney prior to Seattle’s semifinal match.

(Click here for Head Coach Jason Kreis' postgame reaction)
(Click here for locker room reactions from MF Luis Gil and DF Chris Wingert)
TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012
Goals by Period                    1          2          F

Real Salt Lake                       1         0          1

Minnesota Stars FC             2          1         3

Scoring Summary:             MIN – Venegas (Kallman) 3’

                                                RSL – Gil (Grabavoy) 29’

                                                MIN – Hlavaty (PK) 45’

                                                MIN – Bracalello (Kallman) 58’

Misconduct Summary:      RSL – Velasquez (handball) 83’

                                                RSL – Olave (tactical foul) 85’


Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) – Kyle Reynish; Terukazu Tanaka (Tony Beltran 46), Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers (c), Chris Wingert; Yordany Alvarez (Sebastian Velasquez 53), Ned Grabavoy, Jonny Steele, Luis Gil; Emiliano Bonfigli, Paulo Junior (Cody Arnoux 67)

Substitutes Not Used: Lalo Fernandez (GK), Enzo Martinez, Chris Estridge, Fabian Espindola

Minnesota Stars FC (4-2-3-1) – Matt VanOekel; Justin Davis, Brian Kallman, Kyle Altman (c) (Connor Tobin 76), Ernest Tchoupe; Neil Hlavaty, Kentaro Takada, Kevin Venegas, Miguel Ibarra, Martin Nunez (Devin Del Do); Amani Walker (Simone Bracalello 46)

Substitutes Not Used: Mitch Hildebrandt (GK), Kevin Friedland, Fuad Ibrahim, Daniel Wasson

Referee: Tyler Ploeger
     Referee's Assistants: Brandon Major, Alex Krelo
     4th Official: Brad Jensen

Attendance: 17,212

Time of Game: 1:52
     Weather: Sunny and 77 degrees / /