REAL SALT LAKE PRESEASON CAMP / INTRA-SQUAD SCRIMMAGE REPORT – FRIDAY, JANUARY 28
First Extended Game Action of Casa Grande Camp Sees Claret Side Notch 3-0 Win over Cobalt Counterparts in 45-Minute Intra-squad Scrimmage
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (Friday, January 28, 2011) – With the end of its 10-day preseason camp at Casa Grande in sight, Real Salt Lake continued to progress towards next Tuesday’s camp-concluding exhibition against Vancouver Whitecaps FC with a 45-minute intra-squad scrimmage this morning at the Grande Sports World training complex. During the first type of game action to take place during RSL’s camp, MF Collen Warner opened the scoring early and FW Paulo Jr. bagged a pair of goals to pace the Claret side to a 3-0 win over its Cobalt counterparts.
RSL Intra-Squad Scrimmage Line-ups
CLARET: GK-Kyle Reynish; RB-Robbie Russell, CB-Jaime Cunningham (Drew Cost 30), CB-Nat Borchers, LB-John Gilkerson; CM-Jean Alexandre, RM-Ned Grabavoy, LM-Will Johnson, AM-Collen Warner; FW-Paulo Jr. (Nick Love 30), FW-Fabian Espíndola
COBALT: GK-Nick Rimando; RB-Tony Beltran, CB-Jamison Olave, CB-Phanuel Kavita (Nelson Gonzalez 30), LB-Chris Wingert; CM-Kyle Beckerman, RM-Luis Gil (Paulo Jr. 30), LM-Andy Williams, AM-Javier Morales; FW-Pablo Campos, FW-Arturo Alvarez
It initially looked like the Cobalt squad would be the pace-setters offensively, with newcomer FW Arturo Alvarez finding the ball and creating some danger towards goal on a couple of occasions in the opening minutes, be it on his own off the dribble or by linking up with teammates around the penalty area.
However, it was the Claret side that would move the scoreboard first just six minutes in, as FW Fabian Espíndola ran onto a cleared corner kick near the midfield stripe and raced down the center channel before rewarding Warner for his overlapping run. The second-year midfielder would take a touch into the area before calmly finishing low under GK Nick Rimando from 10 yards out to give Claret the 1-0 lead.
The Clarets nearly doubled the lead just five minutes later when Paulo Jr. popped his wide-open redirect of a cross from the right flank over Rimando’s goal from eight yards out. Espíndola had another golden chance to up the advantage in the 19th minute, but with Rimando off his line after trying to clean up a defensive miscue to the left of his goal, the Argentine miss-hit his shot from the top of the area, pushing it left past the open net.
Paulo Jr.’s active play would be rewarded in the 22nd minute, when he capitalized on another right-sided cross from MF Ned Grabavoy, rising high from six yards out to nod a shot that Rimando got a hand to but still managed to sneak under the crossbar. Seven minutes later the Grabavoy-Paulo Jr. combo would pay dividends one last time before the Brazilian switched teams, with Grabavoy this time springing the Brazilian past Cobalt’s last line of defense, allowing him to slot easily past Rimando to push the advantage to 3-0.
Cobalt would eventually get its attack back in gear, beginning in the 35th minute when Alvarez ended a lengthy run with a low shot from 20 yards that missed just right of frame. A flurry of MF Javier Morales corner kicks soon after would see DF Jamison Olave nearly head home twice in the 37th and 38th minutes, but his shots from 12 yards out both took one hop directly to Claret GK Kyle Reynish, stationed on the line in the middle of his goal. Morales would get the game’s last scoring opportunity two minutes into stoppage time, but his 30-yard free kick sailed past the upper left 90 he was aiming for.
Scrimmage/Preseason Camp News & Notes
- In anticipation of its CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal Round series against the Columbus Crew, Real Salt Lake used the Nike-produced CCL match balls during today’s scrimmage. The squad has been rotating between those and the adidas MLS Jabulanis during drills throughout the first six days of camp to breed familiarity with both styles of match balls.
- With defenders Rauwshan McKenzie and Chris Schuler both still sidelined while rehabbing injuries, the RSL staff gave three non-roster players – trialists John Gilkerson (Carolina Railhawks) and Jaime Cunningham (Fort Lewis College) and RSL-AZ Academy product (and Salt Lake City native) Phanuel Kavita – runs on the backline during today’s scrimmage. Gilkerson would start at left back for the Claret side before shifting over to center back at the half hour mark with Cunningham’s exit, while Kavita went the first half hour for the Cobalt squad.
- Alongside McKenzie and Schuler, FW Álvaro Saborío and DF Jarad vanSchaik round out the team’s limited injury list to this point. Schuler (broken right foot last October), McKenzie (re-aggravated right ankle sprain on Monday), and Saborío (right torn meniscus surgery last November) continued to make progress while performing exercises with the RSL training staff on the sidelines and seem on track to return to limited training with their teammates by the start of the second camp in Phoenix (Feb. 7-15), while vanSchaik (grade I MCL sprain) spent most of his rehab time on a stationary bike brought out to the field.
- Real Salt Lake’s coaching staff will put the squad through its third “two-a-day” session of camp on Saturday before giving the team a day off on Sunday. The opening preseason stint will round out with a Monday morning training session and a Tuesday morning (11:00 a.m. MT) scrimmage against Vancouver Whitecaps FC – which will be played with three 45-minute halves – before heading back to Utah later that evening. Fans can follow updates from Tuesday’s scrimmage online via the Official RSL Twitter feed, found at www.Twitter.com/RealSaltLake (@RealSaltLake).