KYLE BECKERMAN’S LIGHTNING STRIKE SEES REAL SALT LAKE TO RAIN-SOAKED WIN AT SAN JOSE
Captain’s 64th Minute Tally, GK Nick Rimando’s 10 Saves Help Utah Side Gain Full Three Points in 2011 MLS First Kick Opener
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Saturday, March 19, 2011) – The weather might not have been pretty, but the result for Real Salt Lake (1-0-0, 3 pts.) was beautiful, as the Utah side used a goal from Captain Kyle Beckerman midway through the second half and several huge saves by GK Nick Rimando to post a 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes (0-1-0, 0 pts.) in their 2011 MLS First Kick showdown. An announced crowd of 10,525 at Buck Shaw Stadium braved a constant downpour and steady winds of over 20 mph from start to finish, conditions which made the RSL defensive effort all that much more impressive, especially in the second half when Rimando made stop after stop to keep the full three points in the visitors’ back pocket.
After enjoying the blustery wind and driving rain at its back in the first 45 minutes, Real Salt Lake fought “upstream” in the second stanza, using its short passing game to combat the conditions and control play after the halftime whistle up until the 64th minute goal. It was a quick interplay in the right corner by DF Tony Beltran and MF Javier Morales that resulted in Beckerman finding space 20 yards from goal, where he unleashed a low shot that took one bounce off the wet turf before sneaking past San Jose GK Jon Busch and kissing off the left post. From there on out it was the “Rimando Show,” as the veteran netminder made seven of his 10 total stops on the night in the last 20 minutes to preserve the road result.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes
- Real Salt Lake picked up where it left off from last year’s regular season, stretching its undefeated streak in League play to 15 games (7-0-8), its last defeat in regular season play coming on July 17, 2010, at FC Dallas (0-2 L). The current run includes eight straight road contests without a defeat (1-0-7).
- Last year’s record-setting defensive effort also carried over, as the clean sheet marked the third in four contests in 2011 when combining tonight’s result with RSL’s play in the CONCACAF Champions League [only 1 GA (vs. CLB in Leg 2 of the CCL Quarterfinals) in 360 total minutes of play this year].
- This marks the second straight season in which Real Salt Lake has kicked off the year in League play with a road win at San Jose, following on the heels of last year’s 3-0 result at Buck Shaw Stadium. The win pushed RSL’s all-time record against the ‘Quakes over the .500 mark (4-3-5).
- Beckerman’s goal was the first for the Claret-and-Cobalt captain in MLS play in 15 appearances, his last goal on May 8, 2010, standing as the match-winner (27’) in a 3-0 result over Philadelphia at Rio Tinto Stadium. Beckerman had scored since then, pushing one across in RSL’s 4-1 win over Toronto FC in CCL play last Sept. 15, also in Sandy.
- Speaking of Real Salt Lake’s Sandy home, the Claret-and-Cobalt will open the Rio Tinto Stadium portion of their 2011 MLS campaign next Saturday, March 26, when they welcome the Los Angeles Galaxy (1-0-0, 3 pts.) to their “fortress” for an early-season showdown of likely title contenders. Kickoff in Sandy is set for 7:00 p.m. MT, when RSL will look to extend its 35-match home undefeated streak across all competitions dating back to May of 2009, which also includes an MLS record 25-game run in League play (17-0-8). Tickets for the contest remain available and can be purchased online at RealSaltLake.com, over the phone at 801-727-2700, or in person at the Rio Tinto Stadium Box Office Monday-Friday from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. MT and beginning at 10:00 a.m. on gameday.
POST-GAME QUOTE SHEET
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES 0 : 1 REAL SALT LAKE
REAL SALT LAKE HEAD COACH JASON KREIS
On the weather conditions:
“It was really windy. These were possibly the worst weather conditions I’ve ever coached in.”
On the result:
“The result was huge. We got the goal from Kyle and then just battled. It became a bit of a war of attrition there at the end. I’m glad that the clock ran out.”
On stopping the Earthquakes’ second half surge:
“It was almost impossible to possess the ball on the field like that or get the ball in behind their backs with the wind against us. Those two things that meant that we had to deal with strong attacking from them, lots of crosses and shots, and tonight we did a good job of doing that.”
REAL SALT LAKE DEFENDER NAT BORCHERS
On GK Nick Rimando’s performance:
”When you have a veteran goalkeeper and great shot stopper like Nick, it gives the defense a lot more confidence. He was awesome tonight. We got the shutout and I attribute most of that to him.”
On dealing with the elements:
“Slipping was the biggest factor. It was hard to get our studs dug in, and some of the guys had a hard time with that. The rain kept coming down, the field got heavier and heavier and it was difficult.”
REAL SALT LAKE MIDFIELDER KYLE BECKERMAN
On his 64th minute goal:
“I was in a bit of space, Javier (Morales) was able to turn his guy and find me for the pass, and I just tried to get a good strike on goal, and luckily it went in.”
On the Earthquakes:
“They brought a lot of energy. They have a new formation, and I think they have a bit of confidence from last season, so we knew it was going to be a tough game.”
SAN JOSE HEAD COACH FRANK YALLOP
On the result:
“With the chances we
had, we have to score at least one goal. I thought we dominated play most of
the game. We felt on top of the game. I was very happy with the performance,
but obviously not the result.”
On the debuts of Dawkins, McLoughlin and Ampaipitakwong:
“They did great. I thought Ellis made some quality runs. Simon is a lad we picked up from Tottenham Hotspur and looked good. He searched for the ball and ran with it. He's a clever player, and ‘Ampai’ came on and did fine too. Our depth looks good.”
SAN JOSE FORWARD CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI
Thoughts on game:
“I take the blame for this loss. I had three perfect balls just sitting there and I missed them all. It’s frustrating. It’s one of those situations where I needed to do better on. I think the team played well. We pressed at times. It was a tough loss. It’s going to haunt me for a while. It was just one of those games where it didn’t go your way.”
On the elements:
“I think the weather conditions played a role in the game. The weather was bad and it made the ball really slick, especially the wind. It was pretty hard to get the ball down play. It was unpredictable.”
SAN JOSE MIDFIELDER SIMON DAWKINS
On his Earthquakes debut:
“It went well. When I was on the bench, I was looking for opportunities where we could expose the ball. I figured if I ran with the ball at midfield I could create some chances, and that’s what I did. We had a few more chances, but just couldn’t take them. It was a little disappointing.”
SAN JOSE MIDFIELDER ANTHONY AMPAIPITAKWONG
On making his MLS debut:
“I had butterflies. I was so thrilled to be on the field, especially in a situation where I was put on to try to help the team get back in the game. We just couldn’t finish our chances. We have to put that behind us now and look forward to Dallas.”