LEHI, Utah — Led by goals from Conor Chinn and Collen Warner, Real Salt Lake's reserves completed a Rocky Mountain sweep, getting the better of Colorado Rapids with a 2-0 victory on Thursday at Xango Field in Reserve League play.
The victory is the first for RSL in the reserve league, improving their record to 1-0-1. For RSL reserves coach Jeff Cassar, the difference-maker was the team’s mentality.
“I thought we had the right mentality today," he said. "We came out here and didn’t let Colorado have anything.”
Veteran attacker Arturo Alvarez put his stamp on the game throughout the first half, earning praise from Cassar. The coach, however, pointed out that Alvarez, who played striker, had a tendency to drop down to his more familiar midfield role.
“I think Arturo is a special player, and special players need to make an impact in the game,” said Cassar. “He’s dangerous 30 yards and in, and that’s fantastic.”
[inline_node:333861]In the 20th minute, Alvarez took a pass from Nelson Gonzalez and took the ball up the field before blasting a shot past Rapids ‘keeper Steward Ceus at the far post for the first goal of the game. Chinn appeared to get a piece of the ball and was credited with the tally.
A few minutes later, Alvarez nearly got his team a second score, but his shot went just wide.
In the second half, RSL again dominated the possession, but had to show some scrappiness on the backline to keep Colorado off of the board.
It appeared that things were turning around for the Rapids in the 71st minute. Forward Andre Akpan was taken down by Chris Schuler just outside the area. For the play, Schuler was shown a straight red.
Akpan stepped up to take the free kick. He kept it low and with good pace, but drove it just wide of the right post.
Despite playing down a man, RSL iced the match in the 88th minute. 'Keeper Kyle Reynish booted a ball down the right side. Warner tracked it down from his midfield spot and put a low shot on net that caught Ceus off his line.
Real Salt Lake used the match to audition left back trialist Seth Sinovic.
“Seth came in and helped us out at left back and did a fantastic job,” said Cassar. “He brings experience. … He’s very good on the ball. He’s a smart player. You can tell he’s a student of the game.”