REAL SALT LAKE DROPS EXPANSION SIDE VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC WITH DOMINATING 2-0 WIN
M/F Jean Alexandre Notches First Career MLS Goal & Assist;
FW Fabian Espíndola Moves into 3rd Place All-Time Among RSL Scorers;
GK Nick Rimando and RSL Defense Record 7th Shutout in 10 MLS Games
SANDY, Utah (Saturday, June 4, 2011) – Real Salt Lake (6-2-2, 20 points) kicked off its six-game June with a dominating 2-0 win over expansion Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Rio Tinto Stadium Saturday night, scoring once in each half and outshooting the visitors 24-6. The makeshift strike partnership of FW Fabian Espíndola and Jean Alexandre each found the back of the net on either side of halftime, giving head coach Jason Kreis’ team its first multiple-goal output since April 9 in a 2-0 win at New England, a span of six games.
RSL GK Nick Rimando made four saves tonight for his 80th career clean sheet – placing him 2nd all-time behind Dallas GK Kevin Hartman (100) – and his 44th career shutout in an RSL uniform, along with 46 wins. The vaunted RSL defense tallied its seventh clean sheet in 10 games on the 2011 campaign, and has allowed just four goals in its first 10 games, the 2nd-lowest total in Major League Soccer’s 16-season history (2010 Los Angeles Galaxy allowed just two goals through its first 10 games).
Despite its league-leading 2.00 points-per-game average, Real Salt Lake currently sits in fourth place in the MLS Western Conference behind Los Angeles, Dallas and Seattle; however, RSL has played four fewer games than FC Dallas (7-3-4, 25 points), five fewer than Sounders FC (5-4-6, 21 pts) and six fewer than the Galaxy (8-2-6, 30 pts).
Real Salt Lake Match Notes
- Real Salt Lake FW Fabian Espíndola moved into sole possession of 3rd place in the RSL all-time goal-scoring list with his 18th career goal, jumping ahead of both his countryman Javier Morales and current head coach Jason Kreis. Former striker Robbie Findley – in attendance tonight at Rio Tinto Stadium – leads the way with 29 goals all-time, while Jeff Cunningham scored 19 goals during his season-and-a-half with the Claret-and-Cobalt.
- The 32nd-minute goal by Haitian-American M/F Jean Alexandre was the first of his 26-game MLS career, with the last two weeks spent up top in an attacking position. Alexandre followed up what proved to be the game-winning goal with his first career assist, setting up Espíndola’s 79th minute effort to ice tonight’s 2-0 win.
- Three RSL players – FW Álvaro Saborío (Costa Rica), FW Arturo Alvarez (El Salvador) and MF Will Johnson missed tonight’s game due to national team duty for 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup. GK Nick Rimando will remain with RSL during the Gold Cup despite being named to the United States team, yet can be called into action at any time. The 2011 Gold Cup runs from June 5-25 at various U.S. venues.
- Young Armenian FW Artur Aghasyan made his MLS debut tonight, the cousin of former RSL FW Yura Movsisyan playing the final three minutes after signing with the club on May 27.
- Real Salt Lake travels this week for a pair of games against Eastern Conference opponents, facing off against the Columbus Crew on Wednesday, June 8 at 5:30 p.m. MT and then at East leader Philadelphia Union next Saturday, June 11, at 2:00 p.m. MT. Both games will be televised live on KMYU 2.2 air / Comcast 22 / Dish 12, and can be heard live on ESPN700 Sports Radio and ESPN Deportes 1600.
- Tickets for the next home Real Salt Lake contest against D.C. United on Saturday, June 18 remain available and can be purchased online at www.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. Chart-topping musical act OneRepublic will perform a post-game concert following the D.C. United match.
POST-GAME QUOTE SHEET
REAL SALT LAKE 2 : 0 VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
SATURDAY, JUNE 4, 2011
REAL SALT LAKE HEAD COACH JASON KREIS
On the result:
“Tonight was a step in the right direction. The guys played with a competitive spirit from minute one to minute ninety. They did a lot of really positive things in my book. Still room for improvement, still a couple of steps forward to make.”
On the play of forward Jean Alexandre:
“He’s still learning a little bit about the proper runs to be making to try and get in behind a little more often. He was more responsible with possession when it was played to him tonight. The number of balls he kept for our team and connected passes was much higher. He also made a couple of good runs, and, of course, the goal that unlocked things for us was special; it was a little bit of an individual effort.”
On striker Fabian Espíndola’s goal:
“It was very gratifying to see (Espíndola get the goal). In the last two games, the ground that he has covered and the balls that he has chased down … he’s taking a few more risks than typical. I think he’s doing that because he knows that someone has to make a difference for us right now and he is trying to be that guy that will do it.”
On where RSL can improve:
“I think there is room for improvement in all aspects of our game. I think it would be unfair to pick one thing out over any other. The focus has to be that we know that we have to work that hard if we want to win games.”
REAL SALT LAKE MID/FWD JEAN ALEXANDRE
On scoring his first MLS goal:
“I have to give credit to the pass (by Kyle Beckerman). It was a world-class pass. It took me a little by surprise and took the defense by surprise. I’ve dreamed about it and I always thought it would be a scrappy goal that hit me off the head and went in, but it was a decent goal.”
On getting the opportunity to play forward:
"I have to thank the coaching staff for helping me. I have to continue to make better runs and run more.”
REAL SALT LAKE FORWARD FABIAN ESPĺNDOLA
On hitting the back of the net:
“I’m a forward. I put everything I have in. It’s good when you score, it helps the team. I only have two goals in the league this year, so I’m okay just for now.”
REAL SALT LAKE MIDFIELDER KYLE BECKERMAN
On getting back to winning at home:
“It’s important. We’ve worked really hard for a couple years to get that winning mentality here. It’s been a while since we’ve gone through a rough patch and had all of these injuries – and Gold Cup (absences) – so tonight was big just to get back in the winning column.”
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC HEAD COACH TOM SOEHN
On his team's performance:
"Today it just wasn't good enough in so many aspects of the game, especially when you look at the amount of 50-50 balls we lost. This league, especially on the road, it's a difficult league, and when you have four or five (players) competing it's not enough. It takes 11 guys."
On Vancouver’s strategy going into match:
"We worked so well organizing our pressure and making sure we were compact against Chivas USA and I felt like we let that all slip in this game, especially from the start."
On the play of goalkeeper Joe Cannon...
"He had too much to do tonight, and that's something we have to fix."
On Whitecaps FC’s first trip to Rio Tinto Stadium:
"They have a great record at home and we knew that coming in, so we didn't expect it to be easy. When I look at the things we tried to accomplish we failed at a lot of them, and to get results on the road you need to accomplish them."
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC MIDFIELDER MICHAEL NANCHOFF
On making his Whitecaps FC debut:
"I would say it was pretty emotionally draining, but it was a blast though. There's nothing like getting back out there, especially playing with these boys. The result was unfortunate. We knew coming in here it's a tough place to play against a good opponent, but we're a no excuses kind of team."
On coach Tom Soehn’s instructions before being subbed into the game:
"He kept it really simple and I thought it was real good. He said, 'Get on the ball and create, try to find the ball and try to penetrate,' and that was about it. It was fun."
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC FORWARD OMAR SALGADO
On the match:
"We just didn't have the ball at all; they completely controlled the first and second halves. It was very difficult for us … it's a tough place to play at, and they have great defenders. They are a great team overall and they were a great team that outplayed us."
On getting some much-needed downtime before facing Seattle:
"I think it's important for us to clear our heads and look ahead to Seattle and hopefully we can get that rivalry on."