06-18-11vDC_Espindola_PK2 (620x350)
Melissa Majchrzak / Real Salt Lake

Notes & Quotes - RSL 1:1 DC


Late-Half Penalty Kick for Each Side Results in Draw at Rio Tinto Stadium

SANDY, Utah (Saturday, June 18, 2011) Real Salt Lake (6-3-4, 22 pts.) and D.C. United (4-5-5, 17 pts.) both got the benefit of penalty kick decisions late in a half, and both sides’ conversions would mark the only scoring in a 1-1 draw in front of 16,841 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Real Salt Lake would get the first call from referee Terry Vaughn in the 38th minute, when United MF Clyde Simms stopped RSL captain Kyle Beckerman’s drive into the area by handling the ball. RSL FW Fabian Espíndola would step up to the spot for the first time in his MLS career, knocking the chance into the left side of goal firmly to give the home side the lead.

The Utahns would carry that lead late into the match only to see Vaughn point to the spot again in the 85th minute, this time after a slide tackle by RSL DF Chris Wingert on United FW Charlie Davies. After going to ground, the speedy D.C. striker would take the kick himself, slotting just past a diving RSL GK Nick Rimando at the ‘keeper’s right post, evening the contest late.


Real Salt Lake Match Notes

  • With tonight’s start against D.C. United, veteran center-back Nat Borchers made his 100th career MLS regular season appearance and start for the Claret-and-Cobalt. Borchers now ranks 5th on the RSL career charts in both categories and has amassed 182 starts in 183 appearances in his seven MLS campaigns (2003-05 with Colorado, 2008-current with RSL).
  • FW Fabian Espíndola’s 20th goal in a RSL uniform now places him alone in 2nd place on the team’s career scoring chart, breaking a tie with former striker Jeff Cunningham. The goal, which was Espíndola’s fourth on the season and third in four games, extends his team lead in the category in league play.
  • The penalty kick was the first of Espíndola’s MLS career in his 77th regular season contest. RSL is now 2-for-2 from the spot in MLS play in 2011 (Javier Morales converted v. LA Galaxy on March 26 in a 4-1 win).
  • MF Will Johnson returned to the RSL line-up this evening, playing 24 minutes off the bench after starting all three group stage games for Canada in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup across the last two weeks.
  • FW Álvaro Saborío will follow Johnson’s return after his Costa Rica side fell to Honduras in the Gold Cup Quarterfinals 2-4 in penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw through regulation and overtime this afternoon at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. M/F Arturo Alvarez and El Salvador will play their Quarterfinal match tomorrow against Panama at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. (4:00 p.m. MT, live on
  • Real Salt Lake will keep its string of six-straight games against Eastern Conference opposition going this Wednesday, June 22, when the Claret-and-Cobalt will head back to the Midwest to take on the Chicago Fire (2-4-9, 15 pts.). Kickoff from Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., is set for 6:30 p.m. MT and can be seen live on KMYU 2.2 (Comcast 22 / Dish Network 12).






On what the referee or his assistant saw on the play in the 83rd minute that resulted in the D.C. penalty kick?

“In the 83rd minute, a tripping foul was committed by Real Salt Lake within their own penalty area, resulting in a penalty kick.”

On who made the call that it should be a penalty kick – the referee or the assistant?

“The referee made this decision to call the penalty kick.”



On whether RSL is losing its home-field advantage at Rio Tinto Stadium:

“We went through a stretch of a lot of games that we hadn’t lost, but it wasn’t like we were winning every single game at home.  And we didn’t lose this game either.” 

On the 1-1 outcome tonight:

“I think we have to be very disappointed to kind of have three points wrapped up and then give away a counter-attack and to be at the mercy of the referee’s decision.” 

On what the team can improve before Chicago on Wednesday:

“I think that we just need to continue to try and improve in every aspect of our game.  I just think it would be unfair to pick out one thing and say ‘This is the area of our game that we have to improve on.’  For me, we need to improve in every aspect.  I’m not asking for huge improvements, I’m asking for little improvements.  The possibilities are there.”

On forward Álvaro Saborío’s return following Gold Cup duty:

“We’re going to continue to do what we did when he was here.  We’re going to continue to believe in him, work on the technical aspects of his finishing, and at the end of it he’s going to have to come through this rough patch.  Forwards have rough patches and this one has been a little longer than probably typical for him – and for most guys – but he’ll come through.”



On the 1-1 result:

"It stings a little bit. When you have a lead and give up the lead it feels like a loss, so it's no different today. We lost some points so it's a bit disappointing."

On the impact of the officiating:

"It's frustrating. The referees are trying their best, but, just like in soccer, sometimes it's not good enough. The game was there for us to win and we didn't put it away."

On not being able to put the game away:

"I can’t recall too many clear-cut chances we had to really put them away. There were a couple half-chances and some good possession, but again we just have to keep working hard and be more dangerous."



On the penalty awarded to Charlie Davies:

“It's almost laughable, I don't know what to say. Charlie is a friend of mine … we roomed together in (U.S.) National Team camp. He even looked at me, kind of smiling. He knew. It's a shame we lost two points on that play because it really wasn't even close.”

On the team's overall performance:

“We had some rough patches in the beginning, but then we kind of got it together. We were winning the ball in their half. Fabian (Espíndola) buried his PK well and I thought it was enough to win the match, but unfortunately not.”

On what the team could have done to secure the win:

“Score. I know it sounds silly, but it's true. We could have possessed the ball better, just in general, but that's what happens. I feel like with the way we have been playing, to come out with the 1-0 win would have been great, even though we only scored a goal. To battle in the second half and come away with the 1-0 win would have been great and, obviously, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.”



Thoughts on the match:

“I thought that on the day [Real Salt Lake] were probably a better soccer team than we were, but we found a way.  It’s a tough place to come and sneak out a result.”

On the game’s two goals being scored via penalties:

“We hit two posts, but we couldn’t get it that way so I guess we went the penalty route to get the tie.  I think you can argue on both whether they were PK’s, but in the end they evened out.”



On coming off the bench with energy:

“Whenever you come off the bench you’re supposed to add something to the game, especially me.  My job is to come in and change the game for this team.  The game was pretty flat and they needed someone who could stretch the defense and change the game and bring that energy on.”

On taking a penalty kick against Nick Rimando:

"For me now it’s just whenever I step up to the penalty spot I feel like I’m going to score.  I knew that Nicky is a good PK stopper so I just wanted to hit it with power right in the corner, which I was able to do.”



On United’s change in tactics after halftime:

“After we were losing 1-0, the coach gave us a new tactic and, thanks to God, we were able to get a tie.”

On his high-energy play on the wing:

“It was a bit difficult because of the altitude here.  I think that it bugged me a lot, made me too tired.”


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