RSL DOMINATES IN 2-0 WIN OVER USL PRO SIDE WILMINGTON HAMMERHEADS IN U.S. OPEN CUP THIRD ROUND
DF Tony Beltran and FW Jean Alexandre Tally Late in First Half to Help Claret-and-Cobalt Advance;
RSL to Meet FC Dallas in Quarterfinal Round July 12 at Pizza Hut Park
SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, June 28, 2011) – Real Salt Lake used late first half goals from DF Tony Beltran and FW Jean Alexandre to defeat the USL PRO’s Wilmington Hammerheads 2-0 in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Third Round contest in front of 7,620 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium. With FC Dallas completing a wild 3-2 win over Orlando City SC (USL PRO), RSL is set for a Quarterfinal Round showdown with its Texas-based nemesis in two weeks’ time on Tuesday, July 12 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas.
After a wide-open first 10 minutes, RSL would quickly gain total control of the proceedings, dominating possession and, eventually, the shot tally, which ended 18-6 in favor of the home side. However, it would take until the 40th minute for RSL’s attacking prowess to pay off, when Beltran banged his shot from the right side of the area off the inside of the right post and past Hammerheads GK Kyle Polak to open up the scoring. RSL would double the advantage just four minutes later through Alexandre, who took a through ball from MF Will Johnson into the area before holding off a defender and calmly slotting inside the left post to bring the score to 2-0.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes
- All eight MLS teams in the 98th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup entered the tournament in tonight’s Third Round and nearly completed a clean sweep of their lower-division opposition, with only the USL PRO’s Richmond Kickers pulling off an upset by downing the Columbus Crew 2-1 at Crew Stadium. The Quarterfinal Round is now set with the following match-ups to be played on July 12 (home team listed first): FC Dallas v. Real Salt Lake, Chicago Fire v. New York Red Bulls, Sporting Kansas City v. Richmond Kickers, and Seattle Sounders FC v. LA Galaxy.
- The goal by DF Tony Beltran was the fourth-year defender’s first goal in an RSL uniform in any competition since being drafted 3rd overall by the Claret-and-Cobalt in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. Beltran is still looking to snap a 69-match scoreless streak to kick off his career in MLS action.
- FW Jean Alexandre assisted on Beltran’s first career goal and followed it up with a goal of his own. Tonight’s performance marks the second time this season in all competitions that Alexandre has recorded an assist and a goal in the same game, the first coming against the Vancouver Whitecaps on June 4 at Rio Tinto Stadium, a performance that earned him the MLS Player of the Week honor.
- The shutout in goal by GK Kyle Reynish was his second of the 2011 season in as many games across all competitions, following up on his spotless 90 minutes at the New England Revolution in MLS play back on April 30.
- Real Salt Lake’s upcoming five-day hiatus between games may seem like an eternity thanks to its recent schedule, with the squad set to return to MLS play next Monday, July 4 against the New England Revolution. The traditional Independence Day Celebration game, which this season . This year’s contest, which will also feature the post-game #9 jersey retirement ceremony for Jason Kreis, is set for a 6:30 p.m. MT kickoff at Rio Tinto Stadium (live on ESPN2). Tickets for the Independence Day celebration remain on sale 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 weekdays from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. MT.
RSL POST-GAME QUOTE SHEET
REAL SALT LAKE 2 : 0 WILMINGTON HAMMERHEADS
TUESDAY, JUNE 28, 2011
REAL SALT LAKE HEAD COACH JASON KREIS
Thoughts on the game:
“It wasn’t a perfect game. It’s not a game that I think any of us walk out of here and are ecstatic about, but we got the job done. The biggest disappointment was that it took us a little longer than I’d have liked for us to get into that game. I have to be honest and fair to the players, as there were four or five guys out there that have played four games in eleven days.”
On having to travel to play against FC Dallas in the Open Cup Quarterfinals:
“That’s an extremely difficult opponent for us. Their strengths are getting at some of our weaknesses. We do have to have a little bit of positivity about that game because we got a good result there the last time we were there.”
On how much winning the Open Cup means to RSL:
“We’re going to put massive emphasis on it. We’re a team that wants to win trophies. It doesn’t matter what kind. We’re three games away from a championship and three games away from being back into CONCACAF (Champions League), so we’re putting a tremendous amount of focus on it.”
REAL SALT LAKE
DEFENDER TONY BELTRAN
On scoring his first professional goal:
"It's great. I've been trying to score for a long time and I feel like I've been getting closer and closer and getting more and more confident every game, so I'm glad I was able to contribute personally. But I'm more happy we got the win because it's a very important win for us.”
On being more involved in the offense:
“That's the plan. Now that I got one, why not get some more?”
On progressing as a player this season:
“This is my fourth year now and each year the coaches have done a really good job bringing me along and helping me out and I just feel more confident this year. That was the same last year as the year before, so each year I'm just trying to get better and each game I'm trying to get better.”
On what he saw on the goal:
“I played the ball to Jean [Alexandre] and he did a great job holding it up. At that point he played the ball to me, I saw the near post and I put it away.”
REAL SALT LAKE MIDFIELDER WILL JOHNSON
On advancing in the U.S. Open Cup:
“Obviously we just take it one game at a time. It's a good tournament and most likely it will (more) away games on the road, so it's tough. We need to get some guys healthy and get ready for some hard tests, but it will be good for this team.”