RSL RESERVES RELINQUISH LATE, SETTLE FOR 1-1 DRAW AGAINST SPORTING KC RESERVES
RSL MF Nico Muniz’s 58th Minute Goal Countered by Late Sporting KC Breakaway Tally by FW Dom Dwyer;
Starts for DF Nat Borchers, MF Will Johnson & FW Alvaro Saborio Mark Progress from Injuries
SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, March 20, 2012) – After a brief postponement to allow for the thawing of America First Field, Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City dueled to a 1-1 draw in an MLS Reserve League contest at RSL’s Sandy practice facility.
Real Salt Lake fielded a first XI featuring three regular first-team stalwarts – defender Nat Borchers, midfielder Will Johnson and forward Álvaro Saborío – coming off of various injuries, and the trio helped the RSL Reserves control the opening 15 minutes. Sporting KC Reserves proved dangerous through a bevy of restarts in the middle portion of the half, but finally created some work for RSL Reserves ‘keeper Kyle Reynish in the 35th minute, when the RSL backstop had to knock away a dangerous dead ball cross by forward Soony Saad before it reached forward Dom Dwyer.
Real Salt Lake Reserves came within inches of scoring in the 40th minute, when Saborío drove in a cross from the right flank for Yordany Alvarez. The Cuban midfielder’s re-direction on goal was stopped by Sporting KC Reserves goalkeeper Jon Kempin, who was on the spot to tip the ball just over the crossbar. The first half action came to a close with a quick counter toward the RSL goal, where Dwyer dove fully but was unable to reach a dangerous cross tucked neatly to the back post.
The second half opened with the chances going RSL’s way, as substitutes forward Emiliano Bonfigli and midfielder Nico Muñiz proved active upon their halftime insertion. Bonfigli had his chances, but Muñiz capitalized on a 58th minute opportunity when an Alvarez cross was punched out by Kempin, falling nicely at Muñiz’s foot. The RSL Homegrown signing let loose from just outside the area and beat Kempin for his first goal in official competition for the Claret-and-Cobalt, giving RSL the 1-0 advantage.
Sporting KC Reserves would begin to control the possession game shortly thereafter, but would create few chances as a result until the closing minutes. It was a quick counter-attack that would provide the visitors an equalizer two minutes from time, as midfielder Korede Aiyegbusi split the RSL defense with a lengthy through ball that Dwyer ran onto before slotting low past an onrushing Reynish to even the match at 1-1. Reynish batted away Saad’s lengthy effort in stoppage time to give each team a share of the spoils, RSL Reserves (0-1-1) claiming its first point in its first home match of the season and Sporting KC Reserves (0-0-1) doing the same in its 2012 Reserve League debut.
Real Salt Lake Reserves will continue its busy opening stretch next Tuesday, March 27, with an away contest at Chicago Fire Reserves (9:00 a.m. MT, Toyota Park Practice Field).
RSL Reserves Match Notes
- Real Salt Lake welcomed one gust player into its ranks for today’s contest, defender Chris Estridge, who played the full 90 minutes at right back. The former Indiana University product, who was selected by Vancouver Whitecaps FC in January’s MLS SuperDraft (second round, 21st overall), will remain in Utah this week and is expected to join the RSL Reserves for next Tuesday’s match at Chicago.
- A pair of RSL-Arizona Academy players, defender Carlos Salcedo and forward Maikon Orellana, started the contest on the RSL Reserves bench, with Salcedo entering in the 67th minute for center back Nat Borchers.
- The 67-minute stint for Borchers marks another step in his progress back from last November’s left quadriceps injury, following on the heels of his 45-minute run in last Tuesday’s Reserve League match at FC Dallas. The two-time defending RSL Defender of the Year was upgraded to questionable status on the official team injury report Tuesday afternoon in anticipation of Saturday’s league match against Chivas USA.
- The 45-minute performance for midfielder Will Johnson, who is recovering from a procedure two weeks ago in Germany to alleviate a bi-lateral adductor issue, also marked progress, as it was the first significant game action for the Canadian international this spring. Johnson was also upgraded to questionable for Saturday’s match, while forward Alvaro Saborio was bumped up to probable after his full 90-minute run today at America First Field (R internal knee injury).
MLS Reserve League Box Score
Real Salt Lake 1 : 1 Sporting Kansas City
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
America First Field – Sandy, Utah
RSL – Nico Muñiz (unassisted) 58
SKC – Dom Dwyer (Korede Aiyegbusi) 88
SKC – Dom Dwyer (caution, reckless foul) 45
Real Salt Lake Reserves: Kyle Reynish; ^Chris Estridge, Nat Borchers (*Carlos Salcedo 67), Leone Cruz, Diogo de Almeida (Terukazu Tanaka 75); Jonny Steele, Yordany Alvarez, Enzo Martinez, Will Johnson (Nico Muñiz 45); Álvaro Saborío, Cody Arnoux (Emiliano Bonfigli 45)
Sporting Kansas City Reserves: Jon Kempin; Shawn Singh (^Kyle Miller 82), Lawrence Olum, Cyprian Hedrick (Konrad Warzycha 71), Michael Harrington; Korede Aiyegbusi, Paulo Nagamura (Michael Thomas 62), Luke Sassano; Jacob Peterson (Kevin Ellis 67), Soony Saad, Dom Dwyer
*RSL-Arizona Academy player