RSL BLOWS 2-GOAL LEAD, SUCCUMBS TO RIVAL GALAXY AT SOLD-OUT RIO TINTO STADIUM
Beckerman, Saborio Ride Espindola Assists to 2-0 Lead; Donovan Scores Twice to Lead Los Angeles Comeback;
RSL Falls to 10-4-2 (32 pts), Supporters Shield Lead On Line Saturday at Home vs San Jose Earthquakes
SANDY, Utah (Wednesday, June 20, 2012) – Real Salt Lake (10-4-2, 32 points, West #1) saw its lead atop both the overall and Western Conference standings diminished with tonight’s rare 2-3 home loss against rival Los Angeles Galaxy (5-8-2, 17 points, West #7). RSL FW Fabian Espindola assisted on two early goals, setting up Captain Kyle Beckerman in the 9th minute and strike partner Alvaro Saborio in the 24th to pace RSL to an early 2-0 lead.
In the 9th minute, DF Chris Wingert lofted a long diagonal ball to find Espindola in the corner. The Argentine forward – who scored two goals in Saturday’s 3-0 road win at Chivas – took the ball to the endline and snapped a pass back to the penalty spot to find an onrushing Beckerman, who buried the 12-yard shot for his 4th goal of the season, one more than he scored in all of 2011.
Fifteen minutes later, Costa Rican international Saborio benefited from his strike partner’s distribution, taking a ball from the top of the 18 extended and utilizing a one-touch flick to surprise the Galaxy defense for his team-leading 7th goal of the season, and his 41st in 75 games across all competitions in the Claret-and-Cobalt since his arrival in 2010.
However, disaster struck before a sold-out Rio Tinto Stadium crowd on either side of halftime, engineered by U.S. soccer icon Landon Donovan. In the 29th minute, Donovan ran onto a weak back-pass by RSL DF Tony Beltran, rounding GK Nick Rimando after the interception and cutting the RSL lead to 2-1. The unassisted goal – which gave the Galaxy significant life in the match – snapped Rimando’s personal shutout streak at 280 minutes, dating back to May 5.
RSL took the lead into halftime up 2-1, but five minutes after the break, another defensive gaffe led to a Galaxy equalizer. RSL DF Jamison Olave – the 2010 MLS Defender of the Year and a two-time MLS All-Star – uncharacteristically misplayed a ball just shy of midfield, and again it was Donovan who took it the other way, setting up a streaking Mike Magee on the left side, in alone on Rimando. Magee buried his effort to make it 2-2 with nearly a full half remaining.
In the 68th minute, RSL conceded its third unanswered goal of the match when a Magee ball at midfield was played from the far touchline over the RSL backline to a streaking Donovan, who deftly took the ball out of the air and past an onrushing Rimando in one smooth motion, then buried the shot in the empty net to put the Galaxy ahead with 22 minutes remaining.
Los Angeles would not even attempt another shot the rest of the way, while RSL pushed everything it had forward, forcing Galaxy GK Josh Saunders to make two saves and seeing several other opportunities go just wanting, including a deflected Saborio shot in the box in the 84th minute and a Javier Morales chip over the bar in the 94th minute. Morales’ appearance was his second consecutive 30-minute performance off the bench, as the Argentine playmaker works his way back from various muscle injuries that have dogged him since his horrific injury last May.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 2 : 3 LA
- Real Salt Lake fell to 6-2-0 at home in MLS play this season, losing 0-1 to the other LA-based club, Chivas USA, back on March 24 … RSL also suffered a 3rd home loss this year, back on May 29 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, 2-3, to the NASL Minnesota Stars.
- In 233 previous MLS games since the club’s inception back in 2005, Real Salt Lake had never before blown a 2-goal lead to suffer a loss … In CONCACAF Champions League play, RSL dropped a 5-4 decision in Mexico City to Cruz Azul in a rain-soaked, lightning-delayed game that it had once led 3-1 in August, 2010.
- With a sellout crowd of 20,382, tonight marked the 16th sellout in Rio Tinto Stadium history for Real Salt Lake, which fell to 6-6-4 all-time in front of capacity crowds at the Sandy venue … Tonight’s attendance was the 13th-largest in the Stadium’s RSL history.
- RSL saw it’s active unbeaten run in MLS play perish at seven games overall, equaling the longest in MLS this season (D.C. United, 3/24-4/28; and Kansas City, 3/10-4/18) … Real Salt Lake’s last previous loss came on April 21 at San Jose, as the nine-man RSL side succumbed to a pair of stoppage-time Earthquakes goals to drop a 1-3 decision.
- Tonight’s result snapped RSL’s five-game home winning streak, tied for the longest run in the club’s eight-year history.
- With his caution tonight, MF Javier Morales joins MF Kyle Beckerman and FW Alvaro Saborio in “yellow peril,” the trio suspended for one game with their next yellow cards … Beckerman has already benefited from the league’s “Good Behavior Incentive,” after going three consecutive games without a booking … Saborio needs two more caution-free games to see his yellow-card total reduced to 3, while Morales will need now to go three consecutive games without discipline in order to earn his reduction.
- Only DF Tony Beltran and FW Alvaro Saborio have appeared in all 16 MLS games for RSL this year, with Beltran the team’s 2012 minutes leader (1424) …
- Real Salt Lake continues this week’s stretch of three games against California-based opposition in eight days by welcoming the current West #2 side, San Jose Earthquakes, this Saturday, June 23 at 7:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium; tickets can be purchased at www.RealSaltLake.com or by calling (801) 727.2701.
REAL SALT LAKE 2 : 3 LA GALAXY
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20, 2012
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 2 0 2
LA Galaxy 1 2 3
Scoring Summary: RSL - Beckerman 4 (Espindola 2, Wingert 1) 9’
RSL - Saborio 7 (Espindola 3) 24’
LA – Donovan 3 29’
LA – McGee 2 (Donovan 3) 50’
LA – Donovan 4 (McGee 2) 68’
Misconduct Summary: RSL – Steele (Dissent, Yellow Card) 53’
LA – DeLaGarza (Foul, Yellow Card) 53’
RSL – Morales (Foul, Yellow Card) 66’
RSL – Espindola (Foul, Yellow Card) 80’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) – Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave (Luis Gil 64), Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert; Kyle Beckerman (c), Will Johnson, Jonny Steele (Morales 60), Ned Grabavoy (Paulo Junior 80); Fabian Espindola, Alvaro Saborio
Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish (GK), Yordany Alvarez, Emiliano Bonfigli, Terakazu Tanaka
LA Galaxy (4-5-1) – Josh Saunders; Sean Franklin, David Junior Lopes, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant; Bryan Jordan (Rafael Garcia 85), David Beckham, Marcelo Sarvas (Michael Stephens 63), Juninho, Mike Magee (Chard Barrett 88); Landon Donovan
Substitutes Not Used: Brian Perk (GK), Bryan Gaul, Jack McBean, Tommy Meyer
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee's Assistants: Corey Rockwell, Corey Parker
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Time of Game: 1:54
Weather: Clear and 73 degrees