Real Salt Lake topped Sporting Kansas City 1-0 in Reserve League action at the Sporting Club Training Center in Kansas City on Tuesday. Claret-and-Cobalt forward Emiliano Bonfigli scored the lone goal, burying a penalty kick in the 61st minute to give RSL all three points.
“I thought the effort was fantastic,” said RSL Reserves coach Jeff Cassar. “It was a warm day but the effort that the guys put forth was great. I thought the goal that we created was very good. It was a nice combo in the midfield, Sebastian Velasquez played [Bonfigli] in behind and Emi did a great job to get around the keeper, earn the penalty and then convert it.”
Sporting Kansas City opened strong, with two rapid-fire chances in the 12th minute. Jacob Peterson had the first when he took a crack that breezed over the crossbar. His shot was immediately followed by an arching, angled shot from Michael Thomas that rattled the far right post.
While Sporting kept the action in Salt Lake’s end for much of the first half, the visitors fought back with a chance of their own in the 28th minute when midfielder trialist David Viana sent in a well-struck shot from distance that breezed over the left post.
Four minutes later it was Sporting Kansas City on the attack as Dom Dwyer snatched the ball at midfield, turned and made a run on goal, finding Sporting KC academy player Eduardo Moreno on the overlap. Moreno played the ball across the mouth of the goal to Michael Thomas, but his close-range shot was saved by goalkeeper Kyle Reynish.
A minute later, it was Real Salt Lake on the counterattack. Midfielders Sebastian Velasquez and Luis Gil moved the ball up the field through combination play before finding forward Justin Braun whose strike was wide of the right post.
Sporting KC saw the last chance in the half on a free kick. Oriol Rosell created a diversion as he ran over the ball before Dwyer whipped it into the box. Jacob Peterson redirected the cross towards the goal with an expert flick, but his effort skimmed the frame.
The second half did not see quite the range of chances of the first.
Salt Lake nearly bagged a goal in the 57th minute when Braun made a diving header that nearly sailed past Kempin.
A minute later, Kempin was shown a red card for denying Emiliano Bonfigli a goal-scoring opportunity. Academy player Jacole Turner was brought in to play keeper and face Bonfigli as he converted the penalty into Salt Lake’s decisive goal in the 61st minute.
Five minutes later, Sporting nearly equalized when Soony Saad’s well-placed corner found the feet of Kyle Miller, who scrambled to find room to score, but his shot was jumbled to the hands of Reynish.
The final minutes of the match saw little action from either side. Real Salt Lake had the last say when RSL Academy midfielder Ive Burnett served in a bending shot that was expertly blocked by Turner.
Real Salt Lake’s next Reserve League match is against the Houston Dynamo at America First Field in Sandy, Utah on Oct. 10. It will be the Claret-and-Cobalt’s final match of the Reserve League season.
Reserves: Real Salt Lake 1-Sporting KC 0
RSL: Emiliano Bonfigli (penalty kick) 61
RSL: Jamison Olave (caution, reckless tackle) 6
KC: Jon Kempin (ejection, denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity) 58
KC: Neven Markovic (caution, dissent) 58
Real Salt Lake: Kyle Reynish; Jamison Olave (Terukazu Tanaka** 69), Carlos Salcedo*, Chris Schuler, Kenny Mansally (Ive Burnett* 72), Enzo Martinez, David Viana** (Nico Muniz 80), Sebastian Velasquez, Luis Gil, Justin Braun, Emiliano Bonfigli
Subs not used: Scott Angevine***, Antonio Murillo*
Sporting Kansas City: Jon Kempin; Kevin Ellis, Konrad Warzycha, Neven Markovic, Michael Harrington (Trialist #3**); Oriol Rosell (Kyle Miller), Jacob Peterson (Soony Saad), Michael Thomas, Eduardo Moreno*, Korede Aiyegbusi, Dom Dwyer (Trialist #2**)
Subs not used: Trialist #1**
*Academy player **Guest player ***League pool goalkeeper
POST-GAME QUOTE SHEET
RSL Reserves Coach Jeff Cassar
Thoughts on the game…
“I thought the effort was fantastic. It was a warm day but the effort that the guys put forth was great. I thought the goal that we created was very good. It was a nice combo in the midfield, Sebastian Velasquez played [Bonfigli] in behind and Emi did a great job to get around the keeper, earn the penalty and then convert it.”
“Getting Chris Schuler, Jamison Olave and Kenny Mansally minutes was huge, too. It was good to get them all back on the field and get some good minutes in.”
On Olave’s performance...
“Olave was fantastic. He looked really sharp and really in command going against Dom Dwyer. He’s very physical, very strong and Jamison handled him very nicely. It was a really good game for him to get his feet wet.”