SANDY, Utah (Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012) – Real Salt Lake (17-11-6, 57 points, West #2) played Vancouver Whitecaps FC (11-13-10, 43 points, West #5) to a scoreless draw in front of a sold-out crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium in the team’s MLS regular season finale on Saturday night.
Saturday’s sell-out was the sixth-straight at Rio Tinto Stadium and the 11th in 19 games at the Sandy, Utah facility in 2012.
RSL started the match without five of its regulars. DF’s Nat Borchers (rest) and Jamison Olave (L quad strain) as well as MF Javier Morales (illness) were not in the 18, while GK Nick Rimando (rest) and MF Will Johnson started the match on the bench. DF’s Kwame Watson-Siriboe and Kenny Mansally started for Borchers and Olave, GK Kyle Reynish played for Rimando and MF Jonny Steele began the match for Morales.
MF Ned Grabavoy and FW Alvaro Saborio also started on Saturday night. Grabavoy had missed RSL’s last four matches across all competitions with a right quad strain while Saborio had missed the last two due to suspension and international duty.
The first half was rather quiet, with neither team able to create much in the way of chances. Vancouver had perhaps its best chance of the opening 45 in the 16th minute. FW Dane Richards collected MF Matt Taylor’s ball on the left edge of the area, slaloming through several RSL defenders before hitting a 10-yard shot just wide of the near post.
Whitecaps FC had another decent look in the 37th minute, when MF Alain Rochat curled a 25-yard free kick on frame that Reynish saved.
Real Salt Lake’s best opportunity of the first half came just a minute after Rochat’s shot. Grabavoy started the play, slipping Saborio through in the left side of the area. The Costa Rican striker ran onto the pass and slammed a 15-yard left-footer that ‘Caps GK Brad Knighton parried over the bar.
The match picked up a bit in the 57th minute, when Vancouver FW Darren Mattocks had a goal disallowed due to an offside call. The Jamaican international had headed home a Rochat free kick at the left post.
RSL responded shortly after Mattocks’ disallowed strike, creating a pair of chances in the 60th minute. Saborio had the first, running onto a Grabavoy through ball in the left side of the box before scuffing his open shot wide of the net. FW Fabian Espindola had the second chance, heading MF Kyle Beckerman’s lofted cross just over the top-left-corner from eight yards out.
Real Salt Lake had another opportunity in the 69th minute, when MF Luis Gil hit a hard shot from distance that Knighton stopped but didn’t hold. Unfortunately, the Claret-and-Cobalt didn’t follow-up on the shot fast enough, allowing the ‘Caps GK to claim the rebound.
Things quieted down again after that, with neither side registering another opportunity until RSL nearly nabbed a late winner in the 89th minute. MF Sebastian Velasquez beat several Vancouver players on the touchline, freeing himself up to hit a cross to Saborio at the left post. The Costa Rican striker got a foot on the ball, but had his shot deflected just wide of the near bar by a ‘Caps defender.
RSL will take on Seattle Sounders FC in the Western Conference Semifinals beginning next weekend. The Claret-and-Cobalt will know its final playoff seed after Seattle’s game against L.A. on Sunday night. If Seattle loses at the Galaxy, RSL will be the West’s two-seed and will travel to Pacific Northwest for the series’ first leg on Nov. 2 before hosting Sounders FC in the second leg on Nov. 8. If Seattle wins or draws on Sunday, RSL will be the third-seed and will host Sounders FC in the first leg on Nov. 3 before taking on the Cascadia club at CenturyLink Field in the second leg on Nov. 8.
Tickets for the Western Conference Semifinal series and the rest of the postseason are on sale and can be purchased at www.RealSaltLake.com, at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office or by calling (801) 727-2700.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 0-VAN 0
- Saturday’s result gave Real Salt Lake 57 points on the season, breaking the club record of 56 set in the 30-game 2010 season. RSL finished the regular season with 17 wins, breaking the record of 15 initially set in 2010.
- Saturday’s result moves RSL’s unbeaten streak to seven games across all competitions. The Claret-and-Cobalt is 6-1-4 in its last 11 matches across all competitions, outscoring its opposition 12-3 during that stretch.
- Saturday’s draw keeps RSL GK Kyle Reynish’s perfect career record intact, moving him to 2-0-5 in MLS regular season play. The sixth-year goalie has four shutouts in his seven career starts in league play.
- RSL has now played in three-consecutive scoreless draws after Saturday’s match, Tuesday’s 0-0 CONCACAF Champions League tie against C.S. Herediano and Oct. 17’s 0-0 draw at Seattle.
- The Claret-and-Cobalt kept its third-consecutive clean sheet on Saturday night, extending its shutout streak to 343 minutes and shutting out an opponent for the eighth time in the last 11 games.
- RSL finished the MLS regular season without giving up a goal in the first 15 minutes of any of its 34 matches. The Claret-and-Cobalt is just the second team in MLS history – after the 2009 Houston Dynamo – to manage such a feat.
- Real Salt Lake ended the regular season with a 5-1-3 mark against the three Cascadia clubs of Vancouver, Seattle and Portland.
- Saturday’s result was the first-time in the RSL-Whitecaps FC series that the home team didn’t win the match. The home side was a perfect 4-0-0 in this series entering Saturday’s game.
REAL SALT LAKE 0–VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC 0
SATURDAY, OCT. 27, 2012
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 0 0
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0 0 0
Scoring Summary: No Goals
Misconduct Summary: RSL – Chris Wingert (Foul) – 36’
VAN – Jay DeMerit (Foul) – 45 +1’
RSL – Will Johnson (Foul) – 82’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) – Kyle Reynish; Kenny Mansally (Will Johnson, 78’), Chris Wingert, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Tony Beltran; Kyle Beckerman (C); Ned Grabavoy (Sebastian Velasquez, 63’), Jonny Steele; Luis Gil (David Viana, 71’); Alvaro Saborio, Fabian Espindola
Substitutes Not Used: Nick Rimando (GK), Yordany Alvarez, Paulo Jr., Enzo Martinez,
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (4-4-2) – Brad Knighton: Jordan Harvey, Jay DeMerit, Andy O’Brien, Lee Young-Pyo; Matt Watson, Alain Rochat, John Thorrington, Gershon Koffie; Darren Mattocks (Barry Robson, 71’), Dane Richards (Kenny Miller, 78’)
Substitutes Not Used: Joe Cannon (GK), Martin Bonjour, Camilo, Jun Marques Davidson, Russell Teibert
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee's Assistants: Corey Rockwell, Corey Parker
4th Official: Allen Chapman