SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake (13-8-6, 45 points, West #1) cruised past the Columbus Crew (8-12-5, 29 points, East #8) on Saturday night, scoring three second half goals en route to a dominant 4-0 win at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Captain Kyle Beckerman led the charge for RSL, opening the scoring in first half stoppage time and putting RSL up 4-0 in the 89th after second half goals from FW Devon Sandoval and MF Luis Gil. Saturday’s result extended RSL’s lead atop the MLS and Western Conference tables, with the Claret-and-Cobalt now four points ahead of the Montreal Impact in the Supporters’ Shield race and five points ahead of the LA Galaxy in the West.
RSL completely controlled all facets of Saturday’s match, outshooting Columbus 17-4, holding a 65.1-34.9 percent possession advantage and totaling 556 passes to the Crew’s 296.
The Claret-and-Cobalt had things clicking early, nearly going ahead in the sixth minute. MF Ned Grabavoy played DF Chris Wingert through on the left flank, with Wingert cutting a low cross to FW Olmes Garcia at the back post. The 20-year-old striker hit a hard 10-yarder that looked ticketed for goal, but it was crucially deflected out for a corner by a Crew defender.
Despite controlling the run of play, RSL couldn’t create another chance until the 35th minute, when Grabavoy nutmegged a Columbus defender on the left edge of the area before firing a low shot on goal that was blocked out for a corner.
Columbus had a good look on the counter in the 37th minute. MF Dominic Oduro carried the ball up the middle of RSL’s third, eventually slipping FW Federico Higuain in on the right. The Argentine Designated Player took a touch toward goal before firing a shot on frame that RSL GK Nick Rimando saved nicely.
Beckerman put the Claret-and-Cobalt on top in first half stoppage time. RSL MF Javier Morales hit a 25-yard free kick from the right side off of the Columbus wall, with the ball making its way to Beckerman, who deflected it inside the near post from 10 yards out on the right side.
Sandoval doubled RSL’s advantage in the 51st minute. Morales found an open Garcia on the right wing, allowing the Colombian striker – who had nearly scored on a separate chance seconds earlier – to curl in an inch-perfect low cross to the far post. Sandoval got on the end of it with ease, coolly slotting the six-yarder home inside the left post with his first touch.
Garcia and Sandoval nearly connected for another goal in the 56th. Again, Garcia curled in a cross from the right wing, with Sandoval getting on the end of it at the far post and heading his shot over the bar.
Beckerman had a big chance to put RSL up 3-0 in the 61st minute. Grabavoy played him through on the left side for a 1-v-1 with Lampson. Beckerman took a touch toward goal before attempting a cheeky chip shot that Lampson held.
The Crew had its best chance of the match in the 77th minute. A long throw from DF Josh Williams from the left sideline bounced in the box, and substitute MF Ryan Finley got on the end of it at the back post, putting his contested header wide of the mark from inside the six yard box.
Gil iced the game in the 83rd minute with a fantastic goal. Substitute MF Sebastian Velasquez started the play, dancing through the middle of the Crew’s defense before finding Grabavoy on the left edge of the area. Grabavoy bandied past a couple of Crew defenders before unlocking the Columbus defense with a gorgeous through ball to Gil. The U.S. Under-20 international did the rest, collecting the ball in the left side of the area before cutting into the middle on his right foot to fire home inside the left post from the penalty spot.
Beckerman completed his brace in the 89th minute. Velasquez got free on the left wing, swinging in a low cross from the corner. Columbus DF Chad Marshall deflected the ball directly into the path of Beckerman, who ran onto it and buried his shot from 10 yards out.
Things got a little ugly in stoppage time, when Higuain was shown his second yellow card following an altercation with a RSL player and – subsequently – multiple officials.
Real Salt Lake will return to action on Friday, when it will host the Portland Timbers in a nationally televised match at 8:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium. Tickets to Friday’s game can be purchased at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets or over the phone at 801-727-2700.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 4-0 CLB
- RSL’s four goal output on Saturday night gives the team 48 goals this MLS season – the highest single-season total in club history. RSL’s previous regular season goals record was 46, set in 2012. MF Luis Gil broke the club single-season record for goals in a year with his 83rd minute strike. The team has seven regular season matches remaining to extend its new club record.
- RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman’s two-goal performance on Saturday was his first multi-goal game since bagging two goals against D.C. United on April 12, 2008. His brace was the 45th multi-goal game by a Real Salt Lake player in the 325 games across all competitions in club history. It was the 28th multi-goal effort by a RSL player at home. The Claret-and-Cobalt is now 37-4-4 all-time when a player scores multiple goals in a match.
- Saturday’s shutout was RSL’s ninth of the MLS regular season. It was the eighth clean-sheet for GK Nick Rimando, who now has 107 career MLS regular season shutouts, just five shy of tying New York GK Kevin Hartman for the all-time MLS record. 71 of Rimando’s 107 career clean sheets have come in a RSL uniform.
- In addition to moving closer to Hartman’s shutout record, Rimando also moved into third-place in MLS history in minutes played on Saturday night. The “Wall of the Wasatch” has now played 30,753 minutes in 340 career regular season matches, all of which have been starts. He trails only Hartman (37,260) and retired MF Steve Ralston (33,142) on the all-time minutes played chart. Rimando is now tied for fifth with retired FW Jaime Moreno in career regular season appearances with 340; his 340 regular season starts is one behind Vancouver GK Joe Cannon for third in league history.
- RSL’s four-goal margin of victory gives the Claret-and-Cobalt a +15 goal difference on the MLS regular season, the best goal difference in the league. RSL also leads MLS in goals for, road goals and road goal differential. Although the team is in first-place in the league, it is second in points per game to the Montreal Impact, trailing the Canadian club by 0.04 points per game (1.67-1.71).
REAL SALT LAKE 4–0 COLUMBUS CREW
SATURDAY, AUG. 24, 2013
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 3 4
Columbus Crew 0 0 0
RSL – Kyle Beckerman – 45+1’
RSL – Devon Sandoval (Olmes Garcia, Javier Morales) – 51’
RSL – Luis Gil (Ned Grabavoy) – 83’
RSL – Kyle Beckerman – 89’
CLB – Federico Higuain (Yellow; Foul) – 34’
RSL – Devon Sandoval (Yellow; Foul) – 39’
CLB – Dominic Oduro (Yellow; Foul) – 80’
CLB – Federico Higuain (2nd Yellow; Foul) – 90+1’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Carlos Salcedo, Chris Wingert; Kyle Beckerman (C); Luis Gil, Ned Grabavoy (Cole Grossman, ); Javier Morales; Olmes Garcia (Robbie Findley, 62’), Devon Sandoval (Sebastian Velasquez, 81’)
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella (GK), Abdoulie Mansally, Lovel Palmer, Joao Plata
Columbus Crew (4-4-2): Matt Lampson; Chad Barson, Chad Marshall, Agustin Viana, Josh Williams; Dominic Oduro, Danny O'Rourke (Tony Tchani, 63’), Wil Trapp, Ben Speas (Ryan Finley, 73’); Jairo Arrieta (Konrad Warzycha, 62’), Federico Higuain (C)
Substitutes not used: Daniel Withrow (GK), Ethan Finlay, Kevan George, Tyson Wahl
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Assistant Referees: James Conlee, Kevin Duliba
4th Official: Younes Marrakchi
Weather: Cloudy and 74 degrees