SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake (10-4-9, 39 points, West #1), moved into first-place in the Western Conference on Saturday night, defeating Eastern Conference foe D.C. United (11-7-4, 37 points, East #2) 3-0 in front of a sold-out crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium. The match was a historic one for RSL GK Nick Rimando, who officially broke the MLS all-time shutout record with his 113th career clean sheet.
RSL FW Joao Plata opened up the scoring in the 11th minute, heading home a cross from RSL Luke Mulholland to put the Claret-and-Cobalt up 1-0. RSL DF Chris Schuler then went on to notch a brace, recording goals in the 13th and 24th minutes – both assisted by RSL MF Javier Morales – to give the home side a 3-0 lead before halftime. The Claret-and-Cobalt had a number of looks in the second half but was unable to increase its three-goal lead.
D.C. United registered the first chance of the match in the ninth minute. United MF Nick DeLeon took the first corner of the night, finding DF Steve Birnbaum open at the top of the box, but his header from 15 yards out flew high over the bar.
Real Salt Lake went on to take the lead in the 11th minute. RSL FW Olmes Garcia started the play making his way to the end line and whipping a ball into the box that deflected out to Mulholland. The Englishman lobbed a cross into the area finding Plata alone at the far post. The small Ecuadorian finished the unlikeliest of goals, using his head to send his shot past D.C. GK Bill Hamid.
The Claret-and-Cobalt went on to double its lead two minutes later. Morales received the ball outside the box on the left side, sending in a low ball across the face of goal. Schuler made the run to the near post, connecting with the cross and tucking his shot into the left corner for his first goal of 2014.
Schuler made it two on the night, notching a brace in the 24th minute. The play started with an RSL corner kick taken by Morales. The RSL leading assist-man sent a fantastic ball into the box, finding Schuler at the far post who knocked in an open header past a helpless Hamid.
Real Salt Lake continued to stay on the attack in the second half. The Claret-and-Cobalt had a fantastic chance to make it 4-0 in the 53rd minute. Plata flew down the left flank, playing a ball back into the box for Garcia. The Colombian sent a diving header from just atop the six yard box to the left post that seemed destined to beat Hamid, but the D.C. ‘keeper came up big with a one-handed save, palming the ball away out of danger.
D.C. United had a good look in the 62nd minute after earning a free kick 25 yards out from goal on the left side. United FW and former RSL player Fabian Espindola took the kick, curling in a great ball to the far post that MF Nick DeLeon headed just wide of the far post.
Real Salt Lake continued to threaten throughout the rest of the half, registering a number of decent looks in front of goal. But the Claret-and-Cobalt was unable to increase its lead, ending the game with the 3-0 score line. Rimando remained fairly untested, recording only two saves to earn his momentous clean sheet.
The Claret-and-Cobalt will return to action on Tuesday, when it hosts Mexican side Club Tijuana in an international friendly at 8:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium. Real Salt Lake will resume MLS action next Saturday, when it hosts Seattle Sounders FC in a nationally televised match at 12:30 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium. Tickets to the RSL-Tijuana and Seattle match 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 3–0 DC
- Saturday’s attendance of 20,452 marked Real Salt Lake’s ninth sell-out of the 2014 season and eighth-straight. RSL was at capacity for the March 22 season opening 1-1 draw against LA, the April 19 1-0 win against Portland, the May 17 2-1 victory over Colorado, the May 24 scoreless draw with FC Dallas, the 3-1 loss to Portland on June 7, the 2-1 win over New England on July 4, the 1-1 draw with Vancouver on July 19, the 3-1 win over Montreal Impact on July 24 and the 1-1 draw with New York on July 30. Tonight’s sell-out marks the club’s 39th sell-out across all competitions since Rio Tinto Stadium’s 2008 opening.
- Real Salt Lake GK Nick Rimando broke the MLS all-time shutout record tonight, recording his 113th career clean sheet with RSL’s 3-0 win over D.C. United. The veteran keeper surpassed the record in a total of 361 league games played.
- Tonight’s three goals in the first half marked just the 19th time that has happened in club history. The three goals scored in the span of 13 minutes is just the fourth time that has occurred in RSL’s 10 seasons.
- Tonight’s matchup between RSL and D.C. United was the first and only regular season meeting between the two sides this year. The Claret-and-Cobalt now posts a 7-6-4 all-time regular season record against D.C.
- The Claret-and-Cobalt has been continued its success against D.C. at home, improving its record to 7-1-1 in the Beehive state.
- With tonight’s win, Real Salt Lake now posts a 6-1-5 record at home in 2014. RSL boasts an 82-17-28 mark in its last 127 home games dating back to the beginning of 2008, the first full season under GM Garth Lagerwey.
- RSL FW Joao Plata opened the scoring in the 11th minute, recording his 10th goal of 2014. The Ecuadorian is Real Salt Lake’s most prolific goal scorer this season.
- RSL DF Chris Schuler notched two goals tonight in the 13th and 24th minutes, his first goals of the season. Schuler returned to the starting lineup tonight after being rested against Colorado Rapids on Aug. 2.
- Real Salt Lake MF Javier Morales notched two assists, both on Schuler’s goals, for a total of nine helpers this year. Morales remains RSL’s leading assist-man this season.
- RSL MF Luke Mulholland assisted on Plata’s opening goal, earning his fourth helper this year.
- RSL DFs Chris Wingert and Tony Beltran were missing tonight due to yellow card accumulation. RSL DF Abdoulie Mansally filled in for Wingert at left back back while DF Carlos Salcedo replaced Beltran at right back.
- RSL DF Justen Glad was in the 18 tonight for this first time since being signed to a Homegrown Player contract earlier this year.
- Despite their World Cup departure, Rimando and MF Kyle Beckerman rank first and second, respectively, amongst active MLS players in all-time regular season minutes played (Rimando: 32,643; Beckerman: 28,086), games played (NR: 361; KB: 342) and games started (NR: 361; KB: 313)
REAL SALT LAKE 3–0 D.C. UNITED
SATURDAY, AUG. 9, 2014
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 3 0 3
D.C. United 0 0 0
RSL – Joao Plata (Luke Mulholland) – 11’
RSL – Chris Schuler (Javier Morales) – 13’
RSL – Chris Schuler (Javier Morales) – 24’
DC – Jared Jeffrey (Yellow; Foul) – 5’
DC – Eddie Johnson (Yellow; Unsporting Behavior) – 30’
RSL – Abdoulie Mansally (Yellow; Foul) – 85’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Nick Rimando; Carlos Salcedo, Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Abdoulie Mansally; Kyle Beckerman (C), Luke Mulholland, Ned Grabavoy (Sebastian Velasquez, 88’), Javier Morales (Luis Gil, 68’), Olmes Garcia, Joao Plata (Robbie Findley, 65’)
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella; Justin Glad, John Stertzer, Devon Sandoval
D.C. United (4-4-2): Bill Hamid; Sean Franklin, Chris Korb, Steve Birnbaum, Bobby Boswell; Nick DeLeon (David Estrada, 77’), Jared Jeffrey, Davy Arnaud, Chris Rolfe (Lewis Neal, 69’), Luis Silva (Fabian Espindola, 49’); Eddie Johnson
Substitutes not used: Joe Willis; Alex Caskey, Taylor Kemp, Kofi Opare
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistant Referees: Bill Dittmar, Paul Scott
4th Official: Allen Chapman
Weather: Clear and 86 degrees