VANCOUVER, B.C. (Saturday, May 30, 2015) – Real Salt Lake (4-5-5, 17 points, 7th West) fell 2-1 Saturday at BC Place in Vancouver against the host Whitecaps, conceding a 79th-minute game-winner to newcomer Cristian Techera. In the six-yard box a miscommunication allowed the diminutive Uruguayan to beat GK Nick Rimando - who had six saves on the night to keep RSL in the match - to a ball and slot home the decisive goal. The match was the first on a newly-installed artificial surface at BC Place in anticipation of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, where RSL is now just 2-8-4 all-time against Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. On fake grass, RSL is now just 8-21-15 all-time.
RSL's highlight of the night was a late first-half free kick from the maestro, MF Javier Morales. Following a foul suffered by FW Devon Sandoval just outside the box about 25 yards out, Morales stepped up and curled a right-footed blast outside the wall and the post, bending it back inside to beat Vancouver GK David Ousted and offer hope for RSL entering halftime. The Morales equalizer allowed RSL to pull back even just nine minutes after Vancouver MF Gershon Koffie struck an absolute stunner from distance on a failed RSL clearance. Both goals will surely be candidates for MLS Goal of the Week.
The first half was nearly all Vancouver prior to Morales' magic, as RSL faced 11 first-half shots and couldn’t hold back the Whitecaps any longer when Koffie netted his first goal of the year in 36th minute. After a turnover in the midfield, Mauro Rosales played a cross into the box from the right side. DF Elias Vasquez headed it through and DF Justen Glad knocked it out of the box, but Koffie picked it off and rifled a shot from 30 yards out that crept past Rimando for the goal.
Rimando stood tall time and time again in the first half, springing to his right to save a long-range blast from Pedro Morales in the 11th minute, diving for the first save of the match on the low, skipping shot. Vancouver had another opportunity in the 24th minute off the boot of Koffie. The Whitecaps got deep in RSL’s end on the right side and played the ball across for Koffie, who thundered a right-footed shot first-time that hit off the crossbar and eventually was cleared by Real Salt Lake.
Rimando was called on again for a big save midway through the second half. In the 60th minute, Matias Laba played Rivero in behind the Salt Lake defense. Rimando started to charge the Vancouver forward, then retreated toward his line and when Rivero shot Rimando made the foot-save to keep the match level.
RSL nearly snared the lead a few minutes later. Morales sent a corner kick in from the right side, finding the head of Vasquez and his shot sent David Ousted sprawling to his left to swipe it away just before it crossed the line. RSL kept pressure in the box, but couldn’t manage another shot in the 64th-minute sequence.
RSL returns home next Sunday to kick off a stint that sees six of the club's next eight games at its Rio Tinto Stadium home, hosting Rocky Mountain Cup rival Colorado Rapids in the first of three matches to decide the winner of the fan-created competition, won seven times in the last eight seasons by RSL. The match kicks off Sunday at 3 p.m. MT with national television coverage on ESPNnews.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – VANvRSL
- FW Joao Plata made his first start of the season after suffering a fractured fifth metatarsal during preseason. He appeared off the bench in matches against New York City FC and the LA Galaxy.
- Saturday also marked the return to the starting lineup for FW Sebastian Jaime and MF Javier Morales, who both missed extended time to injury. Morales had not started since May 1 while Jaime had been out of the lineup since March 29.
- Saturday also marked the first MLS start and appearance for DF Justen Glad. The 18-year-old product of RSL’s Arizona Academy started at right back in place of DF Tony Beltran, who was out of the starting lineup for the first time this season.
- Captain Kyle Beckerman and GK Nick Rimando were the lone two RSL players to start all three matches this week, each playing 270 minutes. All told, in the three matches against NYCFC, LA Galaxy and Vancouver, Head Coach Jeff Cassar used 15 starters and 19 different players this week.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC 1-1 REAL SALT LAKE
SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2015
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1 1 2
Real Salt Lake 1 0 1
VAN: Gershon Koffie 36
RSL: Javier Morales 45’
VAN: Cristian Techera 79'
RSL: John Stertzer (Yellow; Foul) 27’
RSL: Justen Glad (Yellow; Foul) 41’
VAN: Pa Modou Kah (Yellow; Foul) 44’
RSL: Abdoulie Mansally (Yellow; Foul) 89'
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (4-2-3-1): David Ousted; Steven Beitashour, Kendall Waston, Pa-Modou Kah, Jordan Harvey; Matias Laba, Gershon Koffie; Mauro Rosales (Kekuta Manneh 68’), Pedro Morales (C)(Russell Teibert 93+), Cristian Techera (Darren Mattocks 86'); Octavio Rivero.
Substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Nicolas Mezquida, Tim Parker, Robert Earnshaw.
Real Salt Lake (4-3-3): Nick Rimando; Justen Glad, Aaron Maund, Elias Vasquez, Abdoulie Mansally; Kyle Beckerman (C), John Stertzer (Luis Gil 81'), Javier Morales; Sebastian Jaime (Alvaro Saborio 84'), Devon Sandoval, Joao Plata (Olmes Garcia 70’).
Substitutes not used: Lalo Fernandez, Tony Beltran, Pecka, Luke Mulholland.
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistant Referees: Jeremy Hanson, Apolinar Mariscal
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Weather: Sunny and 68