Real Salt Lake 1 vs. LA Galaxy 0
Quarterfinal Round; Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
July 14, 2015; Rio Tinto Stadium
Real Salt Lake advances to the Semifinal Round, where it will face the Houston Dynamo or Sporting Kansas City in a road match on August 11.
Man of the Match: This one could go to just about anyone on the field, as Tuesday’s match truly embodied a total team effort. It was truly comprehensive – and not in the dominating sense, but rather in the sense that at any point when someone was down or in a challenging moment, there was a teammate or two there to pick them up. The Team was the Star on Tuesday night.
Telling Stat: 4. The four saves from Jeff Attinella were all vital to the outcome, but his stop Steven Gerrard in the 54th minute was as crucial to the momentum for the team as could be. Gerrard, just nine minutes into his competitive debut for the Galaxy, got free on the break and was in 1v1 with Attinella. Stoning the longtime Liverpool and England National Team captain provided a rallying moment for RSL that eventually paid off when Aaron Maund netted the game-winner.
What You Missed: Gerrard brought with him a bevy of Liverpool fans in the stands with signs and red jerseys that chanted his name and hoped for a picture with the legendary midfielder. It was the type of rock-star treatment befitting of someone of his stature, but is particularly fitting when you consider he and the Galaxy flew to Utah on a chartered jet emblazoned with the signature logo of the Rolling Stones.
So What: RSL is now in the semifinal for the second time in the last three years. In 2013, the Claret-and-Cobalt advanced past the Portland Timbers to reach the final, but this time around the club will take to the road to face either Sporting Kansas City or the Houston Dynamo. While some wins look like they can trigger upcoming runs because of their dominance, this one was different because the player in the locker room, while excited about the result, were focused on how they can get better moving forward.