SANDY, Utah (Saturday, July 18, 2015) – Real Salt Lake was in need of a victory on Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium and got just what the club hoped for in a 2-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo to get back in the win column with a dominating performance.
RSL outshot Houston 14-4 and got goals from MF Javier Morales and FW Joao Plata, with each assisting on the other’s goal. GK Jeff Attinella also earned his first shutout of the season as RSL climbed to seventh in the Western Conference at 6-7-8 (24 points).
The game was a slow build, with very few opportunities to be had over the first 30 minutes.
In the 24th minute, DF Justen Glad got on the end of a corner kick from Morales, but his header hit off the crossbar and went over for a goal kick.
Real Salt Lake remained on the attack while holding Houston without a shot and in the 36th minute, Morales broke through with his fourth goal of the season.
After a misplayed clearance by Houston, MF Jordan Allen intercepted the ball and knocked it to Plata. The ball caromed off of a Houston defender and Morales hit a twisting half-volley that beat Tyler Deric inside the right post for a goal and a 1-0 RSL lead.
In first-half stoppage time, RSL nearly added another goal off a corner kick. Plata played the ball in from the left side and Glad got a foot to it to redirect it to the far post where Morales knocked it back across the frame, but it was cleared off the line by an alert Kofi Sarkodie and the match went into halftime at 1-0.
With that advantage on the scoreboard came and advantage in numbers just minutes into the second half when Houston defender Kofi Sarkodie was shown a red card for a hard foul in the midfield, leaving the Dynamo down to 10 men.
In the 65th minute, Plata recorded his first goal of the season on a tremendous give-and-go with Morales.
After some buildup on the left side, Plata played the ball to Morales at the top of the box and the RSL playmaker rolled it back to Plata on a horizontal run across the edge of the area. After getting around his defender, Plata pushed a right-footed shot past Tyler Deric for his first MLS goal since returning from a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot suffered during his first preseason training session this year.
RSL would continue to control the match and saw it out for the 2-0 win, marking the second shutout victory in just five days after a 1-0 win over the LA Galaxy in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Real Salt Lake will host Sporting Kansas City on Friday, July 24, in the third and final regular season match between the two clubs. The match will feature a Pioneer Day fireworks display after the final whistle.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSLvHOU
- Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar was suspended for Saturday’s match after being dismissed from the match following RSL’s 3-1 defeat to the Colorado Rapids last week. Assistant Coach Daryl Shore served in the lead coaching role in his place.
- On the field, RSL was without FW Sebastian Jaime, who served a one-match red-card suspension after being sent off against Colorado.
- RSL captain Kyle Beckerman started on Saturday for the U.S. National Team in a 6-0 win over Cuba in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. He played the first half as the U.S. advanced to the semifinals to face Jamaica on July 22 in Atlanta. GK Nick Rimando was on the bench for the U.S., as was DF Demar Phillips in a 1-0 Jamaica win over Haiti.
- On Saturday, DF Tony Beltran was named to the 2015 MLS All-Star team. He joins GK Nick Rimando for the July 29 match against Tottenham Hotspur at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park after Rimando was voted in by the fans.
- Newly-acquired MF Luis Silva was in attendance and met with the media prior to the match. Silva was acquired in a trade with D.C. United on Thursday, with FW Alvaro Saborio going to D.C. United in the swap.
REAL SALT LAKE 2-0 HOUSTON DYNAMO
SATURDAY, JULY 18, 2015
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 1 2
Houston Dynamo 0 0 0
RSL – Javier Morales (Joao Plata) 36’
RSL – Joao Plata (Javier Morales) 65’
HOU – Kofi Sarkodie (Red; Serious Foul Play) 51’
HOU – Luis Garrido (Yellow; Foul) 68’
Real Salt Lake (4-3-3): Jeff Attinella; Tony Beltran, Aaron Maund, Justen Glad, Abdoulie Mansally; Luke Mulholland (Pecka 88’), Jordan Allen (John Stertzer 84’), Javier Morales (C); Olmes Garcia (Luis Gil 72’), Devon Sandoval, Joao Plata.
Substitutes not used: Lalo Fernandez, Boyd Okwuonu, Sebastian Saucedo, Elias Vasquez.
Houston Dynamo (4-5-1): Tyler Deric; Kofi Sarkodie, David Horst, Raul Rodriguez, Taylor Hunter; Alex (Leonel Miranda 46+’), Nathan Sturgis (Luis Garrido 46’), Brad Davis (C), Ricardo Clark, Alexander Lopez (A.J. Cochran 53’); Will Bruin.
Substitutes not used: Joe Willis, Chandler Hoffman, Mauro Manotas, Rasheed Olabiyi.
Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: Greg Barkey, Brian Dunn
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Weather: Partly cloudy and 77