SANDY, Utah (Saturday, May 12, 2018) – Real Salt Lake (4-5-1, 13 points) ground out a 3-2 victory over Eastern Conference foe D.C. United Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium as fans witnessed history with GK Nick Rimando earning his 200th career MLS regular season win. The win further solidified Rimando’s status as the greatest goalkeeper in Major League Soccer history, extending his records for wins, starts and minutes, in addition to his existing record for shutouts.
The visitors form the Nation’s Capital struck first after just nine minutes when Paul Arriola volleyed home the game’s opening goal. In the 21st minute, FW Corey Baird equalized with a diving header to score his second goal in as many games and third on the season. RSL would then go up a man just one minute later when D.C. was shown a red card after video review for a hard tackle on MF Jefferson Savarino. MF Albert Rusnak took full advantage of the red card and in the 26th minute put the Claret-and-Cobalt ahead with his third goal of 2018, sending RSL into halftime with a 2-1 lead.
In the early stages of the second half, Rusnak would play provider with an assist to Savarino who clipped home his second goal of the season to generate some breathing room for RSL as the second half wore on. D.C. found its second of the match in the 83rd minute when Steve Birnbaum headed home to cause nervous minutes for RSL down the stretch.
Rimando was the man of the night as he earned his 200th Major League Soccer victory in front of 16,961 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium.
UP NEXT: RSL will play the first of two straight road matches against the Philadelphia Union on May 19 at Talen Energy Stadium.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
DC: Paul Arriola (Zoltan Stieber) 9th minute: A corner kick swung in by Stieber found Arriola at the back post unmarked. Arriola was able to get free from his mark and drift towards the back post where his first-time volley beat RSL net minder Nick Rimando.
RSL: Corey Baird (Joao Plata, Damir Kreilach) 21st minute: RSL midfielder Joao Plata found room to cross the ball into the penalty area looking for the run of Baird. Baird fought off his defender inside the area to put away a diving header for his second goal in as many games.
RSL: Albert Rusnak (Brooks Lennon, Jefferson Savarino) 24th minute: After a red card to D.C. United, RSL’s restart found the feet of Savarino who clipped the ball into Lennon’s feet on the edge of the penalty area. Lennon found Rusnak at 15 yards from goal who curled a low effort into the bottom corner at the far post for the go-ahead goal.
RSL: Jefferson Savarino (Albert Rusnak) 56th minute: A wonderfully played through ball from Rusnak found the run of Savarino inside the area. Savarino drew out D.C. United goalkeeper Steve Clark and calmly chipped the ball into the back of the net for the games third goal.
DC: Steve Birnbaum (Nick DeLeon, Christopher Durkin) 83rd minute: A low cross that skipped off the wet surface from Nick DeLeon was bound for the far post where an onrushing Birnbaum closed in. Birnbaum beat his defender to the ball and headed the ball home.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:
RSL: Nick Rimando, 20th minute: D.C. midfielder Luciano Acosta crafted a clever touch to beat his defender near the far post to create space for a shot. Once the space was found, Acosta slammed a shot towards the far post, but Rimando stood tall to deflect the effort away.
- Real Salt Lake started the same lineup for the third consecutive match for the first time since 2015.
- RSL played without five players due to injury. GK Alex Horwath (Achilles), DF Shawn Barry (knee), DF Tony Beltran (knee), MF Luke Mulholland (back), FW Jordan Allen (knee)
- DF Danilo Acosta, DF Aaron Herrera and MF Jose Hernandez all played 90 minutes on loan with Real Monarchs SLC in a 1-0 win on Saturday over the Fresno Foxes at Zions Bank Stadium to help the Monarchs improve to 7-1-1 on the season.
- RSL GK Nick Rimando earned his 200th career win in MLS to further solidify his status as the greatest goalkeeper in league history. After the match RSL Owner Dell Loy Hansen presented Rimando with a trophy memento to commemorate the milestone.
Match: Real Salt Lake vs. D.C. United
Date: May 12, 2018
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Partly cloudy and 52 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 2 1 3
D.C. United 1 1 2
DC: Paul Arriola (Zoltan Stieber) 9’
RSL: Corey Baird (Joao Plata, Damir Kreilach) 21’
RSL: Albert Rusnak (Brooks Lennon, Jefferson Savarino) 24’
RSL: Jefferson Savarino (Albert Rusnak) 56’
DC: Steve Birnbaum (Nick DeLeon, Christopher Durkin) 83’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Brooks Lennon, Justen Glad, Nick Besler, Pablo Ruiz (Luis Silva, 79’); Damir Kreilach, Kyle Beckerman; Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnák, Joao Plata (Adam Henley, 43’); Corey Baird.
Subs not used: Connor Sparrow, Taylor Peay, Sunny, Sebastian Saucedo, Ricky Espin-Lopez
D.C. United (4-1-4-1): Steve Clark; Nick DeLeon, Frederic Brillant, Steve Birnbaum, Joseph Mora; Christopher Durkin, Ulises Segura (Yamil Asad, 81’), Paul Arriola, Luciano Acosta (Oniel Fisher, 28’), Zoltan Stieber (Bruno Miranda, 72’); Darren Mattocks
Subs not used: David Ousted, Kofi Opare, Ian Harkes, Patrick Mullins
Stats Summary: RSL / DC
Shots: 17 / 14
Shots on Goal: 8 / 7
Saves: 5 / 5
Corner Kicks: 5 / 8
Fouls: 6 / 8
Offside: 5 / 0
DC – Joseph Mora (ejection) 22’
RSL – Corey Baird (caution) 89’
DC – Nick DeLeon (caution) 90’+2
Referee: Rubiel Vazquez
Assistant Referees: Kyle Atkins, Kevin Klinger
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Video Assistant Referee: Jon Freemon