Preview: Salt Lake, DC clash in only meeting this season
REAL SALT LAKE vs D.C. UNITED
RIO TINTO STADIUM, Sandy, Utah
September 1, 2012 (WEEK 26, MLS Game #252)
7 p.m. MT (KUCW-30; CSN-MA)
Real Salt Lake and D.C. United meet for the only time this season in a match that both clubs will consider vital for their postseason aspirations when the clubs face off Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. Real have gone four league games without a win after their scoreless draw at Philadelphia last weekend, now sitting in a tie for second place in the Western Conference. United have fallen into a tie for fourth in the East, after they were hauled back into a 2-2 draw at home by New York at midweek.
REFEREE: Silviu Petrescu. AR1 (bench): Darren Clark; AR2 (opposite): Marco Arruda; 4th: Paul Ward
MLS Career: 53 games; FC/gm: 27.5; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 8; pens: 7
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REAL SALT LAKE -- OUT: GK Lalo Fernandez (R wrist fracture); DF Kenny Mansally (L knee MCL sprain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Jamison Olave (L hamstring strain); PROBABLE: FW Fabian Espindola (R groin tightness); DF Chris Schuler (L foot bone bruise) … D.C. UNITED – OUT: MF Lance Rozeboom (L knee ACL tear); DF Daniel Woolard (concussion-like symptoms); PROBABLE: FW Maicon Santos (R toe soreness); DF Robbie Russell (L plantar fasciitis)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: RSL: Fabian Espindola, Jamison Olave, Alvaro Saborio, Chris Wingert … DC: Dwayne De Rosario
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: RSL: Will Johnson, Javier Morales … DC: Maicon Santos, Chris Pontius, Andy Najar, Dejan Jakovic, Lionard Pajoy, Bill Hamid
- ALL-TIME (14 meetings): Real 5 wins, 20 goals … United 5 wins, 23 goals … Ties 4
- AT RSL (30 meetings): Real 5 wins, 15 goals … United 1 wins, 7 goals … Ties 1
- LAST YEAR (MLS)
- 6/18: RSL 1, DC 1 (Espindola 38 – Davies 85)
- 9/24: DC 4, RSL 1 (Najar 13; De Rosario 22, 27, 31 – Saborio 86)
- This is the only meeting between the clubs this season.
- D.C. United defeated Real Salt Lake 4-1 last Sept. 24 at RFK Stadium, their first win against RSL since 2008. RSL had won two of the five matches in between, with three draws.
- Dwayne De Rosario scored the earliest hat trick in MLS history in that meeting, all three of his goals coming before the 31st minute. De Rosario’s three goals in nine minutes is tied for the third-quickest hat trick in MLS history.
- Since a 3-1 win against RSL in their first trip to Utah, United had lost on five consecutive trips to the Wasatch Front since 2006, outscored 13-3, before last year’s draw there. Real have never won at RFK Stadium, with five losses in eight trips in all competitions all-time.
- Coaches record: Jason Kreis v DC: P10 W4 L3 D3 … Ben Olsen vs. RSL: P2 W1 L0 D1
REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake has their league winless run extended to four matches, playing to a scoreless draw with Philadelphia Union on Friday evening at PPL Park. Real sit in a tie for second place in the Western Conference with 43 points from 27 games.
WATCH: RSL Insider previews D.C. United
- The closest either team came to scoring came in the second half when Gabriel Gomez nearly scored a gol olimpico on a corner kick, but ball and Ned Grabavoy collided with the near post all at the same time to keep the ball out.
- Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath was credited with three saves for the match, while RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando was called upon to make two stops.
- RSL head coach Jason Kreis made twp changes to the team that lost 2-1 to FC Dallas at Rio Tinto Stadium. Kyle Beckerman and Will Johnson came into the side in place of Yordany Alvarez and Fabian Espindola.
- REAL SALT LAKE (4-4-1-1): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert - Ned Grabavoy (Yordany Alvarez 74), Kyle Beckerman, Luis Gil (Jonny Steele 62), Will Johnson - Javier Morales (Paulo Junior 87) - Alvaro Saborio.
- While Real Salt Lake were able to put an end to a three-game losing streak in league play, they did see their league winless run stretched to four games, after a midweek victory in the CONCACAF Champions League.
- “Tuesday night was so emotional with our backs against the wall, and we expended a great deal of energy to make sure we got the win there," said RSL head coach Jason Kreis. “… (We) come out and play a team that is as emotional as Philadelphia and team that obviously felt like, as you read everything, they had to win that game. It was a difficult task for us, and I was pleased with the result.”
- The draw also ended a four-game losing streak in league play away from Rio Tinto Stadium for Real, and five games in all competitions.
- “It was of great importance for us to get a result on the road. Obviously, you always aim for the three points, but when that’s not there, and you get a point, you walk away with your head held high. We’ll take it and try and build off of it,” said midfielder Kyle Beckerman.
- Javier Morales and Luis Gil played the full 90 minutes together in the midfield for the first time this season. It was the sixth time they were both in the same starting lineup.
- “We changed our shape tonight, and it was meant out of actually trying to be a little bit more offensive and trying to cut the runs in half,” Kreis said. “Playing with the two attacking midfielders and one forward I thought it might be a little easier for our outside midfielders to get to their outside backs and close things down. I thought we did an excellent job of that in the first 10 minutes or so and created a couple things in the first half. But then I think it just became a matter of we didn't have the legs to play well enough tonight as we typically would.”
- Said Gil: “I feel like we kind of adapted well to it. I thought I did pretty good on my defensive side, didn't get too much involved in the attack. I think I had some pretty good passes, stole the ball some but overall I thought I played OK. I feel like we just need to be on the same page. We need to read each other and play off each other and make sure that if he is going forward I hang back and then the other way around.”
- Fabian Espíndola did not make the trip to Philadelphia, his last goal having come June 16, when he scored a pair vs. Chivas USA.
- It was RSL’s first shutout since July 21 in MLS play, though they have now kept clean sheets in back-to-back matches in all competitions.
- “I feel like we’ve put three strong performances together over the past week, and we’ve had two really good results. And now I’m really ready to ratchet this thing up, and get us running here for the playoffs,” said Kreis.
D.C. United kept their long home unbeaten streak alive, but settled for a draw after the New York Red Bulls hit for a late tying goal in a 2-2 result Wednesday evening at RFK Stadium. United are in a tie for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 41 points from 26 games.
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
- The score was 1-1 midway through the first half as both teams found the net just two minutes apart. Joel Lindpere snuck behind United’s right side in the 19th minute and ran onto a creative one-touch ball from Thierry Henry to beat United ‘keeper Bill Hamid on the short side.
- But Nick DeLeon answered as he hooked home a lovely volley in the 21st minute off a chip over the top from Dwayne De Rosario, the rookie’s touch from inside the area bouncing into the corner past Red Bulls goalkeeper Bill Gaudette.
- De Rosario netted his historic 100th league goal in the 68th minute on an athletic header. DeLeon’s fantastic service from just beyond midfield allowed the Canadian international to time his run and jump to head the ball past a closing Gaudette from the edge of the area.
- But the Red Bulls had the last answer two minutes from time off a corner kick. A Dax McCarty cross was only half-cleared, the ball falling at the top of the area for Wilman Conde, and he promptly blasted a laser past Hamid for the equalizer.
- United head coach Ben Olsen made four changes to the team that suffered a 3-0 defeat to the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo. Dejan Jakovic, Chris Pontius and Nick DeLeon came into the team in place of Emiliano Dudar, Mike Chabala and Lewis Neal, and Dwayne De Rosario started up top for Long Tan.
- D.C. UNITED (4-4-2): Bill Hamid - Andy Najar, Brandon McDonald, Dejan Jakovic, Chris Korb - Chris Pontius, Marcelo Saragosa, Perry Kitchen (Long Tan 90), Nick DeLeon - Dwayne De Rosario (Branko Boskovic 86), Lionard Pajoy.
- Despite the late equalizer, United were able to extend their unbeaten streak at RFK Stadium to 13 games, tying the club record set in 2007. Since losing the opening game of the season on East Capitol Street, 1-0 to Sporting KC, United have gone 9-0-4.
- “A point is OK. We still continue to do an OK job at home,” said United coach Ben Olsen. “It’s a tough one right now but we don’t have a lot of time to feel sorry for ourselves. If you want to look at the bright side – it was there, we got a point. We should have got that one.”
- United have lost five consecutive games away from RFK Stadium, their last road win coming June 24 at Philadelphia. Beginning with the trip to Real Salt Lake, five of United’s final eight games will be on the road.
- Dwayne De Rosario became the seventh player in MLS history to reach the 100 mark in league goals, the historic goal coming in his 299th career league appearance.
- “For Dwayne, it’s an unbelievable feat today,” said Olsen. “I’m very upset we couldn’t get him a win on the day that he gets his 100th. He led by example and I thought it was a good performance from him.”
- Said De Rosario: “Not a lot of people are at 100. I look at guys that played for this club like Jaime Moreno. Hopefully I can get to where he’s at. It’s a great feeling and it’s a great honor, but I can’t do it all myself. I’ve got to congratulate my teammates that helped me.”
- The century goal was also yet another big one against one of his former clubs. Against his former clubs, for his career, De Rosario has 10 goals and four assists in 15 games.
- “I knew it was going to come,” he said. “You don’t get to 100 by getting luck. I knew the goal was going to come and it was just a matter of time. Hopefully I can continue to create special moments in this league.”
- De Rosario’s assist, on Nick De Leon’s opening tally, was his 12th of the season, pulling him into a tie for second in MLS, one behind leader Mauro Rosales of Seattle.
- De Rosario was reinserted into the lineup after coming off the substitutes’ bench in the loss in Montréal, partnering Lionard Pajoy in attack for a second time in the last three matches.
- “It’s his fourth game, so it’s going to take time. It’s a tough position to be in, to come halfway through the season and have to gel with new players,” said De Rosario. “But I think he’s done very well. He’s really played the role quite nicely, held the ball up top and got himself in good positions. So we just have to continue to serve him in the right areas.”
- Said Olsen of Pajoy: “I thought he was great. We’re very lucky we have him. The amount of ground he cover is pretty impressive. He’s played more minutes this week than anybody and he just keeps going. He holds the ball up well and he’s a handful for defenders.”