Real Salt Lake Making a Statement Early in Major League Soccer Season

Real Salt Lake is proving that they are the team to beat in Major League Soccer this season. In its two matches so far this year, Real Salt Lake has dominated two of the league's most popular teams and held their opponents' international superstars to frustrating performances. Following a season-opening victory on the road against the defending MLS Cup Champion Los Angeles Galaxy, Real Salt Lake returned home and easily took care of the New York Red Bulls.Although head coach Jason Kreis does not consider any of his contributing players to be "second-string" guys, Real Salt Lake is finding success with several key players and usual starters on the bench due to injuries.With Nat Borchers not playing in either of the two opening matches and usual scoring threats Alvaro Saborio and Javier Morales coming in as second-half substitutions, players like Chris Schuler and Paulo Jr. have stepped up to help the team to prove that the "team is the star" concept employed by Kreis can be successful.In addition to Schuler and Paulo Jr., other players are stepping up at the right time as well.Defender Tony Beltran and midfielder Ned Grabavoy have both played well in both matches, and striker Fabian Espindola is ...
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Real Salt Lake Wins Fifth Straight Match on the Road Against the Red Bulls

One would think that a team that boasts players such as Thierry Henry, Rafael Marquez and U.S. National Team players Tim Ream and Juan Agudelo would be a difficult midweek matchup for a visiting team, and they would put together a dominating performance. Instead, it took all of 21 minutes in the first half for Real Salt Lake to score three times en route to a 3-1 victory over the struggling Red Bulls. Playing without League MVP candidate Kyle Beckerman who was out due to yellow card accumulation, Real Salt Lake scored early and often to take a dominating lead into the second half. Forward Alvaro Saborio opened the scoring in the seventh minute by getting around and in front of a defender to get to a corner kick service that glanced off his head, kissed off the near post and found the back of the net.  A stunned Red Bull team tried to counter, but Real Salt Lake struck twice more in the next few minutes. The second goal came on what looked like a youth league mistake by Tim Ream who had a very unlucky touch that was pushed just far enough in front of his own goal for Real Salt Lake ...
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Real Salt Lake Meeting Expectations at the Right Time

Don't look now, Major League Soccer, but one of the teams that was supposed to dominate the league before the season began is now putting together a nice little win streak that could move them into a better position in the MLS playoffs. After a huge road win on Saturday in Seattle against the Sounders, Real Salt Lake has now put together a three-game win streak. The nine points gained over the last three weeks have placed them just one point behind FC Dallas for the third playoff spot in the Western Conference. The latest win came against the hottest team in the league who was previously unbeaten in all competition during the entire month of August. Second only to the MLS Cup Championship they won in 2009, it was the biggest win ever for Real Salt Lake in that stadium. In fairness to Seattle, the match on Saturday was an unusual one that featured two players being sent off, a missed penalty kick, and a very rare Kasey Keller own goal on a shot by RSL's Fabian Espindola. With a combination of losing in the CONCACAF Final, unexpected injuries and international team call-ups, Real Salt Lake has struggled to put ...
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Real Salt Lake’s Roller Coaster Season Continues with Loss to Columbus Crew

With three of their best players on the sideline in street clothes Saturday night, Real Salt Lake came out flat and played to a frustrating and embarrassing 2-0 loss to the Columbus Crew. Missing the match for RSL were the injured Javier Morales, suspended Alvaro Saborio and last year's Major League Soccer Defender of the Year Jamison Olave who was injured in the recent MLS All-Star Game. The Columbus Crew wasted no time in getting the lead in a stadium they had not previously won in. In the fifth minute, midfielder Eddie Gaven found himself wide open running toward the back post where he received a cross from teammate Robbie Rogers and easily knocked the ball past a diving Nick Rimando. Just a few minutes later, a stunned Real Salt Lake team gave up the second goal of the game on a snap down header from Tommy Heinemann. The assist on his goal came once again from Rogers who sent in another great cross. The Crew, who seemed content to hang back and protect the lead were able to frustrate the Real Salt Lake offense and come away with the shutout victory. RSL did have multiple good opportunities, but had difficulty finishing. Saborio's ...
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Real Salt Lake’s Jamison Olave Injured in 4-0 All-Star Loss to Manchester United

The Major League Soccer All-Star Game outing for Real Salt Lake defender Jamison Olave ended in the 32nd minute when he was injured while sliding in to defend a ball at midfield. After executing a good sliding tackle to stop a ball on the ground intended for Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, Olave jumped up to play the ball and seemed to have felt the pain at that time as he fell back to the turf. Initial reports on the ESPN2 broadcast indicated that he suffered a mild left knee sprain. In what might be a bit of good news, Olave walked off of the field on his own, and remained on the bench rather than going to the locker room. He will be evaluated by team doctors when he returns to Utah. Although it is an honor to be selected to participate in the All-Star game, the risk of injury for players is a fear that players, coaches, and fans have as they play. For Real Salt Lake, if the injury to last year's MLS Defender of the Year causes him to miss any time with the club, it will be another in a line of injuries they have dealt ...
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Major League Soccer All-Star Game Day Roster

New York Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe has announced his game day roster for the upcoming Major League Soccer All-Star game. The All-Star team will face English Premier League Champion Manchester United on July 27th in New York. After the fan vote to determine the First XI and league commissioner Don Garber adding his two selections, Backe finalized the 22-man roster today. Backe was somewhat limited in his selections due to being able to choose only from players who could play in the match. Injured players were not considered, and players from the Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas were left off of the list because both teams will participate in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament. Players on the game day roster include: Goalkeeper: Tally Hall (HOU), Faryd Mondragon (PHI) Defenders: Corey Ashe (HOU), Geoff Cameron (HOU), Bobby Convey (SJ), Matt Besler (KC), Sean Franklin (LA), Jamison Olave (RSL), Heath Pearce (Chivas), Tim Ream (NY) Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (RSL), David Beckham (LA), Brad Davis (HOU), Jack Jewsbury (POR), Shalrie Joseph (NE), Nick LaBrocca (Chivas)Forwards: Juan Agudelo (NY), Omar Bravo (KC), Omar Cummings (COL), Landon Donavan (LA), Thierry Henry (NY), Chris Wondolowski (SJ) The First XI and Commissioner's picks included: Goalkeeper: Kasey Keller ...
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FC Dallas Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman Hands Victory to Real Salt Lake

In what is growing to be one of the biggest rivalries in Major League Soccer, Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas met in Utah and the result was a 2-0 victory for the home team. The two teams wasted no time in showing that neither team likes each other very much. After a first half that featured some hard fouls and chippy play, they went into halftime scoreless.In the end, this match came down to three big moments, and the biggest was a miscue by FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.In the 47th minute, Real Salt Lake midfielder Andy Williams lined up for a free kick from about 30 yards out. The kick cleared the wall and Hartman seemed to be in front of the ball for the routine save. As the ball spun in, Hartman misjudged it and it glanced off his hands and rolled into the goal.It was Williams' second goal of the season.The second big moment was almost the equalizer by FC Dallas. In the 81st minute, Brek Shea took the ball into the box and was close enough for keeper Nick Rimando to dive at his feet off his line. Shea calmly passed the ball to his open ...
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Real Salt Lake vs. New England Revolution: Teams Play to a Draw in Wild Match

The New England Revolution cannot win at Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah.Entering the Independence Day match against Real Salt Lake, they had been outscored 11-0 in that stadium.At the start of Monday night's match, it looked as if they would be able to finally come away with a victory. However, after the Revolution went up two goals in the first 16 minutes and led 3-2 late in the match, Real Salt Lake battled back to end the night with a 3-3 draw, leaving the winless streak in Utah intact. In fairness, the game was full of controversy, including calls by referees that awarded penalty kicks to each team on horrible calls. Despite giving penalty cards out like invitations to a black tie affair, the worst call of the night came in the third minute when referee Yader Reyes pulled a straight red card and sent off Real Salt Lake defender and team captain Nat Borchers for the night after a challenge in the box.Replays showed that Borchers played the ball that went over the end line off of the Revolution player. The play should have resulted in a simple goal kick. To say that Reyes missed the call would be ...
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Real Salt Lake to Honor Major League Soccer Legend Jason Kreis

Real Salt Lake will continue its tradition of doing things its own way when it retires the jersey number of head coach Jason Kreis following an Independence Day match against the New England Revolution.Unlike other sports in the United States, in soccer it is not common to retire jersey numbers for specific players.While many soccer purists do not agree with the move based largely on worldwide traditions, Real Salt Lake General Manager Garth Lagerwey argues soccer in the United States is different from other places in the world. Following the announcement several months ago, Lagerwey responded to critics in an article found on the league website:"We live in America. We play in an American soccer league... We have playoffs. We don’t have relegation. We retire numbers. I can’t imagine anything less controversial. America is a great place. I like living in the United States. I don’t need to live in Europe. I’m not envious of the Europeans.”Much of the controversy comes because many believe that soccer numbers are more of a symbol rather than belonging to specific players. This stems from tradition that numbers were given out based on position ...
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Real Salt Lake Earns a Point but Loses a Striker in Chicago

Real Salt Lake and the Chicago Fire played to a 0-0 draw Wednesday in a mid-week Major League Soccer matchup.While they will take the point on the road, for Real Salt Lake, the story of this match was not the final score but a injury that took forward Fabian Espindola out of the game.Early in the match, Espindola went down and was not able to continue. This added to the problems for head coach Jason Kreis, who was already short on strikers.Jean Alexandre, who had filled in while usual forwards Arturo Alvarez and Alvaro Saborio were away from the team playing in the Gold Cup, was suspended for this match due to a reckless tackle last Saturday against D.C. United.Following the injury, young rookie Luis Gil entered the match and played well up top. He was matched with fellow rookie Artur Aghasyan, who started at forward.Gil continued playing well and had a couple of good scoring opportunities.For Chicago, the man of the match was goalkeeper Sean Johnson who turned back the best scoring chance of the night on a crossed ball to the feet of Real Salt Lake mid-fielder Collen Warner.Surprised by the pass that made it through the defense ...
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