REAL SALT LAKE vs CHIVAS USA
RIO TINTO STADIUM, Sandy, Utah
Oct. 23, 2013 (WEEK 35, MLS Game #314)
7 p.m. MT (KUCW; KWHY)
The final week of the MLS season kicks off with a match with Supporters’ Shield implications as Real Salt Lake play host to Chivas USA at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL can still lay claim to the best overall record in the league with a victory and a lot of help, coming off a scoreless draw at Western Conference leader Portland on Sunday. Chivas USA kicks off the final week of their season with the first of two games, coming off a 5-0 loss to the LA Galaxy at StubHub Center.
REFEREE: Silviu Petrescu. AR1 (bench): Daniel Belleau; AR2 (opposite): Peter Manikowski; 4th: Ismail Elfath
MLS Career: 75 games; FC/gm: 27.8; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 10; pens: 10
DISABLED LIST: RSL: Rich Balchan. Benji Lopez … CHV: Daniel Antuñez
SUSPENDED: RSL: Abdoulie Mansally (through Oct. 23)
SUSPENDED/FINED NEXT YELLOW CARD: RSL: Yordany Alvarez, Ned Grabavoy, Olmes Garcia, Chris Wingert … CHV: Carlos Alvarez, Mario de Luna
SUSPENDED/FINED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: RSL: Kyle Beckerman, Lovel Palmer, Carlos Salcedo … CHV: Bobby Burling, Gabriel Farfan, Tristan Bowen
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (25 meetings): Real 11 wins, 34 goals … Chivas USA 10 wins, 31 goals … Ties 4
AT SALT LAKE (11 meetings): Real 5 wins, 16 goals … Chivas USA 3 wins, 10 goals … Ties 3
4/20: RSL 1, CHV 0 (Morales 53)
5/19: CHV 1, RSL 4 (Villafana 55 – Grabavoy 4, 91+; Plata 48; Findley 78)
• The teams are meeting for the third time this season, and Real have won both previous. Ned Grabavoy scored a pair of goals – the first multiple-goal game of his 10-year MLS career – as RSL rolled to a 4-1 win May 19 in Carson. Javier Morales scored the game’s only goal early in the second half on April 20 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
• Real took the lead in the all-time series between the expansion class of 2005. Coming into the last meeting, each team had won 10 times in 24 all-time matches, each scoring 30 goals.
• Real Salt Lake have won five consecutive matches at The Home Depot Center vs. Chivas, including 3-0 and 4-0 victories in the last two meetings a year ago, before the 4-1 win this season.
• Coaches record: Jason Kreis vs. CHV: P16 W9 L6 D1 … José Luis Réal v RSL: first game
LAST MEETING (MLS)
• RSL was ahead after just three minutes. Picking up a mishit pass from Javier Morales, Ned Grabavoy raced forward with nothing but space ahead of him, took it almost to the box, then slotted it inside the left post.
Highlights: CHV 1, RSL 4
• Joao Plata made it 2-0 a little more than two minutes after the break. Aaron Ponce's chipped pass in midfield caromed off Kyle Beckerman's head and behind the Chivas backline, and Plata raced toward the Chivas box with Steve Purdy in pursuit, then fired inside the right post.
• Chivas pulled a goal back in the 55th minute. Edgar Mejia sent a looping cross into the 6-yard box from the right flank and Jose Villafaña got his head to it, looping it back over RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando and inside the right post.
• RSL ended all suspense in the 78th minute as substitute Robbie Findley finished a Yordany Alvarez feed from a corner at the left post after it was misplayed by Chivas midfielder Walter Vilchez.
• The rout was complete in stoppage time when Grabavoy slotted home his second on yet another counter and another breakaway, finishing inside the right-hand post.
• CHIVAS USA (3-1-4-2): Dan Kennedy - Steve Purdy, Joaquin Velazquez (Gabriel Farfan 46), Bobby Burling - Walter Vilchez - Eric Avila, Edgar Mejia, Aaron Ponce, Jorge Villafana (Josue Soto 88) - Miller Bolanos (Giovani Casillas 56), Jose Correa.
• REAL SALT LAKE (4-1-3-2): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran, Carlos Salcedo, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert - Kyle Beckerman - Luis Gil (Khari Stephenson 84), Javier Morales, Ned Grabavoy - Joao Plata (Yordany Alvarez 73), Devon Sandoval (Robbie Findley 63).
REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake extended their undefeated streak to three matches, reaching a scoreless draw with the Portland Timbers on Saturday evening at Jeld-Wen Field. RSL is in second place in the Western Conference with 53 points from 33 matches.
• The first shot on target for either side did not come until the second half. Portland put three shots on frame – all requiring exceptional work by RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando to stop.
Highlights: POR 0, RSL 0
• Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was not required to make a single save in recording his 13th shutout of the season, tied for the MLS lead.
• RSL head coach Jason Kreis made three changes to the team that recorded a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas at Rio Tinto Stadium. Lovel Palmer and Chris Wingert came in at fullback for Tony Beltran and Abdoulie Mansally, and Yordany Alvarez started for the suspended Javier Morales.
• REAL SALT LAKE (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando - Lovel Palmer, Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert - Kyle Beckerman, Yordany Alvarez - Robbie Findley (Joao Plata 72), Luis Gil, Ned Grabavoy - Alvaro Saborio.
• With the draw, Real Salt Lake clinched a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs for a sixth consecutive season. They can still finish anywhere from first to fourth in the Western Conference.
• “It was a cleaner performance for us against a dangerous team in a difficult place to pick up points. So I look at it as a positive and if we can perform like that as we go into the playoffs, thinking that we'll have a home and away series, this is what you have to do when you're away,” said RSL head coach Jason Kreis. “I'm hopeful that we can take some lessons out of this and carry it through the playoffs.”
• After going 18 consecutive league matches where they scored at least one goal – hitting for multiple goals in 14 of those – RSL was blanked at the attacking end for the second time in five games.
• “I think we lacked a little bit of sharpness in the attacking third of the field. There were some opportunities for me where shots should have been taken and they weren't,” Kreis said. “ … The goals were there to be scored, it was just one of those nights that they weren't taken.”
• With Javier Morales suspended, Kreis again reverted to lining out Alvaro Saborio as a lone striker, with Luis Gil as an underneath attacker and Robbie Findley wide on the right.
• Nick Rimando recorded a clean sheet in goal for the first time since Aug. 24, when he was in goal for a 4-0 shutout of Columbus. It was a second shutout for RSL in the last three games – Jeff Attinella backstopped the 1-0 win vs. Vancouver on Sept. 28.
• “We're going to need our biggest players in Rimando, [Nat] Borchers, and [Kyle] Beckerman and [Yordany] Alvarez and [Alvaro] Saborio, these guys are going to have to step up and make big plays if we have any chance to win things,” Kreis said. “So, good to see him do that tonight and hope that we carry that forward.”
• Said defender Nat Borchers: “It's a step in the right direction, for sure, getting 0-0 on the road. It's been a while since we got a shutout. Nick came up huge for us again, as he always does, and we put ourselves in some good spots to get some chances too.”
• Lovel Palmer made his second start in the last three matches – and his third consecutive appearance after going nearly two months and eight games between first-team outings.
• Chris Wingert returned to the starting lineup for the first time in three matches, since Sept. 21, at the other fullback spot.
• “A lot of people probably didn't expect us to be in the position that we're in now. We're confident in the work that we've been doing and the sky is the limit,” Palmer said. “I put nothing beyond this team. The way we fought tonight, that's the way you win championships. You have to go into someone's territory, hostile territory, like tonight, and grind it out and get a point.”
Chivas USA suffered their third consecutive defeat and their second consecutive shutout, falling 5-0 to the LA Galaxy in their last match, Oct. 6 at StubHub Center. Chivas USA sit in ninth place in the Western Conference with 26 points from 32 matches.
• The Galaxy had the lead after just six minutes. Gyasi Zardes threaded a ball behind four defenders to Landon Donovan at the far post, and he cut the ball back for Robbie Keane for an easy finish.
• The game was 2-0 in the 23rd minute when Donovan was completely unmarked to tap in a pass from Zardes at the far post, then three minutes later the Galaxy hit for a third when Zardes rifled home after picking up a deflected shot from Keane.
Highlights: LA 5, CHV 0
• Donovan pulled level atop the all-time league goalscoring list with his 134th goal, scoring on a breakaway by chipping Kennedy from outside the box after being set free by Pablo Mastroeni.
• The final margin was completed in the final minute, firing inside the far post from the right side of the box from a pass by Laurent Courtois.
• Chivas USA head coach José Luis Real made three changes to the team that suffered a 1-0 defeat by the San Jose Earthquakes at StubHub Center. Carlos Bocanegra and Jaime Frias came into the back four and Matthew Fondy also started, in place of Steve Purdy, Oswaldo Minda and Eric Avila.
• CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - Mario de Luna, Bobby Burling, Carlos Bocanegra, Jaime Frias - Carlos Alvarez (Eric Avila 32), Edgar Mejia, Carlos Borja (Josue Soto 69), Bryan de la Fuente - Matthew Fondy (Gabriel Farfan 46), Erick Torres.
• The defeat by the Galaxy was biggest ever in 28 SuperClásicos between the Carson denizens. The Galaxy had scored as five goals in a SuperClásico once before (a 5-2 win in 2008).
• “The only thing that matters is that we have had our worst game, made too many errors, and unfortunately we do it in a [SuperClásico] in a very important stadium and we just don’t have any justification,” said Chivas USA head coach José Luis Real. “We simply recognize that this was our worst game that I’ve coached, because not even the game we lost at Houston was completely different, but this one was. The only thing that we can never lack is attitude and the spirit to do a lot of things, and today, we didn’t do that.”
• It was also the second time in three matches where Chivas USA allowed five goals this season, their season-high (also conceding in a 5-1 defeat at Houston on Sept. 21).
• “We’re not going to end like this, we can’t finish off the season with a bad game like this one,” Réal said. “Surely, we’re going to get better in the upcoming two games because I think that everything that Chivas could have done wrong in the season, they did today. I’m sure that there is nothing worse that we can do.”
• Chivas USA were held scoreless in back-to-back matches for a third time this season. They have not been held without a goal in three consecutive games this year.
• “The goal in the early minutes of the game knocked us out. We had planned to take a risk, from the beginning pressure the Galaxy in the first 20 minutes knowing that we have a young team,” said Réal. “Our idea was to pressure them the first 20 minutes, thinking we could somehow surprise them and take advantage one way or another, but the goal that they scored in the beginning took away the plan that we had.”
• With Steve Purdy out for the remainder of the season after suffering facial fractures in the first half vs. San Jose, Carlos Bocanegra returned to the lineup in central defense following a one-match absence.
• “That was an embarrassment to lose 5-0 like that. We got to look at ourselves and each and every one of us. We all have to be held accountable and we all have to do better,” said Bocanegra. “… This is unacceptable for each and every individual on the field. We either have to make some changes or we have to pull our heads out and do a lot better because this is unacceptable.”
• After making his MLS debut the week in the loss to San Jose, Jaime Frias made his first Chivas USA start, playing the full match at left back.
• Matthew Fondy also made his first-ever MLS start, partnering Erick Torres in attack and playing the first half. He had made four previous appearances off the substitutes’ bench.
• Gabriel Farfan made his first appearance in a league match since Sept. 4, coming on as a substitute to start the second half.