RSLvVAN, 7-19-2014

Real Salt Lake vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC | MLS Match Preview

July 19, 2014 (WEEK 19, MLS Game #179)
8 p.m. MT (KUCW-30; TSN)

Real Salt Lake and Vancouver Whitecaps FC meet in a crucial contest as the Western Conference foes face off Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. The teams are separated by just two points in tight divisional standings, with RSL holding down second place in the West. RSL return home following a 1-0 loss at the LA Galaxy last weekend. Whitecaps FC are on the second game of a road swing that started with a 1-1 draw at Toronto FC at midweek.


REFEREE: Edvin Jurisevic. AR1 (bench): Adam Wienckowski; AR2 (opposite): Baboucarr Jallow; 4th: Daniel Radford
MLS Career: 76 games; FC/gm: 22.5; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 15; pens: 11

SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: RSL: Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Alvaro Saborio, Chris Schuler, Luke Mulholland … VAN: Gershon Koffie, Sebastian Fernandez, Andy OíBrien, Pedro Morales, Nigel Reo-Coker

ALL-TIME (9 meetings): Real 4 wins, 11 goals … Whitecaps FC 2 wins, 9 goals … Ties 3
AT SALT LAKE (5 meetings): Real 3 wins, 8 goals … Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 3 goals … Ties 2
FUTURE MATCH: 9/27: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Real Salt Lake, 4 p.m. PT

2014 (MLS):
4/26: RSL 2, VAN 2 (Plata 2; Saborio 9 – Mezquida 86; Fernandez 94+)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Joao Plata and Alvaro Saborio gave Real a two-goal lead before the game was 10 minutes old, but Nicolas Mezquida and Sebastian Fernandez each scored after the 86th minute to leave the teams in a 2-2 draw, April 26 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
  • RSL has a five-game undefeated streak alive vs. Whitecaps FC, dating back to Oct. 27, 2012. Whitecaps FC have never won at Rio Tinto Stadium, with Real having won three of the five meetings there all-time (with two draws).
  • Coaches record: Carl Robinson vs. RSL: P1 W0 L0 T1 … Jeff Cassar vs. VAN: P1 W0 L0 T1


  • RSL were in the lead after just two minutes. Taking possession of the ball after a dummy by midfielder Luke Mulholland, Joao Plata raced into the area on the left and drove a low shot inside the far post.
  • By just the ninth minute it was 2-0. RSL midfielder Ned Grabavoy fended off three Vancouver defenders in the box and got the ball to forward Alvaro Saborio, whose terrific curling left-footed shot from the right side of the box sailed into the upper left corner of the goal, out of reach of Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted.
  • Whitecaps FC pulled a goal back in the 86th minute. RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando made a save, but could only turn the rebound toward Nicolas Mezquida, and he was able to bundle the ball over the line.
  • Then in the fourth minute of stoppage time, Sebastian Fernandez fired a rocket from all of 35 yards out that left Rimando no chance to keep out of the back of the net.
  • REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran, Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert - Luke Mulholland (Sebastian Velasquez 63), Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy - Javier Morales (John Stertzer 90) - Joao Plata (Olmes Garcia 74), Alvaro Saborio.
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): David Ousted - Steven Beitashour, Johnny Leveron, Andy O'Brien, Jordan Harvey - Gershon Koffie, Matias Laba - Russell Teibert (Sebastian Fernandez 61), Kenny Miller (Nicolas Mezquida 67), Kekuta Manneh (Erik Hurtado 61) - Darren Mattocks.

Real Salt Lake saw their road winless streak extended to four games, falling by the game’s only goal to the LA Galaxy on Saturday evening at StubHub Center. RSL are in second place in the Western Conference with 28 points from 18 matches.


  • The game's lone goal came in the 20th minute. Marcelo Sarvas carried the ball out of the Galaxy end up the right wing and cut the ball across the top of the RSL box. Landon Donovan played a dummy and an onrushing Gyasi Zardes lashed a shot from 20 yards that struck the left post and bounded across the goalmouth and inside the right post.
  • The Galaxy had a glorious chance to double their lead in stoppage time when referee Silviu Petrescu awarded a penalty, but Real goalkeeper Nick Rimando saved his third penalty kick in three attempts this season – two against LA – stopping Sarvas' chance.
  • Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo was credited with six saves in recording the clean sheet.
  • RSL head coach Jeff Cassar made no changes to the team that defeated the New England Revolution 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
  • REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran, Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert - Luis Gil (Ned Grabavoy 46), Kyle Beckerman, John Stertzer (Luke Mulholland 63) - Javier Morales - Joao Plata, Devon Sandoval (Olmes Garcia 72).


  • Real saw their winless streak on the road extended to four games, with three defeats in that time. They have won just once in seven games following a three-game winning run from May 3-17.
  • “The rest of the season is going to go really quickly, a lot of games in a row the next couple of months and some important games at home. We need to put points in the board so we are right there at the end of the season,” said defender Tony Beltran.
  • Nick Rimando saved his third penalty kick this season (out of three attempts, denying the Galaxy’s Marcelo Sarvas. The last five penalty kicks Rimando has faced in league play have not been successful, dating back to last April 20.
  • For his career, Rimando has faced 63 penalty kicks total, and has seen 22 of those missed. Of the 22 failed attempts, Rimando has saved 17.
  • “I’m not that really upset about the match. Obviously the result didn’t go our way but I thought we controlled the game and our possession was good,” said Rimando. “Our movement was good. We created a lot of chances but we just didn’t put them away and against these teams you have to put your chances away. Unfortunately we didn’t and the result stayed 1-0.”
  • Both Real goals came from penalty kicks, and they have five penalty goals for the season (third-most in MLS this season). Three of RSL’s last five goals have come from penalty kicks; they have not scored a goal from open play since May 17 (of the last five goals, three have been from penalties, two from corner kicks).
  • “We are creating chances, it’s not like we are not. That’s the most important thing. The goals will come. If we keep putting ourselves in those positions, the goals are going to come. I think the last time I looked; we were third in the league for scoring goals. That’s without our leading goal scorer for a good portion of the season,” said RSL head coach Jeff Cassar. “So that means everyone will have to pick up the differences, not just the forwards, but the midfielders, set plays, attacking set plays, that’s how collectively we are going to score goals.”
  • After missing the New England match through suspension, Luke Mulholland came off the substitutes’ bench in the second half. Ned Grabavoy also made a second consecutive substitute appearance, and Olmes Garcia returned to duty after missing the New England game.
  • “If we play like this against Vancouver, we are going to win. If we had that same type of passion and commitment from our starting 11 and our substitution that came on and did a great job,” Cassar said. “Ned [Grabavoy] created some awesome chances. Garcia was threatening. Luke made couple of nice passes. Everything is right there, now it’s just putting them back together.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC opened their two-game road swing with a result, gaining a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC on Wednesday evening at BMO Field. Whitecaps FC sit in a tie for fifth place in the Western Conference with 26 points from 18 games.


  • Whitecaps FC took the lead five minutes into in the second half. Russell Teibert collected a slick pass from Pedro Morales on the left flank, turned a defender and placed a low cross into the box and through a bundle of legs, where Darren Mattocks tapped home for the simple finish.
  • But TFC were even 14 minutes later. Jackson cut in and ran into the box, only to be clattered into by Nigel Reo-Coker, and referee Allen Chapman awarded the penalty. Jermain Defoe coolly slotted home the eventual equalizer.
  • Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made four changes to the team that fell 3-1 to Chivas USA at BC Place. Sam Adekugbe came into the back four for the suspended Jordan Harvey, and Nigel Reo-Coker, Russell Teibert and Darren Mattocks all came into the side in place of Gershon Koffie, Sebastian Fernandez and Kekuta Manneh.
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-3-1-2): David Ousted - Steven Beitashour, Johnny Leveron, Carlyle Mitchell, Sam Adekugbe - Nigel Reo-Coker (Gershon Koffie 71), Matias Laba, Russell Teibert (Kekuta Manneh 82) - Pedro Morales - Erik Hurtado (Sebastian Fernandez 90), Darren Mattocks.


  • Whitecaps FC began their two-game road swing with a fifth result over their last six away matches. Their only loss in that stretch, dating back to April 26 (2-1-3), came in a June 28 defeat at Colorado.
  • “On another day we probably could have taken the three points because getting our noses in front was excellent. Obviously the penalty call has let them back into the game. I think we managed the game very well,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. “First half I didn't think we had enough threat, or belief in the front two, because they were running down channels but then we were huffing and puffing. Second half we adjusted a few things. Erik [Hurtado] and Darren [Mattocks] both became hold up players, as well as players to run in behind.”
  • Mattocks made just his second start over the last nine league matches, dating back to May 10, and scored his first goal since the 2-2 draw at the LA Galaxy on April 19.
  • “I’m a very patient guy and I’m always going to be confident. That is one thing that no one is ever going to take away from me. Erik (Hurtado) has played fantastic, and is still doing fantastic,” said Mattocks. “We’re going to need depth on this team to get where we want to go. For me, to get back in the team and to put one in the back of the net is huge for me but it still keeps me ground, it still keeps me humble. I’ve got to keep working extremely hard to get myself on the team.”
  • Pedro Morales recorded as an assist for a third consecutive match, and now has eight for the league campaign, in a five-way tie for second place in the MLS standings behind New York’s Thierry Henry (10).
  • Russell Teibert returned to the starting lineup after a two-game absence and recorded his second assist of the season, his first since June 7. “I think Russell deserves all the credit for that goal and the build-up play by the team. I mean, for him to pick out a pass like that, it’s really amazing,” Mattocks said.
  • Robinson also ran out Erik Hurtado and Mattocks as a strike pair, the first time since the April 19 game vs. the LA Galaxy that he had used a partnership in attack.
  • “I think we played the way I want us to play. We adjusted the formation slightly to try and break down Toronto because they are a very organized team. I think it worked without having the final end product in the first half,” said Robinson.
  • Added Mattocks: “I think we are positioned really well. I think our build-up play was fantastic, especially in the second half. It’s unfortunate we didn’t create more goal-scoring chances or shooting chances that would have been easy to take. Credit the guys for the point.”

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