RSLvCHV ART, 22 Oct 2014

Real Salt Lake vs. Chivas USA | MLS Match Preview

Oct. 22, 2014 (WEEK 33, MLS Game #314)
7:30 p.m. MT (KUCW-30; TWCD)

It’s the third and final meeting of the expansion class of 2005 as Real Salt Lake conclude their regular season campaign by playing host to Chivas USA at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL are still in the hunt for third place in the Western Conference, behind FC Dallas by a single point for that place following their scoreless draw at the Portland Timbers last weekend. Chivas USA are aiming to finish off the bottom of the West table, returning to action off their second consecutive victory in a 2-1 win against the Colorado Rapids on Oct. 11.

REFEREE: Fotis Bazakos. AR1 (bench): Paul Scott; AR2 (opposite): Jeremy Hanson; 4th: Allen Chapman
MLS Career: 33 games; FC/gm: 26.1; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 6; pens: 12

SUSPENDED: CHV: Oswaldo Minda (caution accumulation; through Oct. 22)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CHV: Erick Torres … RSL: Luke Mulholland (fine only)
FINED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CHV: Bobby Burling, Marky Delgado, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Agustin Pelletieri, Donny Toia, Leandro Barrera, Nigel Reo-Coker

ALL-TIME (28 meetings): Real 12 wins, 36 goals … Chivas USA 12 wins, 34 goals … Ties 4
AT SALT LAKE (12 meetings): Real 6 wins, 18 goals … Chivas USA 3 wins, 11 goals … Ties 3

2014 (MLS):
6/28: CHV 1, RSL 0 (Torres 35)
10/5: CHV 1, RSL 0 (Borja 47)
• The teams are meeting for the third time this season, and Chivas USA have won both by 1-0 scorelines. Felix Borja scored the game’s only goal in the Chivas USA victory Oct. 5 at StubHub Center; Erick Torres scored the game’s lone goal, June 28 in Carson.
• Real Salt Lake have won the last two home meetings with Chivas USA. Real had a five-game winning streak at StubHub Center vs. Chivas USA before the two wins for the rojiblancos this season.
• Coaches record: Wilmer Cabrera vs. RSL: P2 W2 L0 D0 … Jeff Cassar vs. CHV: P2 W0 L2 D0

• The game's lone goal came two minutes after the halftime break. Erick Torres chipped a shot from 20 yards over RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando, but it came back off the crossbar. But Felix Borja was quickest to it, volleying home the rebound.
• Chivas USA had a glorious opportunity to double their lead when Torres was taken down by RSL fullback Rich Balchan on the edge of the area and referee David Gantar pointed to the spot. But Rimando dove to his right to stop the spot kick from Torres.
• Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy did not have to make a save until the 84th minute in keeping the clean sheet to snap the long Chivas USA winless run.
• CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - Akira Kaji, Eriq Zavaleta, Bobby Burling, Donny Toia - Matthew Dunn, Oswaldo Minda, Nigel Reo-Coker (Nathan Sturgis 74), Leandro Barrera (Marvin Chavez 88) - Erick Torres, Felix Borja (Agustin Pelletieri 89).
• REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Carlos Salcedo, Nat Borchers, Chris Schuler (Rich Balchan 39 / Sebastian Jaime 71), Chris Wingert - Luke Mulholland, Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy - Javier Morales - Alvaro Saborio (Robbie Findley 60), Joao Plata.


Real Salt Lake recorded their second shutout in as many matches, reaching a scoreless draw with the Portland Timbers on Friday evening at Providence Park. RSL are in fourth place in the Western Conference with 53 points from 33 matches.


• Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando had a stunning performance, making six saves in all as the Timbers took 16 attempts at goal (23 for the match). There was also a header from a corner kick cleared off the line by RSL midfielder Luis Gil.
• Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was equally stout at the other end, credited with three saves in keeping his club's playoff hopes alive.
• RSL head coach Jeff Cassar made two changes to the team that defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Luis Gil and Javier Morales came into the midfield in place of Luke Mulholland and Sebastian Velasquez.
• REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran, Carlos Salcedo, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert - Ned Grabavoy, Kyle Beckerman, Luis Gil (Cole Grossman 90) - Javier Morales - Sebastian Jaime (Joao Plata 65), Robbie Findley (Alvaro Saborio 66).


• Real recorded their second consecutive shutout, and extended their shutout streak at the defensive end to 223 minutes.
• “Nick [Rimando] came up huge for us. We were under the gun there for a little bit, but I was extremely proud of the way our guys played. They followed up the game plan exactly the way we wanted to. We had a few chances to score of our own,” said RSL head coach Jeff Cassar. “I think [Donovan] Ricketts made a few nice saves as well. It was definitely a playoff atmosphere game.”
• Real are now guaranteed of finishing in either third or fourth place in the Western Conference. They will finish third if they defeat Chivas USA, and FC Dallas loses or draws with the Portland Timbers on Saturday.
• “We're preparing for the playoffs,” Cassar said. “We went to a very difficult place to play and played extremely well. Got a shutout on the road. And if we were to turn around and play at home [in the second leg of a series] in the playoffs, I would take this 10 out of 10 times.”
• Said Kyle Beckerman: “We're excited for the playoffs to start. Right now, we're looking to see if we can seal up that third-place finish and then go into the playoffs with some strong momentum. … “If it comes to it and we have to play in the [Knockout Round] game, it doesn't bother me at all. I saw the Galaxy do it in [2012]. They played the 4-and-5 game and they went on to win the whole thing. So we know it's possible, but we'd like to stay out of it if we can.”
• Nick Rimando recorded his sixth shutout of the season, and now has 112 for his MLS career, the most of any goalkeeper.
• “He’s been fantastic this year, all year for us. Always coming up with timely saves. I thought Luis Gil made a great save. Chris Wingert made a great save. When you have everyone getting each other’s backs and obviously Nick [Rimando] holding down the fort, that’s a good thing,” said Cassar. “He’s an amazing goalkeeper and that’s what he does. He’s become such a solid goalkeeper that you think it’s supposed to happen all the time. We don’t want him to have to be like that all the time. But once in a while, on the road in tough conditions, a team that’s pushing, sending the kitchen sink, he came up big for us.”
• Said Rimando: “We knew they were going to throw everything at us. Our goal was to be organized, fight together and use this to prepare for the playoffs. The guys in front of me did a great job.”
• Luis Gil made his first start in three matches, coming into the midfield in place of Luke Mulholland, who did not feature in a match for the first time since Aug. 2.
• Javier Morales returned to the RSL lineup after his one-match ban for yellow card accumulation served in the San Jose match.
• “They’ve got a three-man triangle and it kind of goes in and out of our diamond. Then they bring in their outside guys. They’re really creative and interchange a lot, which makes them really dangerous,” said Beckerman. “So it’s always a challenge. It’s a cat and mouse game out there. They’re trying to catch us when we’re attacking and then we’re trying to catch them when they are. So it’s always good stuff from both teams.”


Chivas USA won their second match on the trot, defeating the Colorado Rapids 2-1 last time out, Oct. 11 at StubHub Center. Chivas USA sit in a tie for eighth place in the Western Conference with 30 points from 32 games.


• The Rapids took the lead in the 30th minute. Charles Eloundou sped past a defender on the left and played a pass to a streaking John Neeskens on the overlap in the penalty area, and he beat Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy with a low shot inside the near post.
• But Chivas USA were level midway through the second half. Just moments after taking the pitch as a substitute in the 64th minute, rookie forward Kristopher Tyrpak unleashed a dizzying run through a group of Colorado defenders and capped the individual effort by beating Colorado 'keeper Clint Irwin from point-blank range for the equalizer, his first career MLS goal.
• The game-winner came in the 85th minute. A centering pass from Akira Kaji on the right sneaked past Irwin and Borja was there to head home from close range to seal the victory.
• Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera made one change to the team that got the game’s only goal for a victory against Real Salt Lake at StubHub Center. Ryan Finley started up top with Erick Torres away on international duty.
• CHIVAS USA (4-3-1-2): Dan Kennedy - Akira Kaji, Eriq Zavaleta, Bobby Burling, Donny Toia - Matthew Dunn, Oswaldo Minda (Eric Avila 46), Leandro Barrera (Tony Lochhead 89) - Nigel Reo-Coker - Ryan Finley (Kris Tyrpak 64), Felix Borja.


• Chivas USA have won back-to-back games for the first time since winning four in a row June 28-July 12, the two wins coming off a 12-game winless run.
• “We are happy because it’s important to close out the season with a good mentality. This is the second win in a row in October, something this franchise hasn’t done in a while,” said Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera. “... We are playing the last games of the season with a good mentality, and hopefully we can continue that way.”
• With the victory, Chivas USA also moved out of 10th place in the Western Conference, now tied with San Jose (but ahead with more wins) entering the final week of the season, with a game in hand over the Earthquakes.
• “We need to get out of last place, and we can make it, and in order to make it happen, we need to win some points. Especially at home, we now have won two in a row, one being against a very good team, Real Salt Lake, and a team we are fighting against for those points, Colorado Rapids,” said Cabrera. “The last two games won’t be any easier for us, but we are going to battle and we have a good mentality to stay out of the last place.”
• Rookie Kris Tyrpak scored his first professional goal, making his seventh league appearance this season (all as a substitute).
• “It’s always great to go out there and score a goal. The fact of the matter is we got the W tonight and that’s the most important thing. Just going out there and being able to play with the team and get minutes is the most important thing,” said Tyrpak.
• The goal was scored by Tyrpak officially just 22 seconds after he came on as a substitute. Since 2011, it equals the second-quickest time for a goal scored by a substitute after coming on – RSL’s Alvaro Saborío scored 18 seconds after coming onto the field Sept. 6 of this season (Fabian Espíndola also scored 22 scored 22 seconds after coming on for New York a season ago).
• “Kris is a very young guy and very quick. He’s been helping us a lot since the beginning of the season and we have been trying to bring him on depending on the circumstances,” said Cabrera. “(It) was a great opportunity for him and he took advantage. He went in well, showed how quick he can be, and scored a goal.”
• Felix Borja scored for a second consecutive match, his first two goals in Major League Soccer, as he made a 10th consecutive start.
• “He showed that he’s getting used to the league. It’s not easy to adapt to MLS, and he came in July, August, and has been trying to get adjusted since then,” said Cabrera. “He has been great for us. The proof to his [adjustment] is that he’s scoring goals. In Seattle, he scored that goal. If he hadn’t put his foot where he did, it would have never been a goal. For him and his confidence, and for the team, it’s very important. We needed to help [Erick Torres], and now Felix took the responsibility and he’s been doing great for us.”
• Erick Torres was unavailable as he was with the Mexican national team – where he scored his first full international goal, in a friendly vs. Panamá.
• Eric Avila made his first appearance in three matches, coming on at halftime for Oswaldo Minda.
• “We had to sacrifice Oswaldo [Minda] because he got a yellow card. We then included Eric [Avila] to try to connect the ball, pass it and move it around them,” Cabrera said. “We started to do better, but we still needed some help upfront, so we made an unbelievable sub in Kris [Tyrpak] and he touched the ball and scored. We continued with good mobility, good touches and found the possibility to create more options and the second goal came up.”