Real Salt Lake owned the Portland Timbers last year, posting a dominant 4-0-2 record in six matches across all competitions against the Cascadia club. RSL and the Timbers will face off for the first time in 2014 on Saturday, when Will Johnson, Caleb Porter and co. will come to Rio Tinto Stadium for a 7:30 p.m. MT kickoff.
The best of the six RSL-Portland games in 2013 came in the Western Conference Final series, which Real Salt Lake won 5-2 on aggregate on the back of a 4-2 win at home on Nov. 10 and a 1-0 win at Portland on Nov. 24. Highlights of those triumphant victories are below. Check them out before Saturday’s big tilt at The RioT.
First Leg: RSL 4-2 Portland
Second Leg: RSL 1-0 (5-2) Portland
The Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-17’s picked up quite the result in the Generation adidas Cup in Dallas on Tuesday night, topping a youth side from English Premier League club Stoke City in a penalty kick shootout after dramatically tying 2-2 in regulation.
RSL twice fell behind on Tuesday night, conceding in the sixth minute when Stoke attacker and Belgian youth international Julien Ngoy cleaned up a rebound to finish from just outside the box. RSL equalized in the 55th minute, when substitute Leo Fuchs unleashed a fantastic drive into the top right corner. The celebration was vintage RSL, with Fuchs and his teammates running over to a team from Layton-based La Roca Futbol Club – in town for the Dallas Cup – for a chorus of the “Believe” anthem.
RSL controlled the rest of the second half, but Stoke pulled ahead in the 70th and final minute, when forward Charles Weston-Hayles took advantage of a goalmouth scramble to pop a shot past RSL goalkeeper Christian Herrera. It looked like Stoke would take all three points, but RSL refused to give up, equalizing in the third and final minute of stoppage time. Newly signed Homegrown defender Justen Glad began the play, sending an excellent long ball over the top to forward Tate Schmitt on the right. Schmitt controlled and cut into the box, hitting a left-footed effort that took a deflection and rolled just across the goal line. Schmitt’s goal – which unleashed another wild celebration – turned out to be the final kick of regulation.
The Claret-and-Cobalt then turned their attention to the penalty kick shootout, with Herrera making one save and Aaron Herrera converting the final shot to give RSL a 4-2 victory. Another wild celebration followed the clinching PK, with La Roca players storming the field and converging with the RSL U-17’s in a raucous, bouncing mass in the penalty area. Such a fantastic moment for the RSL Family.
— Nick Rimando (@NickRimando) April 16, 2014
You can watch the entire match above. The real fun starts at the 1 hour, 24 minute mark, with the game tied 1-1 and Stoke about to pull ahead.
The shootout win keeps RSL in first-place in Group B of the GA Cup’s International Division, giving the Claret-and-Cobalt five points through two games. RSL is one point ahead of second-place Stoke, and two points ahead of third-place LA Galaxy. RSL will wrap group play on Thursday, taking on the Galaxy at 5:00 p.m. MT.
The three group winners from the International Division and the top second-place team will advance to the GA Cup Semifinals, which will be played on Friday. The GA Cup Final will be played on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. MT.
MLSsoccer.com is in the midst of running its "Generations" video series, a sequence of videos looking at the past, present and future of MLS's Generation adidas and Homegrown players. RSL midfielder Jordan Allen featured in the latest Generations spot, with the Rochester, N.Y. native talking about his decision to join the Claret-and-Cobalt academy, his decision to go to University of Virginia, signing with the first-team this offseason and more.
Chicago Fire Homegrown Harrison Shipp and San Jose Homegrown Tommy Thompson are also featured in the video. It's an interesting look at three of the top young players in the league. Give it a watch above.
The Real Salt Lake-Academy U-17’s won their Generation adidas Cup final round opener on Monday, getting goals from Josh Doughty and Sebastian Saucedo to defeat Toronto FC 2-1 in Dallas. New RSL Homegrown signing Justen Glad played the full 70 minutes in RSL’s victory on Monday, as he continues to help the Academy teams close out their season before heading up to Salt Lake City full-time this summer.
The win puts RSL in a tie for first in Group B of the tournament’s International Division, tied on top with a youth side from English Premier League club Stoke City. The premier bracket at the GA Cup, the International Division features three groups of four teams, with each group featuring three MLS sides and one international team.
Widely considered one of the tournament favorites, RSL will continue GA Cup play on Tuesday night, when it will take on Stoke at 7:00 p.m. MT in a battle of the top two teams in Group C. Tuesday’s match will be streamed live on MLSsoccer.com. RSL will conclude GA Cup Group B play on Thursday, when it will take on LA Galaxy at 5:00 p.m. MT.
The three International Division group winners and the top second-place team in the International Division will advance to the Semifinals, which will be played on Friday. The GA Cup Final will take place on Sunday.
Real Salt Lake Captain Kyle Beckerman and goalkeeper Nick Rimando recently shot a commercial with RSL partner Zions Bank, with the pair playing a little office soccer set to some Samba music.
We think the spot turned out pretty great. Give it a watch above.
Another win for the U.S. U-20’s, another strong performance by a Real Salt Lake player.
Forward Benji Lopez helped the U-20’s to a 3-0 Dallas Cup win over a youth side from Eintracht Frankfurt on Monday, starting and scoring the Americans’ first goal in their victory over the German club. Lopez’s performance came one day after midfielder Jordan Allen notched two assists in the U.S.’s 3-2 win over a River Plate youth side in its Dallas Cup opener on Sunday.
Allen and Lopez were called to the U-20’s last week for the Dallas Cup. The U.S. will play its final Dallas Cup Gordon Jago Super Group match on Wednesday, taking on a youth team from Mexican club Tigres UANL.
— Benji Lopez (@Theonlybenji_11) April 14, 2014
The U.S. currently sits in first place in Bracket C of the Gordon Jago Super Group, three points ahead of second-place River Plate. The three Bracket winners and the top second-place team of the three brackets will advance to the Dallas Cup semifinals, which will be played on Friday.
Real Salt Lake’s Jordan Allen and Benji Lopez began their stint with the U.S. Under-20 national team on the right foot on Sunday, with Allen starting and registering two assists in the U.S.’s 3-2 Dallas Cup win over Argentine side River Plate. Lopez did not feature for the U.S.
Allen helped the U.S. get off to a great start in the 15th minute, playing a perfect pass to the penalty spot to forward Ben Spencer, who converted the chance to give the Americans a 1-0 lead. River Plate hit back with two first half goals to take a 2-1 lead into the break, but Allen helped pull the U.S. even with a 74th minute assist to Rubio Rubin to make it 2-2. The U.S. scored the winner in the 78th minute, when Spencer scored from the penalty spot to make it 3-2.
The U.S. will continue Dallas Cup play on Monday, when it will take on German club Eintracht Frankfurt at 3:00 p.m. MT.
MLSsoccer.com's Matt Doyle and Dan Haiek took a crack at previewing Saturday's tilt between Real Salt Lake and the Philadelphia Union, publishing their thoughts on the match in a "Scouting Report" video on Thursday. Give the preview a watch above - certainly worth the time.
Real Salt Lake will look to extend its unbeaten start to the season on Saturday, when it will take on the Philadelphia Union at 2:00 p.m. MT on ABC 4 at PPL Park.
RSL and Philadelphia played to a wild 2-2 draw the last time they met on July 3, 2013 at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Union took an early lead in that match, going up in the 13th minute when Sebastien Le Toux tapped home a Conor Casey cross from inside the six. Things went from bad to worse for RSL - which was without four starters due to Gold Cup duty - in the 59th minute, when defender Lovel Palmer was controversially shown a straight red card for a tackle on Philadelphia's Michael Farfan.
Despite being down a man, the Claret-and-Cobalt was able to find an equalizer in the 75th minute through midfielder Luis Gil, who headed home a Javier Morales cross to tie the game 1-1. Unfortunately for RSL, Casey pulled the Union back ahead one minute later, slotting home past Josh Saunders to make it 2-1. Morales stole a point for RSL right at the death, slotting home a penalty kick in the 97th minute after Union defender Ray Gaddis was whistled for a handball in the box.
Check out the highlights from that wild match - one in a series of insane RSL games in July - above.