MLS Regular Season
Real Salt Lake defender Chris Wingert sat down with X96’s Richie T. Steadman recently for an in-depth interview touching on a few things we don’t normally see Chris elaborate on. The veteran left back goes deep on growing up in Long Island, his childhood days as a basketball player, his father’s professional soccer career and his life off the field in the wide-ranging piece, the first in a series of sit-downs that Richie T – the producer of X96’s popular “Radio from Hell” morning show – will have with RSL players this year.
Check out Wingert’s interview above.
The Salt Lake Tribune's RSL beat writer Chris Kamrani made his TV debut last night, joining ABC 4’s Real Sports Live. The RSL writer gave some interesting and keen insight into RSL’s dramatic 3-2 win over Chicago. Kamrani also shared his take on how RSL should respond when its likely World Cup bound players, Alvaro Saborio, Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando, head off to Brazil. Check out the segment above.
Real Salt Lake will travel to the Windy City this weekend, taking on the Chicago Fire at 6:30 p.m. MT on Saturday night at Toyota Park. Here are a few storylines to watch ahead of the match, which will be broadcast live on CW30.
Rimando again aims for history
After coming agonizingly close last week, RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando will again look to make history on Saturday, needing one more shutout to tie retired ‘keeper Kevin Hartman for the all-time MLS regular season clean-sheet record at 112. Rimando only has two more chances to tie the record before his likely May 14 departure to the U.S. Men’s National Team ahead of this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
RSL looks to stay unbeaten
It hasn’t always been perfect, but – at 3-0-5 – RSL remains the lone undefeated team in MLS, looking to extend its unbeaten start to nine games against the Fire on Saturday. RSL is currently on a 12-game regular season unbeaten streak dating back to last September, the second-longest regular season unbeaten streak in club history. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, a result on Saturday would make RSL just the eighth team in MLS history to start a season unbeaten in its first nine games.
Just how they drew it up
RSL and Chicago have both drawn quite a bit this year, with the Claret-and-Cobalt tied for second in the league with five draws and Chicago tops in MLS with six ties. Combined, the two clubs have tied an astonishing 11 times in 15 total matches this year. RSL and Chicago have also tied their last two meetings with each other, drawing 1-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium last year and playing to a scoreless draw in May 2012 in Chicago.
As detailed on this very site earlier this week, there are plenty of connections between these two teams, with no less than 10 players, coaches or technical staff members on both sides of the contest having close connections to other city or organization. Some of the most notable connections include current Chicago defender and former RSL man Lovel Palmer, current Chicago/ex-RSL Assistant Coach C.J. Brown and RSL’s Chicago-area natives Ned Grabavoy, Chris Schuler and Garth Lagerwey.
Can RSL improve upon tough history against Chicago?
Real Salt Lake has struggled historically against the Fire, posting a 3-6-7 all-time regular season record – one of RSL’s worst against any team – against Chicago. Given that record, it’s no surprise that RSL hasn’t done all that well in Chicago, posting a 1-4-3 record in the Windy City, with the club’s only win at the Fire coming on July 8, 2010.
MLSsoccer.com's Dan Haiek and Matt Doyle previewed Saturday's Real Salt Lake at Chicago tilt, taking a look at dangerous RSL forward Joao Plata and suspended Chicago forward Qunicy Amarikwa in their Scouting Report video series.
Give the above video a watch before Saturday's 6:30 p.m. MT kick. As always, it's worth the time.
RSL’s last trip to Chicago wasn’t much to write home about, with the teams playing to a sleepy scoreless draw at Toyota Park on May 9, 2012.
So, instead of showing the highlights from that slow affair – or last year’s 1-1 draw between the sides here at Rio Tinto Stadium – we’ll bring back a RSL classic: The highlight tape from the Claret-and-Cobalt’s 2009 Eastern Conference Final victory at Chicago.
Watch and enjoy above ahead of Saturday’s tilt between RSL and the Fire at Toyota Park.
Real Salt Lake will hit the road again this week, traveling to Chicago to take on the Fire on Saturday at Toyota Park (6:30 p.m. MT, CW30).
Plenty of members of both RSL and the Fire have connections to the other side, with no less than 10 total players, coaches and technical staff members either having played for the other organization, or having ties to the other city.
Check out the full list of RSL-Chicago connections below:
Real Salt Lake:
Kwame Watson-Siriboe: Drafted in the second round by the Fire in 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Watson-Siriboe played 10 league games for Chicago before moving to Real Salt Lake halfway through the 2012 season.
Ned Grabavoy: The 30-year-old Grabavoy was born and raised in the Chicago area, where he played for notable youth club Chicago Magic, led Lincoln-Way Central High School to two-straight Illinois State Championship games and was named the 2000-01 Gatorade National High School Player of the Year.
Chris Schuler: Like Grabavoy, Schuler grew up in the Chicago area, playing for Chicago Magic youth club and starring at Waubonsie Valley High School. Schuler spent a bit of time in the Fire’s sytem, playing for the Chicago Fire Premier USL-Premier Development League club during the summers of his college years.
Andy Williams: RSL Assistant Coach Andy Williams spent a pair of seasons with the Fire, playing 49 games in Chicago in 2003 and 2004 before getting picked up by RSL in the 2004 MLS Expansion Draft. While in Chicago, Williams actually spent time as a roommate of RSL Goalkeeping Coach Daryl Shore, who was then the Fire’s GK Coach.
Daryl Shore: Claret-and-Cobalt Goalkeeper Coach Daryl Shore was a longtime member of the Fire organization, leading Chicago’s goalkeepers from 2000-2009. Shore helped Chicago to the 2000, 2003 and 2006 Open Cup titles and 2003 MLS Supporters’ Shield.
Garth Lagerwey: Like Grabavoy and Schuler, RSL GM Garth Lagerwey grew up in the Chicago area, playing for the same Chicago Magic youth club and earning plaudits as a prep player at York High School. Lagerwey’s parents still live in the Chicago area, and are actually Fire season ticket holders.
Lovel Palmer: Chicago’s starting right back, Palmer spent one memorable season in Salt Lake, appearing in 21 games across all competitions for the 2013 team that came oh-so-close to bringing home some major hardware.
Kyle Reynish: Reynish spent five seasons in Salt Lake as backup to Nick Rimando. Now 30, Reynish signed as Chicago’s backup this offseason. He appeared in 14 games across all competitions for RSL.
Clint Mathis: A newly minted assistant under Chicago Head Coach Frank Yallop, Mathis had two stints as an RSL player, playing with the team in its inaugural season of 2005 and again from 2008-09. Mathis appeared in 74 games across all competitions for RSL, scoring five goals, adding 11 assists and helping the Claret-and-Cobalt to the 2009 MLS Cup title.
C.J. Brown: A longtime Chicago Fire player, Brown joined the RSL coaching staff as an assistant in 2011 after retiring as a Fire player the previous season. Brown went back to Chicago this offseason, joining Yallop’s staff as the first assistant last December.
The latest edition of the Crossbar Challenge dropped on ABC 4’s Real Sports Live on Sunday night, with Dunny taking on “Believe” anthem originator, RSL fan and Rancid drummer Branden Steineckert.
Dunny and Branden had a very wide-ranging interview, talking for nearly 45 minutes at the shoot at Rio Tinto Stadium on Friday. You can check out the 34-minute extended cut of the Crossbar Challenge above. Don’t have that kind of time? Watch the nine-minute version that ran on Real Sports Live on Sunday night here.
ABC 4’s Real Sports Live was all over RSL’s 2-2 Saturday draw against Vancouver Whitecaps FC, covering the match front-to-back on their Sunday night show.
Claret-and-Cobalt midfielder Ned Grabavoy and defender Tony Beltran sat down with Brian Dunseth and Bill Riley after the game for part of that coverage, both giving honest, forthright assessments of RSL’s disappointing draw.
Check out their interviews in the above video.