A fantastic crowd of 8,236 braved the cold, wind and red cards to come out to Rio Tinto Stadium to see the Real Salt Lake Reserves tie USL Pro club Phoenix FC 0-0 on Monday night.
Monday's big crowd – which had nearly 2,000 more people in attendance than RSL's April 1 exhibition game against BYU – wasn’t lost on RSL players, who complimented the Claret-and-Cobalt faithful in the media and on Twitter after the match.
Here’s some of what they had to say:
Defender Chris Wingert:
"It's unbelievable," Wingert told reporters after the game. "We can't thank everybody enough for coming out. I wish we could've scored a couple of goals for them just to make it a litte more exciting for everyone, but, with that being said, a huge thanks goes out to everyone. I never would have imagined we would've been able to have that many people here for [this game and the BYU game], so its pretty special."
Huge Crowd again tonight at the Reserve Game- thanks to everyone who came out and froze their butt off. We appreciate you!
— Chris Wingert (@wingert17) April 23, 2013
Midfielder Sebastian Velasquez:
Unbelievable Support From Our FansAt Our Reserve Match! The Best Fans By Far In The MLS! Honestly Thank You ⚽⚽⚽#RSLFamily
— SeBasTian VeLasQueZ (@TiaN_Futbol) April 23, 2013
Forward Devon Sandoval:
Amazing support from the fans tonight, wish we could have got a win for you
— Devon Sandoval (@Big_Dev49) April 23, 2013
Midfielder John Stertzer:
Big thanks to all the fans that came out to last nights game. Best fans in the league! #RSLFamily
— John Stertzer(@StertzerJohn) April 23, 2013
Defender Carlos Salcedo:
— Carlos Salcedo (@csalcedojr) April 23, 2013
Goalkeeper Jeff Attinella:
8000+ for a reserve game!Thanks to everyone that came out and supported. Time to get ready for a big game this weekend #RSLFamily
— Jeff Attinella (@Jeff_Attinella1) April 23, 2013
Midfielder David Viana:
I Enjoy playing in the Rio tinto stadium and i appreciatethe support of all the fans!
— david viana (@daviiid67) April 23, 2013
The Real Salt Lake Reserves dropped their first match of 2013 on Sunday, losing 2-0 at Vancouver to fall to 2-1-1 on the Reserve League season.
The Claret-and-cobalt Reserves return to action on Monday, April 22, when they'll take on USL Pro side Phoenix FC at Rio Tinto Stadium. Get your tickets to the April 22 match now.
Check out the highlights to Sunday's game above.
RSL played an absolutely insane Reserve match down at America First Field on Wednesday morning, tying the Houston Dynamo Reserves 5-5 – yeah, you read that right, there were 10 total goals – in the club’s Reserve League finale.
A couple of quick observations from the match:
Big game for the front line
Starting forwards Emiliano Bonfigli and Justin Braun both had huge games against the Dynamo, with Bonfigli notching a hat trick and Braun registering three assists on Wednesday morning.
Bonfigli scored in the 11th, 60th and 69th minutes. His second goal was his finest, with the Argentine striker running onto a through ball in the right side of the area before catching Houston goalie Tyler Deric off his line with a fantastic chip from 15 yards.
Braun didn’t have any goals, but he was just as impressive as Bonfigli. The Salt Lake City native was strong in possession, good off the ball and – most importantly – lethal with the final pass, assisting on David Viana’s 25th minute goal, Bonfigli’s 60th minute strike and Sebastian Velasquez’s 69th minute score.
While they won’t be displacing red-hot regulars Alvaro Saborio or Fabian Espindola in the First XI in the near future, it was good to see Braun and Bonfigli perform so well on Wednesday morning. It'd be huge for RSL if either of those two could contribute - even a little bit - down the stretch.
RSL newcomer David Viana also had a strong game on Wednesday, scoring a goal and looking active in the midfield before coming off in the 77th minute.
“In the first half I thought David did a very good job,” RSL Reserves Coach Jeff Cassar said after the game. “He’s dynamic, got great feet, good vision; I think that he started to run out of gas a little bit in the second half after he’s been traveling a lot and stuff like that. It was just a solid performance for him and one to build on for sure.”
The Portuguese youth international passed well, was good – and very calm – when on the ball and decent off of it, too. He’s still learning RSL’s system and his defense is still coming along, but he’s clearly a talented player. He might not play much of a role for RSL this season, but he’s definitely someone to keep an eye on in the future.