The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team lost 2-0 in the 2014 Dallas Cup Final to Argentine side River Plate at the Cotton Bowl on Sunday. The two sides had met previously in their opening match of the tournament, which saw a different outcome with the Americans coming out on top 3-2.
River Plate’s Lucas Boye proved unstoppable, as he scored both goals – one in each half – for the Argentine side. The U.S. looked to be out of gas after having played five games in seven days. A match recap can be found here.
The U.S. U-20’s went undefeated up until the Final, defeating River Plate 3-2, shutting out German side Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0, beating Mexican club Tigres UANL 1-0 and defeating Brazilian club Fluminense 3-2 in the semifinals.
Two RSL players, midfielder Jordan Allen and forward Benji Lopez, featured heavily for the Americans throughout the tournament. Allen notched two assists and earned the game-winning penalty in the semifinal match against Fluminense. Lopez recorded one goal, notching the first in the Americans’ 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
Both Allen and Lopez will return to Salt Lake City today.
The Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy lost the Generation adidas Cup Final in heartbreaking fashion on Sunday, falling 1-1 (3-2) in a penalty kick shootout.
RSL-Arizona Academy star Sebastian Saucedo scored the opening goal in the match, a long distance free kick that ended up skipping into the back of the net in the 26th minute. Stoke City managed to equalize in the second half which ended up sending the match to penalty kicks after the sides remained knotted 1-1 after regulation.
Stoke City GK Tommy Dyche made two penalty stops and RSL hit the post twice to hand the Championship to the English side. You can read a full match recap here.
The RSL-AZ Academy team put in a dominant performance to reach Sunday’s Final, securing four wins throughout the tournament to advance to the Championship match. The RSL-Arizona Academy defeated Toronto FC 2-1, beat Stoke City 2-2 (4-2) in another dramatic penalty kick shootout, dismantled LA Galaxy 6-1 and then shutout FC Dallas 3-0 in the semifinals.
RSL’s Saucedo was awarded the tournament’s MVP award and Golden Boot for his astounding performance throughout the entire tournament.
Real Salt Lake’s Jordan Allen played a big role for the U.S. Under-20 National Team in its 3-2 Dallas Cup Semifinal victory over Brazilian club Fluminense on Friday, coming off the bench and hitting the post and earning the game-winning PK for the Stars-and-Stripes.
The U.S. got off to a great start on Friday, getting goals from Rubio Rubin and Ben Spencer to take a 2-0 lead after just 18 minutes. Fluminense cut the U.S.’s lead in half just before the halftime whistle and went up a man shortly after the break, with U.S. defender Erik Palmer-Brown picking up a second yellow card in the 48th minute. The U.S. held strong after Palmer-Brown’s ejection, but couldn’t quite see the game out, with Fluminense equalizing in the third minute of stoppage time to force extra time.
Allen was active in overtime, hitting a curling ball off the post in the first period of extra time and getting fouled in the box to earn the decisive penalty in the second overtime period. Rubin had his ensuing PK saved, but he slotted home the rebound to give the U.S. a 3-2 win.
— Jordan Allen (@jayalllen) April 19, 2014
Allen, fellow RSL Homegrown Benji Lopez and the rest of the U.S. U-20’s will take on a youth side from Argentine club River Plate in the Dallas Cup Final at 5:00 p.m. MT on Sunday.
The Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy kept rolling at the Generation adidas Cup on Friday night, beating hosts FC Dallas 3-0 at Toyota Stadium in the tournament’s semifinals to advance to Sunday’s GA Cup Final against Stoke City.
RSL dominated FCD in Friday’s semifinal, outshooting Dallas 22-3 to cruise to an easy victory. Sebastian “Bofo” Saucedo and Josh Doughty powered the Claret-and-Cobalt to victory, with Saucedo scoring a fantastic goal to put RSL up 1-0 in the 32nd minute and Doughty scoring in the 40th and 44th minutes to seal passage to Sunday’s final. Saucedo’s goal was stunning, with the Utah-native chipping a 35-yard lob over the FCD goalkeeper and into the back left corner of the net.
— Real Salt Lake (@RealSaltLake) April 19, 2014
RSL will take on Stoke City in the GA Cup Final at 10 a.m. MT on Sunday morning; the match will be streamed live on MLSsoccer.com. RSL and Stoke played a wild match in the tournament’s group stage, trading late goals to tie 2-2 in regulation before RSL prevailed in a penalty kick shootout.
Real Salt Lake will renew its rivalry with the Portland Timbers on Saturday night, welcoming Will Johnson, Caleb Porter and co. into Rio Tinto Stadium for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
Here are a few storylines to watch ahead of Saturday’s match:
RSL looks to stay unbeaten in 2014
Last weekend’s results left RSL as the lone remaining unbeaten in MLS. Currently sitting at 2-0-4, the Claret-and-Cobalt will be looking to pick up the full three points on Saturday – the first of four home games in RSL’s next six matches – after drawing its last two matches.
Can RSL stay hot against Portland?
A lot has been said about RSL’s dominant history against Portland, and rightfully so. RSL enters Saturday’s match on a 10-game unbeaten run against the Timbers, not having lost to the Cascadia side since the first-ever meeting between the sides, way back in April 2011. The Claret-and-Cobalt was particularly strong against the Timbers in 2013, notching a 4-0-2 record against Portland in all competitions, including a perfect 3-0-0 mark at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Claret-and-Cobalt didn’t lack for goals against the Timbers in 2013, with nine different players scoring a total of 14 goals against the Oregon club in the six meetings across all competitions between the clubs.
Morales and Saborio look to continue success against Timbers
No Real Salt Lake players have as successful a history against Portland as Javier Morales and Alvaro Saborio. The dynamic attacking duo has killed the Timbers, with Saborio registering seven goals and one assist in seven career games against Portland and Morales notching four goals and five assists in 10 career matches against the Cascadia club.
The Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-17’s advanced to the semifinals of the Generation adidas Cup on Thursday night, thrashing the LA Galaxy Academy 6-1 to win Group B of the International Division and advance to Friday’s semifinal against hosts FC Dallas.
The Claret-and-Cobalt got off to a blistering start on Thursday, racing out to a 3-0 lead after just 10 minutes and taking a 5-0 advantage after the 26th minute. Forward Sebastian Saucedo had two goals in the win, while RSL Homegrown signing Justen Glad, Alex Knox, Tate Schmitt and Diego Silva added the four remaining goals in the win. The Academy kids put on a show at the right time, too; RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen, President Bill Manning, General Manager Garth Lagerwey and other front office executives were in attendance in Dallas for Thursday’s big win.
— Real Salt Lake (@RealSaltLake) April 18, 2014
RSL will take on FCD in the tournament’s second semifinal at 7:30 p.m. MT on Friday at Toyota Stadium. The semifinal match will be streamed live on MLSsoccer.com. The winner of the RSL-FCD match will take on the winner of the Flamengo-Stoke City semifinal in the GA Cup Final on Sunday at 10 a.m. MT. The two semifinal losers will meet in the third-place match at 9 a.m. MT on Sunday.
"Beckerman's a python, and Bradley's a cobra. One helps his side sort of strangle a game incrementally, and the other one can mesmerize you and figure out exactly where to strike. Either way, you're dead."
-Graham Parker, writer at Grantland and The Guardian
Kyle Beckerman and Michael Bradley: Two of the best central midfielders in MLS, U.S. Men's National Team teammates and stars of Kick TV's most recent MLS Insider piece, "Pair of Aces."
Real Salt Lake U.S. youth internationals Jordan Allen and Benji Lopez continued their fine showing at the Dallas Cup on Wednesday, starting for the U.S. U-20’s in their 1-0 Dallas Cup Gordon Jago Super Group win over a youth side from Mexican club Tigres UANL.
Rubio Rubin had the lone goal in the U.S.’s win, which propelled the U-20’s to Friday’s Dallas Cup Semifinals. Allen, Lopez and the rest of the U.S. squad will face off against Brazilian side Fluminense at 6:30 p.m. MT on Friday, with the winner advancing to take on the winner of the River Plate-Coritiba semifinal in Sunday’s final. The U.S. already beat River Plate in the Group Stage, with Allen registering two assists in the U-20’s 3-2 win over the Argentine club this past Sunday. Lopez scored a goal for the U.S. in its 3-0 win over German club Eintracht Frankfurt on Monday.
Allen and Lopez will return to Real Salt Lake following the completion of the Dallas Cup. Neither will be available for this Saturday’s home game against Portland Timbers.
Meetings between Real Salt Lake and Portland Timbers have never lacked for excitement, with the two teams producing open-ended, high-scoring matches ever since the Timbers joined MLS in 2011. The meetings went up a notch last year, with then-rookie Portland Head Coach Caleb Porter bringing an RSL-like possession style to the Timbers.
Real Salt Lake has had great success against the Cascadia side, posting a 7-1-3 all-time record against the Timbers across all competitions, with RSL’s sole loss coming in the teams’ first-ever encounter in April 2011. RSL and Portland had a couple of high-stakes matchups last year, meeting in the U.S. Open Cup Semifinal on Aug. 7, with the Claret-and-Cobalt pulling off a 2-1 victory to advance to the USOC Final. RSL and the Timbers then went on to meet in the 2013 Western Conference Final series, with RSL defeating Portland 4-2 in the first leg and earning a 1-0 win in the second leg on the road to advance to MLS Cup 2013.
The team truly is the star when it comes to Real Salt Lake’s success against Portland, as nine different RSL players scored against the Timbers in 2013 alone, and 10 current Claret-and-Cobalt players have scored against Portland in their career. Not surprisingly, RSL’s most prolific scorer against Portland is forward Alvaro Saborio, who has seven goals and one assist in seven games against the Oregon side. RSL maestro Javier Morales has also been excellent against Portland, posting four goals and five assists in 10 meetings against the Timbers. And it’s not just all about the goals – seven different RSL players had assists against Portland in 2013, and eight current RSL players have assists against Portland all-time.
Let’s hope RSL can continue its unbeaten streak on Saturday and get even more Claret-and-Cobalt players on the scoreboard.
Here’s a full breakdown of current RSL players with goals and/or assists against the Timbers:
Kyle Beckerman: 1 goal, 4 assists – 9 games
Nat Borchers: 1 goal – 11 games
Robbie Findley: 2 goals, 1 assist – 6 games
Luis Gil: 1 goal, 2 assists – 9 games
Ned Grabavoy: 1 goal – 10 games
Cole Grossman: 1 goal – 1 game
Javier Morales: 4 goals, 5 assists – 10 games
Joao Plata: 1 goal, 3 assists with RSL, 1 assist with Toronto FC – 6 games
Alvaro Saborio: 7 goals, 1 assist – 7 games
Devon Sandoval: 1 goal – 2 games
Chris Schuler: 1 goal – 4 games
Chris Wingert: 1 assist – 10 games