Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Jeff Attinella; Tony Beltran, Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert; Kyle Beckerman (C), Luke Mulholland (Sebastian Velasquez, 67’), Ned Grabavoy, Javier Morales; Alvaro Saborio (Devon Sandoval, 93’), Olmes Garcia (Joao Plata, 67’)
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella; Aaron Maund, Abdoulie Mansally; Luis Gil
Portland Timbers (4-3-3): Donovan Ricketts; Jack Jewsbury (Alvas Powell, 84’), Mamadou Danso, Pa Modou Kah, Michael Harrington; Diego Chara, Will Johnson, Diego Valeri (Gaston Fernandez, 61’); Kalif Alhassan (Michael Nanchoff, 77’), Maximiliano Urruti, Darlington Nagbe
Substitutes not used: Andrew Weber; Jorge Villafana, Norberto Paparatto, Ben Zemanski
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake (3-0-4, 13 points, West #3) picked up a valuable three points on Saturday night to remain unbeaten in 2014, getting a goal from MF Ned Grabavoy and a heroic performance from GK Nick Rimando to beat Portland Timbers (0-3-4, 4 points, West #8) 1-0 in front of a sold-out Rio Tinto Stadium.
Grabavoy scored his first goal of 2014 in the 78th minute to give RSL the lead, and Rimando made it stand with several huge late saves, extending RSL’s club record unbeaten start to seven games. Rimando – who missed RSL’s last two games due to a knee injury picked up while playing for the U.S. Men’s National Team in its 2-2 draw with Mexico on April 2 – now has 111 career regular season shutouts, just one shy of tying retired GK Kevin Hartman for the all-time MLS record.
Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar
On GK Nick Rimando’s role in preserving the win:
“Nick and I have built up an unbelievable relationship over the last eight years. Now Daryl [Shore] has come in and is doing a fantastic job. I’m just so happy for Nick [Rimando]. The saves were world-class, and kept our team in it at, well, timely times. Just couldn’t be more happy for him, especially with everything that’s ahead of him – just so happy for him.”
On the club’s unbeaten record through the first seven matches of the season:
“It feels good. I felt that we did a lot of the right things to win the game today. It was an awesome feeling in the stadium today with a sold-out, standing-room-only crowd. You could feel that we were building up to score a goal when Ned [Grabavoy] put that in. The energy in the stadium was unbelievable.”