RSL Falls to Vancouver in 2011 Preseason Opener

Arturo Alvarez tallies first goal for RSL in 135-minute scrimmage

020111vsVAN_Grabavoy_50-50 (620x350)

Photo Credit: 
RSL Communications


FW Arturo Alvarez Notches His First Goal
in Claret-and-Cobalt;

RSL’s Second XI Notches Clean Sheet in
“Second Half” of 135-Minute Affair

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (Tuesday, February 1,

– After kicking each other for the first nine days of its initial preseason
camp, Real Salt Lake finally got the opportunity to square off against
some other faces in exhibition play on Tuesday, but it was the really new faces
of MLS expansion outfit Vancouver Whitecaps FC that would chalk up a 2-1
win over the Claret-and-Cobalt
in the first official scrimmage of the 2011
MLS preseason. Real Salt Lake would trot out two different squads during the
scrimmage played across three 45-minute halves, with 20 of the 24 players
featuring during the contest getting a run of around 70 minutes on the Grande
Sports World
pitch to conclude the team’s 10-day camp in the desert.

The tone of the often times chippy affair was
set in the 11th minute when RSL trialist DF Jamie Cunningham
was shown yellow for a hard challenge in midfield against former RSL’er FW Atiba
, with Whitecaps FC MF Terry Dunfield returning the favor just
two minutes later by cutting down MF Ned Grabavoy on the left flank. The
attention would move to the scoreboard soon after in the 17th
minute, as Whitecaps MF Russell Teibert ran onto FW Davide
through ball up the center of the field and finished low and
to the left of RSL netminder Tim Melia from 15 yards out. While the trio of MF Javier
and strikers Fabian Espíndola and Arturo Alvarez all
displayed plenty of on-the-ball prowess during the opening stanza, the Utahans
would be unable to break through, leaving the score 1-0 Whitecaps FC after the
first 45 minutes.

That would change soon after the first
intermission, when Alvarez would notch his first tally in an RSL uniform in the
49th minute. The opportunity began with some fine combination play
by RSL just left of the penalty area that concluded when Grabavoy found
Alvarez, who beat a defender and neatly finished past another RSL alumnus, GK Jay
, to even the score at 1-1. The stalemate would be short-lived
however, as Teibert’s corner kick in the 57th minute was knocked
home from inside the six-yard box by Dunfield, bringing the score to 2-1 before
the stroke of the hour.

After inserting rookies MF Drew Cost
and FW Nick Love during the first intermission in place of Cunningham
and MF Luis Gil, respectively, RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis would
implement a full “line change” in the 68th minute, switching up his
entire XI for the second portion of the contest. With plenty of fresh legs, the
Claret-and-Cobalt would control the lion’s share of possession as the match
progressed, but would prove unable to crack the Whitecaps FC backline, a header
across the face of goal by FW Pablo Campos that was cleared off the line
just before the end of the second period marking the most notable chance for
the “second shift.”

RSL “Red” Line-up (1st – 68th

GK-Tim Melia; DF-DF-Robbie Russell, DF-Jamie Cunningham (Drew Cost 45), DF-Nat
Borchers, DF-John Gilkerson; MF-Jean Alexandre, MF-Luis Gil (Nick Love 45),
MF-Ned Grabavoy, MF-Javier Morales; FW-Arturo Alvarez, FW-Fabian Espíndola

“Blue” Line-up (68th – 135th minutes):
GK-Nick Rimando;
DF-Tony Beltran, DF-Jamison Olave, DF-Rauwshan McKenzie, DF-Chris Wingert;
MF-Kyle Beckerman, MF-Collen Warner, MF-Will Johnson, MF-Andy Williams;
FW-Pablo Campos, FW-Paulo Jr.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Line-up: GK-Jay Nolly (Brian
Sylvestre 90); DF-Alain Rochat (Blake Wagner 45), DF-Bilal Duckett (Long Tan
90), DF-Greg Janicki (Michael Boxall 86), DF-Wes Knight (Jonathan Leathers 68);
MF-Russell Teibert (Santiago Bedoya 68) (Joe Anderson 110), MF-Gershon Koffie
(Jeb Brovsky 68), MF-Terry Dunfield (Philippe Davies 81), MF-Shea Salinas
(Cornelius Stewart 45) (Omar Salgado 104); FW-Davide Chiumiento (Nizar Khalfan
68), FW-Atiba Harris (Kyle Porter 52) (Lenny Hartmann 115)

Scoring Summary

VAN – Russell Teibert (Davide Chiumiento) 17

RSL – Arturo Alvarez (Ned Grabavoy) 49

VAN – Terry Dunfield (Russell Teibert) 57

RSL Preseason News & Notes

  • Today’s
    scrimmage marked the finale of Real Salt Lake’s 10-day stay at the Grande
    Sports World complex, as the squad departed Casa Grande to return home to
    the Wasatch Front immediately after the contest.
  • After
    enjoying Wednesday and Thursday off, the squad will get back to practice
    Friday at the Spence Eccles Field House (University of Utah) at 10:30
    for an approximately 90-minute session, which will be open to
    members of the media. Details on the rest of RSL’s second leg of the
    preseason will be announced on Thursday.
  • After
    returning to limited training for the first time this preseason on Monday,
    FW Álvaro Saborío and DF Chris Schuler did not see the field
    during today’s scrimmage as a precaution. In addition, other scratches due
    to injury were GK Kyle Reynish (R shoulder impingement) and rookie
    DF Jarad vanSchaik (R MCL sprain).
  • Only
    three weeks remain until Real Salt Lake returns to meaningful competition,
    as the squad continues to focus on its CONCACAF Champions League
    Quarterfinal Round series against the Columbus Crew
    , with the
    home-and-home set beginning on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at Crew Stadium
    (6:00 p.m. MT, live on Fox Soccer Channel). The home leg is scheduled for
    one week later on Tuesday, March 1, with kickoff at Rio Tinto
    Stadium set for 8:00 p.m. MT
    . Tickets for the pivotal second leg
    remain on sale and can be purchased online at, over the
    phone at 801-727-2700, or in person at the Rio Tinto Stadium Box Office
    Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
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