RSL Notes & Quotes - RSL 2 : 0 DAL

More post-game reaction as Claret-and-Cobalt stretch unbeaten run to six games

07-09-11vDAL_Rimando-dive_Shea (620x350)

Photo Credit: 
Melissa Majchrzak / Real Salt Lake


Goals to Open
and Close Second Half from Andy Williams and Fabian Espíndola Push RSL’s
Undefeated Run to Six Games;

RSL Takes First
of Back-to-Back Matches against Hoops, with Rematch Set for Tuesday in U.S.
Open Cup Play in Texas


SANDY, Utah (Saturday, July 9, 2011)
Real Salt Lake went a long way in climbing to the top of the
Western Conference table Saturday night, the Utah side knocking off rival FC
2-0 in front of 17,734 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium.

After a scoreless – and physical – first half in Sandy,
Real Salt Lake (8-3-6, 30 pts; 4th in West) broke the deadlock
against FC Dallas (10-5-4, 34 pts.; 2nd in West) just moments into
the second half when MF Andy Williams connected from range to beat GK Kevin
, who bobbled the dipping shot and couldn’t coral the ball before it
trickled over the goal line.

Dallas would have a golden chance to equalize in the 84th
minute, when a run from MF Brek Shea would bring RSL GK Nick Rimando
out of position. After making a run into the box, Shea left the ball off for MF
Jackson in front of an open net, only to see his teammate tap the ball
weakly towards goal before DF Chris Wingert raced in to make a goal line
save to keep RSL’s 1-0 lead in tact.

The home side would seal the victory in stoppage time,
when MF Will Johnson would connect with FW Fabian Espíndola to
put the game out of reach. Upon receiving the pass from Johnson, Espindola was
able to shake the Dallas defense and beat Hartman near-post in the closing
moments of the match for his team-leading sixth goal in MLS play this season.


Real Salt Lake Match

  • Tonight’s victory pushed Real Salt Lake’s unbeaten
    streak in League play to six games (2-0-4)
    , which now stands alone as
    the third-longest undefeated run in club history. Heading into this
    evening, RSL had posted six unbeaten runs of five games, behind only the 18-game
    and 10-game runs
    that originated during the club’s record-setting 2010
    campaign. Counting the U.S. Open Cup win over Wilmington on June 28, the
    Utah side is unbeaten in seven matches across all competitions.
  • Real Salt Lake played the role of streak-buster for the
    second straight season against Dallas, who came into Rio Tinto Stadium
    with a three-game winning streak and a 9-1-3 record across its previous 14
    games dating back to late-April. Dallas now sits four points clear of RSL
    in the Western Conference standings, but the Claret-and-Cobalt still hold
    two games in hand over the Hoops. RSL snapped the Hoops’ MLS-record-tying
    19-match unbeaten run in MLS play last October in Sandy.
  • Andy Williams’ goal in the 47th
    was his second of the season and his first in 13 MLS regular
    season games, his previous tally coming during the 4-1 win over the LA
    Galaxy at Rio Tinto Stadium back on March 26.
  • Kyle Beckerman assisted Williams on the
    opening goal, giving the RSL captain his team-high fourth assist
    this season, breaking a tie with MF Collen Warner in the category. It was
    Beckerman’s third helper in as many games, following up on his pair
    of assists in RSL’s 3-1 win over Toronto FC two weekends ago on June 25.
  • Fabian Espíndola’s stoppage time goal pushed his team-high
    goal total in MLS play to six
    . The red-hot Argentine striker has now
    scored in back-to-back games and found the back of the net five times
    in his last seven league appearances
  • The shutout was RSL’s ninth in league play this season
    and Nick Rimando’s eighth of 2011, with the last clean-sheet coming
    on June 22 in a scoreless draw at Chicago. Rimando trails only his
    opposite number from tonight, Dallas backstop Kevin Hartman (9), by
    one for the league lead in shutouts. The clean sheet also marks the first
    time Dallas has failed to score since the club hosted RSL back on May 22,
    when the two sides played to a scoreless draw. Rimando (82) and Hartman
    (101) are also 1-2 on the League’s career shutout list.
  • The same two sides will be forced to make a quick
    turnaround, as RSL and FC Dallas will meet once again this Tuesday,
    July 12
    , in Frisco, Texas, this time in the Quarterfinal
    Round of the
    Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Pizza Hut Park
    (7:00 p.m. MT kickoff). Fans can follow the action live via streaming
    video at and over the airwaves via ESPN 700 and (pre-game begins at 6:00 p.m.). The Claret-and-Cobalt
    have never won in Dallas (0-9-1 across all competitions), but did earn
    their first-ever point on the road against the Hoops when the two sides
    played to that scoreless draw in late-May.
  • Real Salt Lake will take to the road against next
    weekend, when it will pick up League play with its first ever trip to
    British Columbia to take on the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
    Next Saturday’s matinee kickoff at Empire Field is set for 2:00 p.m. MT
    and can be seen live on KMYU 2.2 (Comcast 22 / Dish & DIRECTV 12).






On the result:

“This was a huge, huge
match for us; probably the biggest one we’ve had this season against what I
think is arguably the team that is in the best form right now.  A positive
result, doesn’t matter to me the score, to get all three points at home against
them was big for us.  It wraps up the series where we drew with them away
and win at home.”

On the goal by
midfielder Andy Williams:

“Kevin [Hartman] has
been extremely good against us – I think he’s been extremely good against
everybody – but for some reason he’s pulled off some incredible saves against
us in the last year and a half since he’s been [with FC Dallas].  … Some
of the assistant coaches and I were talking about ‘couldn’t we just get one
bounce to go past Kevin Hartman,’ and we got it.  I think a bounce has
been a long time coming for this club.”

On the play of
midfielder Luis Gil:

“[Luis Gil] has a ton of
respect for the players around him and I think he’s often times thinking about
how he can make a goal for somebody else rather than take the final
responsibility.  He did get himself into some really, really nice
positions tonight and was a little bit hesitant [to take shots].”

On going into
Quarterfinal Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against Dallas:

"When I said this match
was one of the biggest, if not the biggest one that we’ve played in MLS
this year, I wasn’t only talking about MLS.  I knew there would be a
positive statement to make to get a little confidence and go down to Dallas and
hopefully move on in the U.S. Open Cup.”



On matching up
against FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea:

“Sometimes it can be an
interesting matchup for me because I’m a shorter guy but I also have speed. So
I just have to be smart where I am setting up all of the time and with the
tackles that I’m going in for…  It’s about being sharp mentally.”

On playing well as
a team against the speed of FC Dallas:

“They are a
counter-attacking team, but if we keep the ball, which we did well at times,
they can’t really get anything against us because they can’t have any
opportunity to counter.”



On the different
mindset of moving from forward to midfield:

“Dropping back in the
midfield the first thing I had to think about was to defend. We have to defend
the midfield first. From there when we get the ball, we can have fun with it
and we create chances.”

On his reluctance
to take shots:

“Yeah, I’m a little
hesitant here and there, sometimes I don’t feel like I have the right shot and
sometimes I give it up. It’s coming; it’s taken me a while. I’ve had my chances
and stuff, I’ve just got to keep on going and it will come.”



On how the first
goal changed the match for Real Salt Lake:

“Obviously getting that
first goal, no matter how it comes, it’s always big. That was a bit of a relief
because then they couldn’t just sit back and try to counter us anymore.”



On playing without
their captain, Daniel Hernandez:

“We’re going without our
captain and team leader, Daniel Hernandez.  We left him behind at the last
minute and I think that there was a little bit of confusion in our midfield
between the three of them.  But I thought they did do a pretty good job of
just trying to stay compact and block the passing lanes and try to make the
play predictable going out wide.”

On Kevin Hartman’s
uncharacteristic mishandling of Andy Williams’ shot:

“I think that it was so
easy that he took his eye off the ball to be honest.  You see in the other
football sport, when a ball is thrown right to a receiver and he’s got it in
his hand and he drops it because he’s looking somewhere else.  I think
that was very uncharacteristic of Kevin.”

On Jackson’s
second half opportunity to equalize:

“It was a great ball to
Brek Shea and he took it down extremely well and he was going in to try to take
the shot himself and he played a great ball across to Jackson and I don’t think
he hit it as cleanly as he wanted to hit it.  Give credit to [Chris]
Wingert for never giving up and for coming in.  I mean, that’s a 1-1 game
and I don’t think Salt Lake scores unless the gods are with them.”

On returning to
Dallas to play a U.S. Open Cup contest in three days’ time:

“We’re at home.  We
won’t be listening to a fantastic crowd like [Real Salt Lake] have. 
Hopefully the officiating is something we can live with.  I think it’s a
great opportunity for a recovery.  We lost here, tied at home.  It
gives us a good opportunity to have a third match.”



On allowing the
first RSL goal:

“It just seemed like the
ball moved late.  They obviously had guys in the box kind of anticipating
me losing it and I just thought about that too much and it maybe knuckled and
got behind me.  It was unfortunate.  I think the most important thing
for me is it really kind of changed the game.” 

On playing at Rio
Tinto Stadium

It’s a tough place to
play, between the altitude and the atmosphere and the confidence that they play
with here.  It’s always a difficult thing to come here and get a result
and unfortunately tonight we weren’t able to do it.”

On FC Dallas’
fighting spirit trailing 1-0:

“I think that we are a team
that battles and I thought we continued to push and we really had a great
opportunity to tie it up when Jackson had that opportunity from six to eight
yards out and we weren’t able to convert that and I think that we just
continued to push and then gave up that second goal.” / /