Salt Lake City – Real Salt Lake is still not back in pre-World Cup form as they draw (1-1) against the Vancouver Whitecaps tonight at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Real Salt Lake and Vancouver started out the night in 2nd and 5th place in the Western Conference, but a tie and the other results of the night moved RSL down to 3rd as FC Dallas moved ahead of them and Vancouver moved to 6th place.
As RSL slowly gets healthy it is still apparent that the hole left by injured Alvaro Sabario has yet to be filled. Coach Cassar started off the night with Devon Sandoval and Joao Plata up top, but that stated to change the 58′ when Robbie Findley came in for Sandoval, and was later boosted when Olmes Garcia entered the match for Tony Beltran in the 78′. This still as not enough to overcome the uphill battle they were in at that point.
Joao Plata scored the lone goal for RSL in the 81′ of play off of an assist by Kyle Beckerman, and it seemed that the energy of the match had shifted in Real Salt Lakes favor, however, it never materialized on the field.
It might not only be RSL that is finding it hard to get back to full form as the referee also seemed a bit rusty. In the 75′ things got really chippy on the field and in the midst of a lot of pushing in the center of the field Sebastian Fernandez was issued the second yellow card of the match. In the next 45 seconds 3 more yellows were handed out as he tried, in vain, to get control of a match that he seemed out of step with for most of the night.
In the second match in a row, Coach Cassar had some words about the officiating, noting that the fans of RSL and MLS deserve more from their officiating crews.
Quotes for Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar
On the Penalty Kick “That was 100% not a PK”, “I went up to [the ref] after the game and said, ‘Are you sure?’. He said, ‘Pretty sure.’ … It’s a big game. You need to be sure.”
On the time wasting by Vancouver “Our fans deserve more, they deserve better. The time wasting was egregious. I’m glad the ref dealt with that.”
Real Salt Lake: Chris Schuler; Nat Borchers; Tony Beltran (Olmes Garcia, 78′); Chris Wingert; Luis Gil (Luke Mulholland, 57′); Javier Morales; Kyle Beckerman; Ned Grabavoy; Devon Sandoval (Robbie Findley, 58′); Joao Plata
Vancouver Whitecaps: Carlyle Mitchell; Steven Beitashour; Jordan Harvey; Johnny Leveron; Sebastian Fernandez (Pedro Morales, 78′); Mehdi Ballouchy (Matias Laba, 63′); Gershon Koffie; Nicolas Mezquida; Darren Mattocks; Omar Salgado (Erik Hurtado, 65′)
Next up for RSL:
Real Salt Lake (7-4-8) welcomes Montreal (3-10-5) to Rio Tinto Stadium on July 24th at 8:00 PM