Portland – Real Salt Lake and Portland draw in a playoff type atmosphere here in Portland where both teams were playing with a purpose. Portland for a playoff spot and RSL to avoid the dreaded play-in game between the 4th and 5th seeds. Nick Rimando was once again the player of the game with an outstanding performance getting his 114 shutout of his career in from of a crowd of 20,814 at Providence Park.
This match although having no score was incredibly entertaining. The Timbers came out with a continuous attack and had shot after shot but the defense of Real Salt Lake was equally as impressive. Rimando was like a cat in front of the net making Save of the Week candidate after save after save. The defense was equally aggressive making critical clearance after clearance. The was one sequence where Rimando dove out to deflect a cross and then recovered to make a save a second later. Only the video highlights below can show the beautiful game at it’s finest.
Both teams were equally aggressive in the match with RSL making 13 fouls and the Timbers making 14. The possession battle was also equal. The Timbers were at 49.8 while RSL was at 50.2. The battle seemed to be the Timbers on offense and RSL on defense when it came right down to it but that may have been attributed to the shots the Timbers had seemed to be so close to going in. The Timbers had 23 shots to 14 for RSL but only 7 were on frame for the Timbers and 3 for RSL. Overall a very balanced game with both teams playing so well.
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Chris Wingert, Nat Borchers, Carlos Salcedo, Tony Beltran; Kyle Beckerman (C), Ned Grabavoy, Luis Gil (Cole Grossman, 90’), Javier Morales; Sebastian Jaime (Joao Plata, 65’), Robbie Findley (Alvaro Saborio, 66’)
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella; Abdoulie Mansally; Sebastian Velasquez; Olmes Garcia
Portland Timbers (4-2-3-1): Donovan Ricketts; Alvas Powell, Norberto Paparatto, Liam Ridgewell, Jorge Villafana; Diego Chara, Ben Zemanski, Darlington Nagbe (Gaston Fernandez, 82’), Diego Valeri, Rodney Wallace; Fanando Adi (Maximiliano Urruti, 79’)
Substitutes not used: Jake Gleeson; Pa Madou Kah, Jack Jewsbury, Kalif Alhassan, Michael Harrington
Quotes from Real Salt Lake Head
– Coach Jeff Caesar
“Nick [Rimando] came up huge for us. We were under the gun there for a little bit, but I was extremely proud of the way our guys played. They followed up the game plan exactly the way we wanted to. We had a few chances to score of our own. I think [Donovan] Ricketts made a few nice saves as well. It was definitely a playoff atmosphere game.”
– Nick Rimando
“They were a desperate team, a team that we knew that was going to throw everything at us. Our goal was to be organized, fight together and use this to prepare for the playoffs. The guys in front of me did a great job and I was able to come up with some saves to help the team.”
– Kyle Beckerman
“I would say more teams at home. But it always seems like that we have a fun game with Portland. They come out to play, we come out to play. Even 0-0’s are pretty exciting, which is good for the league. It’s just the style that both teams like which is good for the fans.”
Up Next For Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake plays their final match of the regular season on Wednesday at Rio Tinto Stadium against Chivas USA. Kickoff for the regular season finale is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. MT and will have a local broadcast on CW 30, ESPN 700 AM and 102.3 La Gran D FM.