(by James Edwards desnews.com 4-7-11)
# 10 - Dunseth leaves his markWith 25,287 fans packed into Rice-Eccles Stadium for Real Salt Lake’s first home match in franchise history back in 2005, there was a growing fear inside the stadium that the sellout crowd would be heading home disappointed. That all changed in the 81st minute when Brian Dunseth scored on a diving header to lift RSL to a 1-0 victory over Colorado.
# 9 - Brown equalizes in Kreis’ coaching debutWhen Clint Mathis scored against his ex-mates to put New York ahead 3-1 in the 83rd minute back on May 6, 2007, at Rice-Eccles Stadium, it looked as if coach Jason Kreis’ debut as a head coach would end in disappointment. The unlikeliest of players, Chris Brown, came to the rescue with an equalizer in stoppage time that helped Kreis earn the 3-3 draw in his debut while coaching against Bruce Arena.
# 8 - Kreis scores No. 100Jason Kreis wanted his 100th goal to be something special, and indeed it was back in August 2005. He became the first MLS player in history to reach 100 career goals with a wonderful left-footed volley from 24 yards out that sailed into the upper right-hand corner of the net. “Had to be one of the best goals I’ve ever taken in this league,” said Kreis.
# 7 - Borchers’ late goal extends streakRSL rival Colorado was seconds away from a stunning victory at Rio Tinto Stadium late in the 2010 season, but that all changed on a dramatic 93rd minute header from Nat Borchers. The goal salvaged a 1-1 draw for RSL, but just as important it extended the team’s home unbeaten streak to 24 straight. That streak now stands at 26, and ironically enough RSL’s next home game is slated for next week against Colorado.
# 6 - Morales clinches RSL’s quarterfinal berthThousands of miles from home last September, all Real Salt Lake needed was a draw to clinch a quarterfinal spot in the CONCACAF Champions League in early 2011. A loss would’ve left qualification up for grabs heading into the final group game against Cruz Azul, something RSL desperately wanted to avoid. Second-half substitute Javier Morales helped RSL earn the 1-1 draw on a wonderful free kick goal in the 68th minute (photo unavailable).
# 5 - Movsisyan backheel seals playoff winIn the first playoff game in franchise history in 2008, Real Salt Lake kept its supporters on edge for 90 minutes. Yura Movsisyan eventually sent them into pandemonium with a clever backheel goal in the 90th minute that gave RSL a 1-0 lead after the first leg of the two-game Western Conference semifinal. RSL earned a 2-2 tie in the second leg to advance past Chivas USA.
# 4 - Morales scores massive goal against Crew Underdog Real Salt Lake found itself in a major hole in its 2009 playoff series against the best team in MLS. Holding a 1-0 aggregate lead heading into Game 2 in Columbus, RSL coughed it up in just 35 minutes, conceding a pair of bad goals to the Crew. A comeback seemed unlikely for a team that won twice on the road all year. Javier Morales swung momentum back in RSL’s favor by knocking in a Kyle Beckerman through ball to level the aggregate score at 2-2. RSL scored twice more to win 4-2.
# 3 - Movsisyan punches playoff ticketAll Real Salt Lake needed was a tie at Colorado in the 2008 regular-season finale to clinch their first playoff berth in franchise history. Strangely, the team came out and played what coach Jason Kreis described as the worst game all year. None of that mattered, however, as Yura Movsisyan scored a stunning goal in the 90th minute to give RSL the equalizer it desperately needed.
# 2 - Findley equalizes in MLS CupWith his team trailing the L.A. Galaxy 1-0 with 26 minutes remaining in the 2009 MLS Cup, Robbie Findley was in the right place at the right time and buried a dramatic equalizer just in front of David Beckham to level the game at 1-1. The goal eventually sent the game into overtime and penalties, where Nick Rimando made two saves to clinch 2009 MLS Cup title.
# 1 - Olave slays the Purple MonsterWith RSL clinging to a precarious 2-1 aggregate lead over Saprissa in arguably the most important match in team history on Tuesday, reigning MLS Defender of the Year Jamison Olave scored a magnificent 61st-minute goal on a half volley to give RSL a three-goal cushion in the aggregate series. His celebration of cupping his hands around his ears will go down as one of the lasting memories in team history. RSL hung on for a 3-2 aggregate victory and is now two wins away from establishing itself as the best soccer team in North America.
Welcome to the RSL Cup blog
I've been a fan of Real Salt Lake since it joined MLS and took to the field in 2005, and I've been a fan of MLS since it began in 1996. Lately however I've started to worry about the path MLS is taking and the poor decisions they are making that in my mind threaten the growth of soccer as a whole in the US. (see "Columbus conspiracy" section) Soccer in America will grow only when we have a vibrant and diverse minor league system, something that MLS seems to be smothering at the moment. (see "American soccer wars" section) Let's keep our eyes on the situation and hope for the best, a future where grass-roots soccer and the minor leagues can not only exist but flourish, as well as where the contributions and history of the league's early clubs are appreciated and preserved.