Date - April 28th, 2009
Round - MLS play in game #1
Opponent - Seattle Sounders FC
Stadium - Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila WA
Score - Seattle Sounders 4 - RSL 1
-Real Salt Lake suffers emotionless setback in U.S. Open Cup
(by Joshua Mayers desnews.com 4-29-09)
Three days after a record-setting victory at home, it was back to familiar road woes for Real Salt Lake.
Allowing two goals in a two-minute span in the first half, Real Salt Lake fell behind early and could never recover in a 4-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders FC in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play-in game Tuesday night in front of 3,890 fans at the Starfire Sports Complex.
Seattle will play one last qualifier against the Colorado Rapids to get into the knockout-round tournament. Salt Lake is eliminated from the competition before qualifying for the third straight year.
"We're going to have to, as a staff, consider whether we ought to think about changing our mentality on the road," Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis said in an MLSnet.com story before the game.
The words rang true after Tuesday's match again for Kreis, who played about half of his starters from a franchise-best 6-0 win against the New England Revolution on Saturday.
Real Salt Lake is now 0-4 in U.S. Open Cup road games and winless in three road games this season. One month ago to the day, Salt Lake lost to the Sounders FC 2-0 in a Major League Soccer game at Qwest Field.
"Obviously, we are extremely disappointed with the result and the match," Kreis said. "Tonight's performance is a big letdown after Saturday's win back home.
"It's important for everyone to remember that it is still a young season, we have several games left to accomplish our goals. Tonight we played a lot of guys that hadn't had extensive minutes in their previous opportunities, and to be honest, tonight they didn't make the most of this opportunity.
"So now we have to wipe this one from our mind as soon as possible — it's over, and it is what it is," Kreis said. "We have another game Saturday in Colorado. It's a big rivalry, and it'll be a fantastic opportunity to get back on track."
Trailing 2-0 in the first half, 22-year-old midfielder Will Johnson pulled a goal back for Salt Lake in the 32nd minute when he finished a fantastic run down the left flank with a 15-yard shot past Sounders FC goalkeeper Chris Eylander to the near post.
After halftime, Johnson had a chance to tie the game in the 47th minute, but his close-range shot was saved by Eylander, last year's U.S. Open Cup player of the tournament
Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid called it a "big save" that changed momentum in the game.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead early in the game when awarded a penalty kick in the 24th minute after Real Salt Lake defender Tony Beltran fouled Sounders FC forward Roger Levesque in front of the goal. Sebastien Le Toux converted the spot kick past the diving Chris Seitz in goal.
Two minutes later Seattle doubled its lead when Le Toux passed to a streaking Sanna Nyassi who quickly fired a shot into the lower left corner.
In the second half, the Sounders FC went up 3-1 in the 52nd minute on a goal by Stephen King. Seattle added a fourth two minutes later on another goal by Le Toux.
Le Toux finished with two goals and two assists. Levesque had three assists..
Seitz, making his first start of the year, made four saves.
Playing on an artificial turf surface was again a disadvantage for Real Salt Lake, which dropped to 0-8-3 in all competitions not played on grass.
Real Salt Lake was outshot 16-11 and only amounted three shots on goal.
With offensive weapons Clint Mathis and Javier Morales — the reigning MLS Player of the Week — out of the lineup and Yura Movsisyan playing limited minutes, Real Salt Lake struggled to create many scoring chances.
Kreis also rested most of his regulars on defense.
Real Salt Lake hasn't qualified for the U.S. Open Cup since 2006, when it lost in the fourth round to the Colorado Rapids. In 2005, Salt Lake lost in the third round to the Minnesota Thunder of the United Soccer Leagues.
After its previous two road losses this season, Real Salt Lake has bounced back each time with a home victory. After losing 2-0 to Seattle in March, the team recovered with a 4-1 win at Rio Tinto Stadium against Columbus. Then after a 2-0 loss at New York against the Red Bulls, Real Salt Lake beat New England 6-0.
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.