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.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Crew battle RSL to take 2010 Super Cup

RSL reach end of tough opening stretch

Defending champs lick their wounds after Columbus loss

(by Randy Davis 4-25-10 mlssoccer.com)

Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis has referred to the first five games this season
against some of the top competition in the league as a measuring stick of how
strong his club could be this season.

After Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Columbus Crew, the defending champs have to be
concerned what to make of Kreis’ postgame assessment as “very, very

Real Salt Lake had an opportunity to change the complexion early on in this
match. Álvaro Saborío received a gift from an ill-advised pass-back to goalkeeper Will Hesmer, but he lost his footing on the soggy grass and couldn’t get a shot off at the temporarily open net.

The defending MLS Chp champs can also attribute their rough start to struggling with set pieces. They’ve given up three penalty kicks in just five games -- capped by Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s game-winner on Saturday -- and all but two of the seven goals allowed have come off of free kicks, throw-ins or penalties.

“I’m really disappointed that we’ve given up so many
penalties,” defender Nat Borchers said.

Although Kreis refused to comment on some of the key decisions by referee’s in this one,
Borchers was less tight-lipped.

“There were some very strange calls in the game,” Borchers said. “And some calls that
would raise some eyebrows to most unbiased fans.”

For the second straight match, RSL had to improvise with the lineup. Chris Wingert
and Ned Grabavoy were out for the second match in a row, and Javier Morales and
Robbie Findley both came on in the second half, but weren’t deemed ready for 90
minutes of action. Their insertion in
the second half provided a spark as RSL had been chasing the game, but it was
too little, too late.

“I think it’s most important that we have faith in ourselves and then it helps to have a coaching staff that works with us and reminds that we did it all last year and we had a bad record in the beginning," goalkeeper Nick Rimando said. "Ours isn’t too bad right now – there’s worse out there – so we’re going home for the next three games and if we get nine points out of that, then good, but if not, we’ve still got a long season.”

First-year player Collen Warner received his first MLS start as Kreis looked for help in the midfield among the wounded. The University of Portland star played well in the U.S. Open Cup play-in game against San Jose earlier this month, and was rewarded in last Saturday’s match against the LA Galaxy when he came on in the 64th minute for his first appearance in league play.

Real Salt Lake will play four of their next five games at home, starting next week against Toronto FC.

“We wanted to get more points out of this road stretch,” Borchers mentioned. “But
we know that we’re very good at home.”






On the officiating:

“Decisions are going against us and whether or not they are the right decisions, there are decisions that are having to be made. I’m hoping that that will shake over the season and that a bounce or two will go our way and that there will be a decision, or maybe two or three or five that will go our way and it will all level out.”

On the Crew’s play:

“I thought they played very well. I think it was the best match they played this season. I watched their first two and by a large way this was their best match of the season.”

On starting Collen Warner over Nelson Gonzalez in midfield:

“Nelson [Gonzalez] has come in and done a job for us for a team that hadn’t gotten results. He came in at the Seattle game and we ended up drawing that game and he starts in the Galaxy game and we lose that game. We have more players that we feel good about than we have positions on the field. It was no knock on Nelson, it was time to give the other kid a chance and I think he did well. I think we have good


On Real Salt Lake’s confidence in its style of play after winning 2009 MLS Cup:

“We’ve found a style that works for us, and that works in this league, so I think that’s something we want to continue to do; play that style. That’s all we keep doing, is just keep trying to play our style and it really works for us, especially away from home.”


On RSL’s start to the season:

“I think it’s most important that we have faith in ourselves and then it helps to have a coaching staff that works with us and reminds that we did it all last year and we had a bad record in the beginning. Ours isn’t too bad right now – there’s worse out there – so we’re going home for the next three games and if we get nine points out of that, then good, but if not, we’ve still got a long season.”


On Robbie Rogers:

“I thought Robbie played very well defensively. He was in the right spot and he covered a lot of ground. He was in the right places and I was very happy with his performance.”

On Gino Padula’s injury:

“I don’t have a full medical report, so I don’t know exactly what happened, but I do know it was something in his knee.”

On only having one shot on goal:

“I’ll take it; its three points. I’d rather win a scrappy game and know we’ll get better. Today we had one shot on goal and actually scored and I’m happy about it. “

On Real Salt Lake:

“They’re a good team. They won the championship last year, but the result didn’t fall their way. I’m glad we won today.”


On defending Real
Salt Lake’s attack:

“Salt Lake has everything you could want up top, from size, to speed, to skill; and I think we did a good job on them tonight. Whether it’s me or Chad [Marshall] or Eric
[Brunner], we feel like we’ll win the majority of balls in the air, and the midfield
did a good job of winning second balls and closing their midfielders down.”


On the rainy conditions in tonight’s match:

“I was talking to Steve [Lenhart] before the game and we said ‘Let’s just have fun tonight.’ We were playing in the rain; the weather was perfect, the temperature was perfect and I had a great time. The game was a little chippy, but sometimes those are the best ones.”


On withstanding RSL’s late pressure on goal:

“I thought we could have done a little better job of possessing the ball. But at the end of the game you know they’re going to throw everything they have at you and you’re going to have to withstand pressure and fight and battle hard and win some challenges in the box and we did that for the most part.”

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