Real Salt Lake at D.C. United: Match Night Commentary

Real Salt Lake at D.C. United: Match Night Commentary

MLS- D.C. United

Real Salt Lake at D.C. United: Match Night Commentary

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RSL_Primary_COL DCU_Primary_COL

By AVI CREDITOR

For the second time in four days, defending MLS Cup champions Real Salt Lake will square off with D.C. United in the nation's capital (7:30 p.m., MLS Direct Kick).

United got the best of the visitors in U.S. Open Cup play on Wednesday, as Andy Najar's 107th-minute goal provided the difference in the 2-1 victory. RSL is still on a hot streak in league play, though, as winners of a franchise-best five straight matches.

I'll be providing live commentary from RFK Stadium, so please feel free to follow along and share any thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the match (commentary after the jump).

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POSTGAME – That's all for me from RFK. Keep checking SBI for more postgame reaction from the locker rooms. Thanks for following along. Good night everybody!

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POSTGAME – Man of the Match: Hard to argue against Perkins. He didn't face many shots on target, but he read the game extremely well, and he dealt with Alvaro Saborio better than any keeper has recently.

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POSTGAME – The plus side for RSL: Its unbeaten streak stretches to six games. The bad side: It didn't score in the run of play against D.C. United in 210 minutes this week.

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POSTGAME – A repeat of last year's match between these two teams in Washington, when RSL and DCU drew 0-0 on May 23.

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90th Minute – And there's the final whistle! A nil-nil draw at RFK tonight.

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90th Minute – DIVING SAVE PERKINS! He denies Johnson from distance! Great effort from both players, but Perkins saves the game there.

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90th Minute – Espindola comes close from the right edge of the penalty area!

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90th Minute – DANGEROUS backpass from Borchers forces Rimando to sprint out and snatch the ball away from a charging Cristman.

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90th Minute – Three minutes of added time. Will either team find a winner?

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89th Minute – Hopeless long-range volley by Williams goes out for a D.C. goal kick. I guess you've got to try everything at this point.

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87th Minute – ALMOST! Pontius' header is caught by a diving Rimando!

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87th Minute – King and Cristman do a nice 1-2, with King's shot from the top of the box deflected out for another United corner. Is this the gamebreaker?

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86th Minute – ANOTHER great read by Perkins to swat away another Espindola cross. Russell would've run on to that one.

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85th Minute – No more subs for either team, five minutes to go.

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84th Minute – Quaranta comes close! He cut to the middle from the left, and his right-footed shot was inches wide of the right post.

Pablo Campos coming on for Alvaro Saborio. United managed to shut down the league's hottest striker tonight.

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83rd Minute – Beltran heads away the danger.

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82nd Minute – Cristman outmuscles Russell by the corner stick and earns a corner for D.C.

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81st Minute – D.C. counterattack stalls out. Pontius found the right man, Najar, but it took too long for anything else to materialize, and Quaranta didn't help by going offside on his overlapping run.

Last D.C. sub: Adam Cristman for Danny Allsopp.

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80th Minute – Perkins rises up over Saborio to punch away a cross. Perkins has been in control all night. Looks WAY more comfortable than he did a month ago.

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79th Minute – JINX ALERT: RSL has never won at RFK Stadium. DCU hasn't kept a clean sheet all season.

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78th Minute – Ambitious try from Quaranta on goal, but his shot sails over the bar.

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78th Minute – A Simms-Morales clash leads to a long free kick attempt for United. 35 yards out.

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76th Minute – Najar gets triple-teamed on the sideline and turns it over. How many players in the league, let alone teenagers, command a triple team?

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73rd Minute – Saborio and Espindola can't connect on a simple ball to the sideline. Disjointed stuff from RSL at some points tonight.

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72nd Minute – Williams looks for Beltran down the left flank, but his pass is weighted too heavily. Missed opportunity to create something there.

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71st Minute – Hard but clean tackle by Borchers on McTavish keeps the United defender from advancing up the sideline.

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69th Minute – Confident catch by Perkins under pressure from Saborio on the corner.

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68th Minute – Russell with a teasing cross that McTavish feels compelled to head off is own end line, even though it was going out on its own. Back to 0 on the +/- for McTavish. Two good plays, two awful ones.

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67th Minute – Perkins does well to beat Saborio to an Espindola cross. Better from Salt Lake, making a push in the final 20+ minutes.

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66th Minute – SABORIO COMES CLOSE! His head off a Morales corner goes just wide of the left post. Sure he might have pushed off McTavish to get some extra air, but a no-call is a no-call.

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65th Minute – Espindola blast is deflected over the bar for an RSL corner.

15,128 attendance tonight. I was way off. Those who took the under, well done.

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64th Minute – Andy Williams is donning the long sleeves tonight. Perhaps he didn't get the memo that it's been 90+ degrees and humid all week in Washington.

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62nd Minute – One sub left for each team.

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61st Minute – Substitutions for each team. Andy Williams comes on for Collen Warner for S
alt Lake. Julius James comes on for Juan Manuel Pena for D.C.

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61st Minute – As well as King's played, that's two sitters he's missed this half. Uncontested, close-range shots, not even on frame.

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60th Minute – The latest on Rodney Wallace: Bone bruise, will be taken for X-rays, more information tomorrow.

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58th Minute – Joke's on the fans at RFK, King's 10-yard shot after a hectic sequence orchestrated by Najar hits off the outside support and through the net. Goal kick, not a goal.

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57th Minute – Local Comcast Sportsnet station informs us that D.C. United is 7-1 at home against defending MLS Cup champions. OK then.

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55th Minute – Johnson's cross on an RSL counter deflects out to Morales 30 yards out. His blast is wildly high and results in a goal kick. 

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53rd Minute – WHAT A MISS BY KING! Olave turned it over in his own box, giving King a free 10-yard strike from a left-side angle. His shot missed the far post. GOLDEN chance wasted for United.

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53rd Minute – Quaranta with a nice idea, looking to chip to the left end of the box toward Pontius, but Borchers reads it.

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50th Minute – Corner goes through Rimando's hands, but nobody there to capitalize for United.

End-to-end action, as Warner's shot from outside the area goes wide left.

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50th Minute – McTavish outhustles Grabavoy to a ball on the RSL end line and his cross is put out for a corner. His +/- on good play/bad play is back up to +1

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48th Minute – Credit goes to United too. The home team has looked pretty organized and confident on the ball. Hasn't been able to generate too many chances though.

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48th Minute – Is it possible that Salt Lake is looking ahead to next week's crucial match against the Galaxy? This would be the definition of a trap game if that were the case.

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46th Minute – And we're back. Ned Grabavoy has come on for Jean Alexandre for RSL.

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HALFTIME – Who's looked good? For D.C., Stephen King has been sharp. For Salt Lake, Jamison Olave has thwarted some potential danger, and Nick Rimando has made some difficult saves look easy.

First-half MVP would have to go to Jaime Moreno. He couldn't have looked more at home in the D.C. crowd, banging on the drum and shouting the traditional D.C. chants. I can't quantify how funny that was on the comedy scale.

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HALFTIME – D.C. 0, RSL 0 in a lackluster first half. United had the better part of the action, forcing Rimando into a few saves. No shots on goal for Salt Lake, which looks pretty uninterested so far. Can Jason Kreis light a fire under his men? Can United finish in the attacking third? We'll find out in 45 more minutes.

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45th Minute – Warner turnover leads to a Pontius-Quaranta-King sequence, with King's shot being saved by Rimando. One minute of stoppage time.

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45th Minute – Espindola whistled for pushing McTavish on the ensuing cross inside the DC box. His header bounced over the bar anyway.

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44th Minute – McTavish with a completely unforced pass across the field that goes out of bounds in his own attacking zone after a nice piece of possession for United.

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42nd Minute – Olave's back on, though he's walking a bit gingerly. 

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40th Minute – McTavish with a great hustle play, sliding to prevent Espindola from getting to a ball in the attacking zone. It sprung a counter for United, but both Allsopp and Olave fell down after bumping into each other, and Rimando collected the ball. Olave might have hurt himself there, he bended awkwardly.

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38th Minute – Wild shot from distance by Johnson, but at least it's something in the right direction for Salt Lake. The team looks pretty flat. Wonder how much Wednesday's night's 120-minute affair is affecting things tonight.

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36th Minute – HILARIOUS shot on TV of Jaime Moreno IN the Barra Brava and cheering on his team. Looks like he took the news of not making the lineup quite well.

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35th Minute – Very quiet night so far for the trio of Morales, Espindola and reigning MLS Player of the Month Saborio.

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34th Minute – Allsopp with a clever header to spring Najar down the right, but his first touch is off and RSL recovers. Looked a little too excited to push forward there.

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33nd Minute – King sets up Pontius on the left with the chance to cross, but it's defended well. Nevertheless, King has done very well in the central midfield for D.C. since coming over from the Sounders.

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31st Minute – Fourth United corner on the way. Quaranta's kick finds McTavish, but his header is right at Rimando.

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30th Minute – Lots of trading possession in the middle third as play has evened out.

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26th Minute – Nice crowd on a humid DC night. We'll set the over/under at 18,500. Any takers?

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24th Minute – Wallace can't come back on, so McTavish enters at right back, and Graye shifts to left back. Not a good sign for Wallace or United's injury report.

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23rd Minute – Johnson finds Morales with a long pass into the box, but the first touch allows Perkins to come out and pick up the ball.

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22nd Minute – United's defense is pretty depleted as is, with Talley out tonight. Devon McTavish and Julius James are the defenders on the bench.

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21st Minute – Saborio's fine and Wallace comes off for a bit as he tries to run it off on the sideline.

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19th Minute – Saborio and Wallace both go down. Saborio was lining up to shoot from outside the area and Wallace snuck in from behind to step into the ball. Saborio kicked Wallace in the Achilles area, and the DCU defender got the worst part of the collision.

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18th Minute – I realize I never gave a prediction. I'll pretend I haven't seen any action yet and go with 2-0 Salt Lake.

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17th Minute – Slow backpass from Pena to Perkins with Saborio on the chase, but the keeper
comes out of the area to kick away any danger.

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16th Minute – SAVE RIMANDO! He punches away a BLAST from Stephen King.

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13th Minute – Olave does well to leap and get to a cross aimed for Najar on the left. Give the 17-year-old some daylight, and he'll make you pay. Olave didn't let that happen.

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12th Minute – RSL has calmed down after some shaky first few minutes. Nice possession in the DC half and very nearly a goal from Will Johnson on a shot from the left.

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10th Minute – Foul on Olave for a studs-up challenge. No card. Olave's next yellow earns him a suspension.

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7th Minute – Morales can't do much with an 18-yard free kick from the left side, as Simms rises up to head away potential danger.

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7th Minute – RSL has dodged a couple of corners, with Olave manning up and clearing from the box. United looks more like the team entering the game with a five-game winning streak then Salt Lake. Granted, it's early.

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4th Minute – SAVE RIMANDO! He stops Simms' try from distance. DC has come out firing tonight.

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3rd Minute – NEARLY an own-goal for RSL. Clyde Simms started the buildup with a clever ball to the right to Najar. Graye's cross went through the area, and as Borchers tried to clear it out of the 6-yard box, he whiffed and almost tapped it into his own net. Nervy start for RSL.

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1st Minute – And we're off. RSL in the road whites moving left to right, DCU in the home blacks going from right to left with the opening kick. Our captains are Nat Borchers and Troy Perkins, and the official is Jair Marrufo.

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PREGAME – Nick Rimando faces his old team tonight, and it's clear that he's made himself at home at RFK. After Wednesday night's game he marched into the D.C. locker room with an ear-to-ear smile while clowning around with some of his former teammates and colleagues. He got a nice hand tonight during player introductions.

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PREGAME – Other DCU lineup notes: Troy Perkins, Stephen King and Jordan Graye are the only ones in the starting XI to play the full 120 on Wednesday, and Dejan Jakovic makes his return from a fractured clavicle.

It's mildly surprising to see Perkins in net instead of Bill Hamid, but Perkins showed well against RSL the other night, so Curt Onalfo is going with his hot hand.

Perkins is also DCU's captain tonight. With Moreno and Carey Talley out of the lineup, the keeper has drawn the armband.

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PREGAME – Salt Lake lineup notes: Midfielder Andy Williams, who was listed as doubtful earlier this week with a hamstring strain, has cracked the 18, though he won't be starting for RSL. Rookie Collen Warner gets the start after going 120 minutes on Wednesday.

Others who played 120 minutes in the U.S. Open Cup match that are starting tonight: Robbie Russell, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran, Will Johnson and Jean Alexandre.

Kyle Beckerman is still out with a foot strain.

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PREGAME – The astute ones out there will note that Jaime Moreno is not included in the 18, nor is he on the injury report. He is apparently a healthy scratch tonight.

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PREGAME – Here are tonight's starting lineups:

REAL SALT LAKE

———-Saborio———-Espindola——–

–Johnson–Morales–Alexandre–Warner–

—Beltran—Borchers—Olave—Russell—

——————–Rimando—————–

SUBS: Reynish, Campos, Grabavoy, Gil, Williams, McKenzie, Schuler

D.C. UNITED

——–Quaranta———Allsopp——

–Pontius—-King—-Simms—-Najar–

–Wallace—Pena—-Jakovic—Graye–

—————-Perkins—————-

SUBS: Hamid, Emilio, Cristman, Castillo, Morsink, James, McTavish

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