U.S. Open Cup: Real Salt Lake at D.C. United Match Night Commentary

U.S. Open Cup: Real Salt Lake at D.C. United Match Night Commentary

MLS- D.C. United

U.S. Open Cup: Real Salt Lake at D.C. United Match Night Commentary

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RSL_Primary_COL DCU_Primary_COL

By AVI CREDITOR

One of two sides will secure Major League Soccer's eighth spot in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 as Real Salt Lake and D.C. United battle in a play-in match at RFK Stadium (streamed live here).

The MLS Cup holders are in the nation's capital for a four-day stretch that includes two matches against United (tonight, MLS game on Saturday) and a trip to the White House to meet with President Barack Obama for their champions' welcome.

D.C. United is riding the momentum of wins over AC Milan and Chivas USA and will look to make it three in a row in all competitions to keep its dreams of a third U.S. Open Cup title alive.

I'll be providing commentary live 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 tonight. Thanks for following along, and keep checking SBI for some postgame reaction from the locker rooms. Good night everybody!

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POSTGAME – These two teams will meet again on Saturday at RFK in league action, with Salt Lake looking to keep its hot streak (in MLS games) going with a revenge victory.

Is it possible to be man-of-the-match if you only play 15 minutes of extra time? Probably not. But Najar's goal was special, individual and the difference, so he'll get my vote.

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POSTGAME – Andy Najar's goal in the second period of extra time was the difference, as the youngster scored his third goal in all competitions (second in Open Cup qualifying) to lift D.C. to the victory. United will be MLS' eighth entrant in the tournament.

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120th Minute – Espindola lost the ball off the endline for a goal kick and fell down in the process. James appeared to have pushed him down in an effort to waste the final seconds. Completely unnecessary, and James will have to miss the team's next Open Cup game, barring an appeal.

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120th Minute – A red card to Julius James at the final whistle causes some confusion, but D.C. United has moved on to the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 with a 2-1, extra-time victory over Real Salt Lake.

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120th Minute – Quaranta does well to cut to the middle into open space and find Pontius deep on the right side instead of going for goal. The clock is D.C.'s friend at this point.

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120th Minute – Two added minutes of time.

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120th Minute – Tick. Tock.

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119th Minute – Borchers mis-hits a golden chance at the right post! Espindola with the cross. RSL isn't going down without a fight.

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118th Minute – Rice clears another off the line! A Johnson header across the goalmouth would have been put home for sure if not for that clearance.

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117th Minute – Najar steals possession for D.C. and kills off some precious seconds. The kid has been a difference maker in his cameo tonight.

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116th Minute – Borchers leaves a pass off for Russell, but his sidewinding shot is saved by Perkins. D.C. dodges trouble there. Time to kill the clock.

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115th Minute – Barry Rice clears the ball off the line! Another corner for Salt Lake.

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115th Minute – Short corner leads to possession that leads to another corner.

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114th Minute – Espindola earns an RSL corner.

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112th Minute – SAVE PERKINS!! Johnson's shot from close range is easily caught by the D.C. keeper! Warner held up the ball inside the area and slotted the pass to Johnson, who didn't hit it with full force.

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111th Minute – Najar just misses! Cristman's cross through the area found the youngster on the left, but his volley went high. What a difference the 17-year-old has made in just a few minutes.

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110th Minute – Espindola's cross from the left is handled by Perkins on the endline as D.C. tries to hold on.

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109th Minute – Najar with an ABSURD individual effort, splitting Tony Beltran and Will Johnson and flipping a shot past Reynish. WOW what a goal for United.

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107th MinuteGOAL D.C. UNITED!! ANDY NAJAR WITH INSTANT OFFENSE!!! 2-1 UNITED!

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105th Minute – Kris Kelderman uses his final sub bringing on Andy Najar for Boyzzz Khumalo. Najar's fresh legs could turn the tide for United in this final extra period.

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105th Minute – For what it's worth, Jason Kreis has used all four of his allotted subs, meaning if things go to PKs, Nick Rimando will not be able to be brought on.

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105th Minute – End of the first period of extra time.

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105th Minute – Espindola's header off the ensuing corner trickles wide right of the post. Perkins' goal kick is just out of Quaranta's reach down by the other penalty area, and Reynish slides to take control of the ball.

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103rd Minute – Beltran just misses from 18 yards! His shot took a deflection past the left upper 90!

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102nd Minute – Warner could be cramping up. He hit the dirt after the shot and had to be tended to by the medics. Given his lack of playing time over the course of the season, you'd expect some fatigue to set in after 100 minutes in humid conditions.

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101st Minute – WEAK attempt from distance by Warner after a clever chip pass from Gil.

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100th Minute – We've reached triple digits.

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99th Minute – Quaranta's volley off a Khumalo cross is wildly high, but a nice effort nonetheless. Can't score if you don't start firing on goal.

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98t
h Minute
– Corner cleared away by Johnson. He's been RSL's most active player over the course of the match, and he's been a different player since the team's top three players (Saborio, Morales, Espindola) entered the game.

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97th Minute – Julius James catches some big air on a Quaranta corner but can't connect with the pass. Another corner coming for United.

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96th Minute – Beltran's cross from the left just out of the reach for Saborio by the far post.

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95th Minute – Johnson's throughball for Warner is hit a bit too hard, and Perkins gobbles it up with ease.

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94th Minute – Saborio catches Espindola with a deep pass, but RSL is forced to bring it back around.

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92nd Minute – Luis Gil has been brought on for Salt Lake replacing Jean Alexandre.

Warner's cross for Espindola goes through the box. A better touch nets a goal for RSL.

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91st Minute – 30 minutes of bonus action are underway.

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END OF REGULATION – You know the drill. Two 15-minute halves to decide a winner. No golden goal. If nobody scores, PKs will be used to decide a winner.

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END OF REGULATION – Two minutes of stoppage time have passed, no winner has emerged. D.C. 1, RSL 1, extra time, here we come. 

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90th Minute – Deflection for another D.C. corner.

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90th Minute – Pontius' cross for Cristman juuuuuust intercepted by Borchers! Out for a corner.

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90th Minute – Johnson just misses! His shot bends away from the goal mouth! Morsink receives a yellow card for a foul, and Adam Cristman replaces Emilio for D.C.

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90th Minute – Hectic series for D.C. in the attacking zone almost ends up with another Emilio goal. Pontius crossed to Emilio in range, but McKenzie pulled off a Secret Service dive to block the shot.

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88th Minute – Saborio and Graye meet an Espindola cross at the same time, and the ball bounces harmlessly to Perkins. The look on Saborio's face suggests he should've put that one away.

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87th Minute – SAVE REYNISH! Pontius received a long pass near the left post, but couldn't do better than put his shot right into the keeper's hands.

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87th Minute – Salt Lake threatening in the D.C. half, but nothing on goal just yet. Visitors are going for the kill.

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85th Minute – Wasted chance for D.C. as Quaranta takes a 40-yard free kick and hits it well left of the frame. Gotta give a teammate a chance to make a play off a free kick from there.

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84th Minute – Alexandre shoots wide left from 25 yards, as extra time is on the horizon.

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82nd Minute – Unassuming strike from distance for Jordan Graye almost sneaks by Reynish!

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82nd Minute – Fabian Espindola created the chance with a pacey run down the left side. His cross hit Barry Rice on the arm giving Salt Lake a gift.

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81st MinuteGOAL RSL! WILL JOHNSON SLIDES THE PENALTY KICK IN TO MAKE IT 1-1!

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80th Minute – PENALTY! RSL will have the chance to tie!!

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77th Minute – Jean Alexandre sees yellow for a harsh challenge.

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76th Minute – Emilio buries the shot into the lower left corner to give United the lead.

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75th MinuteGOAL D.C. UNITED! LUCIANO EMILIO CONVERTS THE PK! 1-0 UNITED

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74th Minute – Jordan Graye broke free on the left and had his shot saved (nicely) by Reynish. The deflection ended up in the air for Pontius, who failed in his attempt to bicycle kick it in for the goal. Collen Warner got called for the handball and saw yellow for dissent, and United has a PK attempt.

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72nd Minute – PENALTY!

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71st Minute – Quaranta with a nice inswinging lefty cross, but Salt Lake defends it well. Action has picked up considerably.

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70th Minute – Beltran sees yellow for an unnecessary challenge on Khumalo from behind on a 50-50 ball. Reckless stuff.

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70th Minute – Morales creates space for himself and fires from about 20 yards out, but his shot is wide right of the post.

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67th Minute – Khumalo with a nice ball for Quaranta at the left edge of the penalty area. Santino chested it down and struck for goal, but the shot was off target. Better from D.C.

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67th Minute – Quaranta's long free kick toward the far post is hit too hard, out for a goal kick.

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65th Minute – Johnson tries to curl a shot from 20 yards into the right upper 90, but he's well wide. Already more continuity for both sides with the influx of talent into the match.

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64th Minute – Pontius launches a pass when a more deft touch would've done the trick, and Salt Lake takes over. Pontius and Quaranta had some room to work with down the left side.

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63rd Minute – Chris Pontius and Santino Quaranta on for Castillo and Moreno for D.C.

Alvaro Saborio, Fabian Espindola and Javier Morales on for Campos, Schuler and Grabavoy for RSL.

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62nd Minute – Mass substitutions for both teams. Game on.

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60th Minute – Grabavoy does well to thread the United defense and find Campos, but the forward's first touch is a bit too heavy, allowing James to halt the threat.

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57th Minute – Castillo's cross from the left gets deflected twice to Reynish. Nobody in the opportunistic spot to cash in for United.

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56th Minute – Warner's back-heel pass springs Beltran down the left flank toward goal, but his cross is deflected and handled by Perkins. Nice idea from the Portland rookie there.

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55th Minute – He's back. Throw-in for D.C. deep in its own end.

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55th Minute – Schuler walks it off, and RSL is down to 10 men momentarily.

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53rd Minute – Graye a
nd Schuler collide in the area off the corner, and Schuler is down with medics around him. Looked like a head-to-head hit, both going for the ball.

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52nd Minute – United with a nice buildup, ends with Castillo's shot from distance being deflected for a corner.

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51st Minute – 3,074 announced attendance. There must be a line at the hot-dog stand, because I'm not seeing it.

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49th Minute – Khumalo oversteps the ball with plenty of grass in front of him and RSL takes over. 

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46th Minute – No subs. More of the same expected. Awesome.

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HALFTIME – The talent on both benches could immediately transform this match into something more than a glorified exhibition. Considering that these two teams will meet on Saturday, both coaching staffs would probably like to avoid extra time and penalty kicks.

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HALFTIME – Who's looked good? Collen Warner and Pablo Campos have created some chances for RSL, but each has also had his share of poor touches.

Khumalo has been OK on the right for D.C., but his breakaway miss is the moment that stands out from the first half.

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45th Minute – No stoppage time, and there's the halftime whistle. 0-0, nil-nil…it hasn't been pretty.

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44th Minute – Handball on Warner in the D.C. area after Rice's clearance bounced up to his outstretched arm. Perkins came up with a kick-save on his shot after the whistle anyway.

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44th Minute – Yawn.

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40th Minute – Warner a little too excited about a bending low cross from the right for Johnson and he hits it way too hard. A better pass springs Johnson for a goal.

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37th Minute – Perkins slides out to take a scoring chance away from Beltran. Warner with the pass off the outside of his right foot nearly gave Beltran the chance.

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36th Minute – Johnson not sure what to do with a nice entry pass from Campos right on the doorstep. Surprise, surprise, Warner came up with the initial touch to create that opportunity.

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33rd Minute – Warner denied a penalty after getting tangled with Morsink in the area. Dive or not…what do you think?

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31st Minute – Khumalo slides behind the defense (Tony Beltran) on a breakaway but pushes his shot far of the left post. Best chance of the night, and Khumalo's got to do better than that. He loses a Z on his first name for that effort. Let's see if he can earn it back tonight. 

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30th Minute – Johnson with a shot from distance that Perkins should've caught, but lets slip off his fingertips out for a corner. 

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29th Minute – Nice buildup for D.C. results in Reynish coming off his line to snag a long cross. Khumalo did well on the right to create for United.

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29th Minute – Warner with a clever chip into the area, but nobody's making a run to meet it. Warner is displaying some creativity tonight, but everybody else is moving in slow motion.

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26th Minute – SAVE PERKINS! He robs Collen Warner from eight yards out. Warner was unmarked after receiving a Campos cross. Better from RSL. Campos is starting to get into a rhythm on the right.

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26th Minute – Castillo's blast is on target, but right at Reynish, and he handles it after a slight bobble. 

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25th Minute – Long free kick for United after a foul 30 yards out. This is Cristian Castillo territory.

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22nd Minute – Campos' cross toward the far post is a bit too far for Johnson. A better cross might've led to a goal. Perkins was in no-man's land. 

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20th Minute – Emilio's shot blocked by Borchers out for a corner. Boyzzz Khumalo snuck by everybody to receive a long pass on the right sideline to set up the play.

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18th Minute – James fends off Campos in the area after the striker tried to play the ball around the defender. Nice recovery.

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16th Minute – Lots of rusty touches and passes. That's what you get when you put a group of subs on the field. Terribly slow pace tonight.

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14th Minute – Nice bit of skill shown by Jordan Graye, but he promptly turns it over after a nice spin-move dribble.  

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12th Minute – Emilio's shot from distance deflected off a defender and then over the bar by Reynish for a corner. Perhaps the goal against AC Milan has recharged the former MLS MVP.

Moreno heads the corner right to Reynish, who restarts for RSL.

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12th Minute – Campos with a backheel touch to a ton of open space. With no player in sight. What was that? 

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10th Minute – Not sure if you can see the crowd, but it's the Barra Brava, Screaming Eagles and media at RFK tonight. Whatever the announced attendance is, it's sure to be grossly exaggerated.

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8th Minute – And just like that, Emilio misses just left of the post. Castillo ran onto a chested pass from Emilio and after a series of three touches, United got the game's most dangerous chance yet.

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6th Minute – Perkins slides to beat Beltran to a ball in his area. Ned Grabavoy with the set-up there. RSL controlling things early on.

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5th Minute – Horrid first touch for Schuler on the left sideline after Warner set him up with space to run. This is starting to feel more like a dress rehearsal for Saturday than anything else. Come on guys, this is the oldest trophy in American sports we're fighting for here!

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4th Minute – Catching practice for Perkins as Will Johnson lofts it into the keeper's gut.

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3rd Minute – Hard tackle from behind by James on Campos sets up RSL with a long free kick, but from strikeable range.

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2nd Minute – Nice idea by Warner on a long through ball for Campos, but its weighted a little too heavily. Good idea early on.

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1st Minute – And we're off. United in the all blacks moving right to
left, RSL in the all whites moving left to right. Mark Kadlecik is our referee.

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PREGAME – Collen Warner's the one to watch tonight. The speedy rookie could give United's backline fits.

Prediction: RSL advances, 2-1.

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PREGAME – Salt Lake chose not to dress a seventh substitute tonight. A 7-on-6 match between the teams' subs would be more entertaining than what we're about to witness here.

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PREGAME – It's not just player subs for D.C. United getting a chance tonight. Assistant coach Kris Kelderman will be the team's acting head coach. Curt Onalfo is serving the first of a two-match suspension he received for being sent off in United's last Open Cup game against FC Dallas.

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PREGAME – In case you were wondering, the U.S. Soccer Federation has released its first-round Open Cup pairings for the lower-division teams. Thirty-two of those teams will compete for the other eight spots in the Round of 16.

Who are the MLS teams already in? Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Columbus Crew, Houston Dynamo, Los Angeles Galaxy, New York Red Bulls and Seattle Sounders. And soon to be either Real Salt Lake or D.C. United.

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PREGAME – Here are tonight's starting lineups:

REAL SALT LAKE

———–Warner——–Campos————

–Alexandre–Johnson–Beltran–Grabavoy–

–Schuler–McKenzie—-Borchers–Russell–

——————-Reynish——————-

SUBS: Morales, Espindola, Saborio, Olave, Gil, Rimando

D.C. UNITED

———Emilio——–Moreno——–

–Castillo——-King——Khumalo–

—————Morsink—————-

–Graye–Rice–James–McTavish–

—————-Perkins—————-

SUBS: Quaranta, Simms, Cristman, Pontius, Najar, Pena, Hamid

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