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Real Salt Lake drops CCL opener to Herediano

JasonKreis (Getty)

The start of Real Salt Lake's CONCACAF Champions League campaign could have gone worse on Tuesday night in San Jose, Costa Rica, but not much worse.

RSL gave up an early goal to the home team, missed some good chances, had a player sent off, and then had their best defender suffer an injury just two minutes later.

The result was an opening 1-0 loss to the defending Costa Rica champions, a loss that leaves RSL in a hole with just three group matches remaining.

Elias Aguilar delivered the eventual game-winning goal in the 13th minute when he faked out Kyle Beckerman and placed a left-footed shot past Nick Rimando. RSL had chances to equalize, but sent shots just wide, with Fabian Espindola coming closest in the 30th minute. Herediano goalkeeper Leonel Moreira stepped up to the other challenges, staying aggressive in the penalty area and thwarting a handful of threats.

RSL came out strong in the second half, but a terrible two minutes saw Nat Borchers issued a red card for a late tackle and Jamison Olave sidelined by a leg injury. All of a sudden, RSL was missing both starting centerbacks, and playing down a man. They kept pressing for an equalizer, but eventually had to sit back and settle for the one-goal loss.

"I'm okay with this," RSL head coach Jason Kreis told ESPN 700 in Salt Lake City after the loss. "To suffer a really harsh decision with the red card in the 56th, 57th minute, whatever it was, to have to play a man down for the remaining 30-plus minutes.

"You have to feel okay with walking out of here down a goal basically in what's going to turn into a home-and-away series, if we can manage to take care of our business against Tauro, which we will hope to."

The victory puts Herediano in control of a group that includes Tauro FC. RSL will look to rebound with a pair of matches against the Panamaian side (Aug. 21st and Sept. 18th) before closing out group play with a rematch against Herediano at Rio Tinto Stadium on Oct. 23rd.

Here are the match highlights:


What did you think of the match? See RSL recovering from this group-opening loss? Surprised by how well Herediano played?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I don’t have a team. I’m a fan of soccer and MLS as a whole. Though I guess I cheer most for Stoke City and the US National Team.

    As for hating RSL, I don’t hate RSL. I dislike the players, current playing style, and coach. It’s a good club. Good fans. And if it could replace most of the players and the coach, they’d be a more respectable club.

  2. Hahahaha. Man I love seeing Jason Kreis sad. It’s like his dog just died. The guy is such a baby. Seeing RSL lose is like Christmas morning. A lot of people, when I rag on RSL and Kreis, say I shouldn’t because they are representing MLS on the big stage, and state that I dislike MLS. Well you know, if RSL is representing MLS, then we have a problem. I would rather no team represent MLS than have RSL, a team full of whiny thugs, coached by a whiny thug, be the face of MLS on an international level.

    Here’s hoping RSL bomb out in their group.

  3. I’m not going to explain the whole master plan, do some thinking and you will see. What am i your daddy to explain every detail.

  4. I think most people would disagree that the red card was “legit”. I think it was a yellow at worst, though I do think I have seen worse red cards in CONCACAF however. Borchers does need to be more aware of his surroundings.

    You’re also correct in a blatant hand ball… but if you bring that up, then what about the takedown on Johnson (or maybe it was grabavoy) from behind that was just at bad as Borchers, yet resulted in NO card. There also was a ball in the air around the 90th where Sabo got hammered in the box and no call awarded.

    The point is, the ref was incosistant all night. RSL just needs to play better early in the games to set themselves up for the unexpected.

  5. How does that help CCL? It doesnt, MLS teams would be playing these group play games in the offseason no way any team would advance. Make it more competitive? hahaha what? I guess if you consider 0-0 draws in below freezing weather more competitive. Do you want teams to quit playing on turf? If you do then you wouldnt change the schedule because there is no way any nothern teams field would survive

  6. Are you serious? Look do the refs suck yes but all it shows is that unlike most Mexican teams Mls team can’t take any team lightly. We just don’t have the depth of talent to do that. RSL will be ok but its not that surprising they lost they just have to be solid at home.

  7. Caption for picture “aw F*@$! I can’t believe I put on two ties again!”

    Seriously though, Rimando is one of the all-time greats among MLS keepers.

  8. Very disappointed as an MLS fan, waiting for the moment when MLS teams just blow out teams like “Herediano”…CMON MLS FOR GODS SAKE!!!

  9. Cup With three team groups, a loss is a bigger deal. But it was a one goal loss. Therefore RSL just needs to worry about doing good at home against Herediano, preferably winning by 2 or more goals, and go onto do good in the remaining games.

  10. Every fan of MLS should realize the fact, that as mls teams get better and waste money on Dps and as the league expands as well, sooner or later the league needs to change the season starting point. No matter what plans the nfl, mlb,nba,ncaa,nhl have, the mls needs to start the season in july or august to help the mls teams succeed in champions, open cup and make the mls season more competitive. Once the mls expands to at least 20 to 22, the league should look into starting the season in july or August with a break starting before xmas, then coming back after superbowl. During the xmas break organize , have the pan pacific tournament in Hawaii or even play us open cup games. Mls needs to change its starting point,not because of Europe but for our own good of the league.

  11. That red card was a legit call. Even if it wasn’t, Borchers should know better than to slide like that for a ball in the middle of the field. Stupid mistake on his part.
    How about the blatant hand ball inside the box that the referee refused to call? I guess nobody wants to talk about that.

  12. Tough loss but it’s not time to panick. I agree that Getting Olave back ASAP is more important than the 1 nil loss. Kreis played it right with defensive substitutions. By out scoring herediano on the return leg RSL can overtake them on goal differential.

  13. That red is why I can’t watch CCL games. BS ref’s make playing away impossible. Here’s what needs to be done: Play games as a tourney in ONE country and have it rotate. This home and away just doesn’t work. I guarantee these ref’s were paid off, so let’s end this home and away NOW!

  14. Would have loved a win, or a draw, but not worried. Bad red card, should have been yellow. Also disappointed that there wasn’t at least one yellow against Herdiano. Olave’s injury is 100 times worse than going down 1 nothing in this one. We’ll be fine in CCL, but we need Olave back for MLS play.


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