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SBI MLS Team of the Week: Real Salt Lake


There were several good team performances in the opening week of the MLS season, but you will be hard-pressed to match the effort turned in by Real Salt Lake, which posted a 2-0 victory against defending Supporters Shield winners San Jose at Buck Shaw Stadium.

After an off-season that saw the team shake up its nucleus, RSL didn’t look like a team in rebuilding mode. They looked sharp and Alvaro Saborio looked in mid-season form leading the attack. Real Salt Lake’s ability to post a shutout on the road against a tough team like the Earthquakes made them SBI’s pick for MLS Team of the Week.

RSL beat out the Los Angeles Galaxy and Montreal Impact for this week’s honors.

What did you think of RSL’s performance in San Jose? Which team would have been your pick?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Shoulda woulda … You know the rest. As an RSL fan we know shouldas very well (champions league a few years ago) but move forward hoping for the future.

  2. I hate LA but it should have been the Galaxy. San Jose should have won that game 4-2. Good subs by Kreis, though. He got Findley out of there and Plata came through.

    • So you count the chances that Wondo had but missed the net but not the chances RSL had and missed the net or put on frame and were saved? Khari, Gil, Velasquez all had great shots on target that if put a little more outside would have gone in. Plata also had one late he should have made. Let’s count those 4 more and say RSL should have won 6-4. RSL had more chances and better chances and finished 2 more than SJ after dominating on the road for 60-65 min. They deserve TOTW.

  3. San Jose definitely overachieved last year, but, they still had not lost in 18 regular season home games. While they were missing a few starters, I would argue that RSL was missing much more important key pieces in Borchers, Wingert, Morales, and Grabavoy. RSL did fairly well in the midfield despite playing with Khari Stephensen as the #10. He was very poor last night in his passing, positioning and vision. That is a HUGE downgrade from Morales who, when healthy, is the best #10 in the league.

    So, even though I did not see the Gals play, a very young and inexperienced RSL team went on the road and beat the defending Supporters Shield owners who did not lose a single home game last year.

    Side note, I do think that Kreis could be a really good candidate for USMNT Coach after the 2014 World Cup for the post Klinsman era. He brings a style that values possession and pretty soccer, but uses the strengths of American players while minimizing the impact of their weaknesses.

  4. After the first 20-25 minutes San Jose fell apart, and the pace of the game was slowly being dictated by RSL. They never looked in it after the 2nd half, and once Mansally cleaned up his act and remembered how to play football the Quakes attack literally stopped minus 1 or 2 opportunities.

    Also helped Wondo, and Fucito aren’t a great partnership and can’t hit a barn door. Gordhart >>>>>>> Fucito by miles. I’ve said it for years, and will say it again. Wondo is 1000x more effective if you have a target forward.

    Didn’t watch the LA game, but I did watch the Montreal game. RSL looked better, and more in control while Montreal did their best cattenaccio (I’m kidding, but seriously). The game was over as soon as Saborio put away the first goal, and the game looked over in the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half as RSL came out looking composed. Plata being the difference after he came on right after Barnardez got a yellow.

    Plata, Velasquez and Gil were all also impressive. Velasquez in particular in that he has some of the best control, trickery and skill I’ve ever seen in the Claret and Cobalt. Literally. To highlight this he embaressed Corrales, forced Justin Morrow to football/rugby tackle him, and repeatedly took on 2 or 3 guys from San Jose’s high pressure and somehow managed to keep the ball, and squeak it away to one of our midfielders. I can’t express my joy for this young man. I’m so happy we have him on our team. Almost shocking he wasn’t a starter last year. He looked better in that 90 minutes than Steele ever did (And I liked Steele). You just can’t teach that skill, and control. His composure is also amazing.

    Very excited for DC. And they’ll also be without De Rosario! Wouldn’t be surprised if we snapped up a draw or a win in that game with the way we were playing yesterday.

    • I’m an RSL fan, but I think he needs a little more seasoning before he is ready. Maybe that’s just me not wanting to lose him yet. But I do wonder how he would do at the national level. He is VERY particular about who he wants on his team. I can see him telling a Donovan, “Oh, you want a break? I understand. Well, just make sure to not call us. We’ll call you.”

  5. RSL was without starters too, (Morales, Borchers, Grabavoy) this team has not been playing together log at all. First half they were really poor playing in the back. But that second half was night and day difference. Once they scored the first goal San Jose fell apart, we should have scored more than just 2. Remember San Jose had not lost at home in 18 games that is a solid home record. They had RSL number all year in 2012

  6. Maybe RSL just got lucky because SJE missing a ton of starters? Maybe. LAG demolition probably deserved TOTW, but LAG was at home. Montreal maybe deserves too. All too close for me to decide. Maybe SBI flipped a coin so RSL won TOTW that way. In any event, TOTW means nothing compared to MLS CUP.

    • RSL was also without starters Borchers, Wingert, Grabavoy and Morales. Not to mention they lost Johnson, Espindola and Olave in the offseason. That’s 7 of their first XI from last year. This was as much of a feeling out for RSL as it was for SJ, so I’m not buying that excuse at all. TOTW could have gone to either LA or RSL, I believe while Montreal snagged a win in Seattle they weren’t gang busters and that was more of Seattle crapping the bed than anything.

      Good start to the season, some very entertaining games and great performances. This league is really growing into something fun to watch.

      • SJ doesn’t function at all without a target forward and fast smart flank mids. The loss of Lenny, Gordo, and Chavez is crippling to the team the way it is built to attack. The D wasn’t exactly strong last season and is a problem with Beita out. Quakes are going to have big problems until they get healthy. The team that was on the field is a shadow of the team that won the shield.

  7. I don’t have a problem with this pick. Although, I lean towards Montreal’s victory at Seattle for team of the week.

    • That was a solid result for Montreal, Arnaud’s goal was pure class, and their defending was superb. That said, it’s hard to be team of the week when when you don’t control the game. Seattle, despite the result, controlled that game.

    • Magee deserves his accolades, but the Fire were a mess. Yes, they’ve had a preseason together, but their instrumental midfielders are new to each other and the team. Plus, their best defender–Friedrich–is out.

      Also, LA was playing at home. RSL went and got an away result against a tough (though overrated in my opinion) opponent after going through a much more substantial rebuild than LA.

      • Well said. RSL created a few quality chances and finished half of them. Plata, Velasquez and sabo had great games and RSL d is athletic although not the best technically.

        The second assist from kyle B was really nice.

  8. hmm, i’m not so sure about this. if wondo finishes just 25% of his chances last night -many of th wide open looks, he’s got a first half brace. Full credit to RSL and Saborio as they took advantage, but i’d rate the galaxy’s demolition of chicago or portland’s fightback as better.

  9. Yeah, it was a fine and somewhat unexpected result, so I don’t want to take anything away from Real Salt Lake. But this was as much of an exposure of San Jose as it was a reaffirmation of RSL’s squad.

    San Jose missed the train during last season’s playoffs; I suspect they will struggle this year.

    • I agree. I really think SJ was punching above their weight for most of last season. A combination of luck, some heroic individual performances at the right times, and good finishing kept the points flowing in.


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