Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
RSL ties Red Bulls in 'royal' setting
by Ridge Mahoney, October 10th, 2008 7AM

TAGS:  mls


[MLS] Just about everything -- the setting, the mood, the noisy sellout crowd, the stakes -- fell into place for a memorable evening Thursday as Real Salt Lake christened its new Rio Tinto Stadium with a crucial match against Red Bull New York.

The home team and the game itself, a 1-1 tie, failed to match the occasion. Both teams scuffled and flailed, the play lacked inspiration and flair, referee Terry Vaughn sent off Red Bull midfielder Juan Pietravallo after his shoe cut open a huge gash on Clint Mathis' head, and both teams scored on set plays.

Nevertheless, both teams remain within the playoff octet, and with RSL officially joining those MLS teams occupying their own facility, and the Red Bulls' own facility slated to open in a year or so, the forgettable soccer can be forgiven.

New York's Dave van den Bergh took the honor of scoring the stadium's first goal when he rifled in a partial clearance from a corner kick in the 31st minute. RSL defender Jamison Olave equalized shortly before halftime when Javier Morales' corner kick fell to his feet and he got enough on the ball to float it into the net. Neither team could maintain a crisp tempo for most of the second half, and RSL failed to convert those chances it did create while piling up a 17-10 edge in shots.

Will Johnson shot straight at Red Bull keeper Jon Conway from a good position, and Yura Movsisyan, Johnson and Mathis all misfired. After Pietravallo's ejection in the 83rd minute, Real Salt Lake grew frustrated at its own failure to take advantage. Vaughn failed to punish Juan Pablo Angel for a two-footed lunge at RSL defender Nat Borchers, and the two players were still discussing the incident after the final whistle.

The 20,008 fans, most bundled up in rather chilly weather of 47 degrees, put on their own show for a national ESPN2 audience. A bagpiper wailed in tribute to, presumably, RSL's resident Scots, defender Ian Joy and striker Kenny Deuchar. Fans in several sections sported king's crowns ("real" translates to "royal"). Drumming and buzz reverberated throughout the facility for most of the match yet the excitement dissipated as RSL's efforts to score the winning goal fell short.

How many fans return next week and how much clamor they create may affect the playoff chase. RSL returns home next week for its last home game of the season against Western Conference rival FC Dallas, and given the tightness of the teams, ties probably won't get it done.

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Bruce Arena    
"For the most part, the competition part of it is somewhat useless. I guess the part ...
Business Report: Michael Bradley signs with Puma    
U.S. national team midfielder Michael Bradley signed a long-term contract with Puma to wear its latest ...
USA-Mexico: Who's got the edge at each position    
Soccer is a team game, a collective test of 11-v-11, and in one of the biggest ...
NBC Deportes will air all 52 Under-17 World Cup games    
NBC Deportes will air all 52 games from the Under-17 World Cup, which kicks off Oct. ...
What They're Saying: Jason Kreis    
"I think that this is a tremendous challenge that we've embarked on and I'm not ready ...
What They're Saying: Stephen Flamhaft    
"They have not in any shape or form condemned Blazer. That's offensive to me. I'm a ...
Fox Sports and Univision ready for Concacaf Cup    
Saturday's USA-Mexico for the Concacaf Cup, on the docket for more than two months, will draw ...
Honduras stands in way of U.S. Olympic berth    
The USA, which failed to qualify for two of the last three men's Olympic soccer tournaments, ...
Video Pick: How the U.S. U-19s lost 8-1 to Germany    
It was a rough outing indeed for the U.S. defense and goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann in the ...
Video Pick: England coach impresses with ball puncture    
During England's preparations for Friday's European Championship qualifier against Estonia, goalkeeper coach Dave Watson impressed Joe ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives