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Real Salt Lake puts on another clinic
by Paul Kennedy, August 30th, 2013 11:26PM
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[MLS REWIND: Week 27] Real Salt Lake again showed off its attacking weapons, getting a goal and two assists from from Joao Plata, a golazo from Javier Morales (bicycle kick) and goals from Luis Gil and Alvaro Saborio (his team-high 10th of the season) as it blitzed the Portland Timbers, 4-2, to open up at least temporarily an eight-point lead in the Western Conference. RSL has scored 52 goals -- 11 more than the next best team in MLS -- and 11 goals in its last three games.

RSL's goals against the Timbers were of every imaginable kind:

-- collective effort (Gil's goal following following passes from Kyle Beckerman and Plata);
-- individual move (Plata burning Andrew Jean-Baptiste on the left side);
-- golazo (Morales' bike); and
-- set-piece goal (Sabo header off Morales free kick).

“When someone has a foot on the ball in the box," said RSL coach Jason Kreis, "they’ve been clinical. For me, that’s oftentimes the difference between the absolute best teams and the mediocre ones. What happens around the box is typically clinical for the best teams. Tonight, those first two opportunities -- [Joao] Plata’s shot and [Luis] Gil’s shot -- were fantastic.”

RSL has already scored six more goals than it did all last season, and its offensive deficiencies caught up with it in the playoffs against Seattle.

“I think from the way we ended last year," says Beckerman, "I think it was a big emphasis this year scoring goals and getting other guys to step up and score, so that’s a focus that we all focused on. It’s good that we’re actually executing.”



HUMBLING MOMENT. The loss was the fourth in the last nine games for Portland, which had lost just one of its first 17 games.

“Well, it’s very humbling," Timbers head coach Caleb Porter. "Credit to Salt Lake, they showed why they’re the best team in the league to this point. They punished us and we weren’t good enough on the day."

-- The New England Revolution took outright possession of fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a 1-1 tie at Toronto FC but a win would have moved it into a tie for second place.

MLS RESULTS, Week 27:
Friday, August 30
Real Salt Lake 4 Portland 2.
RSL: Luis Gil (Joao Plata, Kyle Beckerman) 9
RSL: Joao Plata (Ned Grabavoy) 15
POR:  Darlington Nagbe (Michael Harrington) 31
RSL: Javier Morales (Joao Plata) 55
RSL: Alvaro Saborio (Javier Morales) 67
POR: Sal Zizzo 78
Red Card: Portland -- Ben Zemanski 45+2.
Att.: 20,252 (sellout).

Friday, August 30
Toronto FC 1 New England 1.
NE: Diego Fagundez (Kelyn Rowe) 2
TOR: Andrew Wiedeman (Doneil Henry) 45+2
Att.: 18,623.

MLS SCHEDULE, Week 27:
Saturday, August 31
7:30 p.m. ET
Columbus vs. Seattle
Philadelphia vs. Montreal
8 p.m. ET
New York vs. D.C. United, NBCSN
8:30 p.m. ET
Sporting KC vs. Colorado
10:30 p.m. ET
LA Galaxy vs. San Jose

Sunday, September 1
3 p.m. ET
Chicago vs. Houston, UniMas
7 p.m. ET
Vancouver vs. Chivas USA
------------------------------------------------------------
MLS STANDINGS:
Eastern Conference:
PTS (GP) TEAM W-L-T +/-

41 (27) Montreal 12-7-5 41/35
39 (26) New York 11-9-6 38/34
39 (26) Sporting KC 11-9-6 36/26
38 (26) Philadelphia 10-8-8 37/37
37 (25) New England 10-8-7 35/25
-----------------------------
36 (24) Houston 10-8-6 29/29
34 (24) Chicago 10-10-4 30/34
29 (25) Columbus 8-12-5 29/34
22 (26) Toronto FC 4-12-10 23/35
14 (25) D.C. United 3-18-5 15/41

Western Conference:
PTS (GP) TEAM W-L-T +/-
48 (28) Real Salt Lake 14-8-6 52/35
40 (25) LA Galaxy 12-9-4 40/32
39 (26) Colorado 10-7-9 33/27
39 (26) Portland 9-5-12 39/30
37 (23) Seattle 11-8-4 31/26
-------------------------------
37 (26) FC Dallas 9-7-10 36/38
36 (25) Vancouver 10-9-6 37/32
34 (26) San Jose 9-10-7 27/37
21 (25) Chivas USA 5-14-6 24/45
------------------------------------------------------------
MLS LEADING SCORERS:
G PLAYER (TEAM)
15 Marco Di Vaio (Montreal)
14 Camilo (Vancouver)
14 Mike Magee (Los Angeles/Chicago)
10+1 Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake)
10 Blas Perez (FC Dallas)
10 Robbie Keane (Los Angeles)
10 Jack McInerney (Philadelphia)
9+1 Diego Fagundez (New England)
9 Federico Higuain (Columbus)
9 Conor Casey (Philadelphia)
9 Dominic Oduro (Columbus)
9 Claudio Bieler (Sporting KC)
8 Ryan Johnson (Portland)
8 Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)
8 Juan Agudelo (New England)

MLS SCHEDULE, Week 28:
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
7:30 pm ET
Columbus vs. Houston
10 pm ET
Seattle vs. Chivas USA

Saturday, September 7
8:30 pm ET
FC Dallas vs. Vancouver
Sporting KC vs. Columbus
10 pm ET
Seattle vs. Chicago, NBCSN
10:30 pm ET
LA Galaxy vs. Colorado
11 pm ET
Portland vs. Toronto FC

Sunday, September 8
5 pm ET
Houston vs. New York, UniMas
7:30 pm ET
New England vs. Montreal
9 pm ET
Chivas USA vs. D.C. United
11 pm ET
San Jose vs. Philadelphia, ESPN2

MLS SCHEDULE, Week 29:
Wednesday, September 11
7:30 pm ET
Toronto FC vs. Chicago

Friday, September 13
10 pm ET
Seattle vs. Real Salt Lake, NBCSN

Saturday, September 14
2 pm ET
Montreal vs. Columbus
4 pm ET
D.C. United vs. LA Galaxy, UniMas
7 pm ET
New York vs. Toronto FC
7:30 pm ET
Philadelphia vs. Houston
8:30 pm ET
Chicago vs. New England
9 pm ET
Colorado vs. FC Dallas
10:30 pm ET
San Jose vs. Vancouver
Chivas USA vs. Portland


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