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Whitecaps’ Lee: “I think today we lost because of me”

Young-Pyo Lee

Young-Pyo Lee

Coach Martin Rennie was not a happy man following his squad’s 2-0 loss to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night. After coming off an important win on Wednesday against FC Edmonton to move into the Finals of the Canadian Championship, his team had a listless performance on the road in Salt Lake City.

However, Rennie was relatively pleased with how his team started as they remained compact and found a few countering chances but failed to score.

“I think the first half was a good road performance,” said Rennie. “We played quite well. We created some good chances. We didn’t really look at any danger. So it was a solid half from us, but obviously that’s only halfway through the game.”

To be fair, it was a rather boring, uneventful half, but when you are on the road that’s not a bad result. Both sides really lacked any intensity in the opening stanza. The only player for either side who showed a lot of fire was Nigel Reo-Coker, who was very aggressive in the defensive half of midfield, picking up a yellow card for a tackle in the 19th minute and remaining physical for the remainder of the half.
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Whitecaps clinch No. 1 seed in ACC with Utah draw

Darren Mattocks: Would-be goal ruled out for offside

The Vancouver Whitecaps visited Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City for the second time this season and came away with a better result — a scoreless draw this time. The two squads each managed 2-1 victories at home in their prior two meetings this season.

Although both squads came out with lineups suggesting that they were looking ahead to upcoming playoff matches, this result was not without consequence for the ‘Caps.

“I think it’s a good point for us,” said head coach Martin Rennie. “It obviously finishes us ahead of Montreal which I think is important in terms of being the top Canadian team this season which is important to us. And it also means that it gives us a good seeding for the Canadian Cup next season, so I think that was important.”

The Whitecaps finish the season with one more point than the Montreal Impact, which lost earlier Saturday to New England. Read the rest of this entry »

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Saborio’s two strikes sink unfortunate Whitecaps

Joe Cannon: Sent off

The Vancouver Whitecaps ventured into Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on Friday night looking to gain ground on Real Salt Lake — currently second in the Western Conference — and further strengthen their chances of becoming the first Canadian-based MLS squad to reach the playoffs. Instead they left with a 2-1 defeat, despite a well-fought contest.

RSL’s Alvaro Saborio’s brace, along with a couple of handling calls against Vancouver, would prove to be the difference. The Costa Rican international put away a goal from the penalty spot in the first half and then scored the game winner after the ‘Caps surging rookie Darren Mattocks leveled the score in the 52nd minute.

“I thought we put in an excellent performance tonight,” said head coach Martin Rennie after the match. “I thought we had lots of chances against a good team away from home. It’s frustrating that we didn’t take those chances, because if we’d taken those chances we’d have got ourselves a better result tonight.”
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Herdman: 2-1 loss to U.S. shows massive improvement

Canada's Kaylyn Kyle, in blue, squares up against American Shannon Boxx. PHOTO: CANADA SOCCER

For the second time this month, United States and Canadian national teams squared off in friendly action on the soccer pitch. This time it was the women’s teams doing battle at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah in a send-off match ahead of next month’s London Olympics.

The U.S. ended up the victors in this one, with a 2-1 result in extremely hot conditions in front of 16,508 fans.

Coach John Herdman felt that this result showed that his Canadian team is ready for next month’s Olympic tournament.

“We’re one goal away from the potential gold medalist, and I think that’s a reality,” he explained. ?“In January, we were four goals away. We’ll try to bridge that gap in the next few weeks.”
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TFC loses seventh in a row on Steele heartbreaker in Salt Lake City

Jonny Steele

Toronto FC came into Rio Tinto Stadium looking for its first points of the season in league play, and left empty-handed. That’s not surprising as it entered the match 0-6-0, and its opponent was battling for the top spot in the Western Conference.

However, TFC showed a lot of moxie, pushing the home team to the brink before it managed a miraculous last-minute stoppage-time goal that delighted the home crowd, and left the visitors devastated as Real Salt Lake took a 3-2 decision.

“For 90 minutes we did what we had to do, but the game goes on longer than that,” said a dejected Julian de Guzman after the match. “I think it was a lack of a little bit of intelligence from our part.”
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Impact can’t take advantage of RSL’s walking wounded

Paulo Jr.

The Montreal Impact came to visit Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, hoping to slay a dragon. It was somewhat of a David versus Goliath affair, and the probability of its first ever MLS win was unlikely. But, the visitors did a lot to frustrate their more experienced opponent and the effort nearly worked — yet, the home side came out with a 1-0 win.

Although Real Salt Lake controlled much of the first half, the Impact really clogged up RSL’s preferred centre portion of the midfield and tried to pounce into the passing lane to intercept passes, and in many cases they were successful.

“I think we kept trying to squeeze things into players that were already marked, and gave the ball away a lot,” explained Real Salt Lake Coach Jason Kreis after the match. “We probably could have been and should have been punished for that.”
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TFC doesn’t touch the ball very much in loss at Real Salt Lake

Alvaro Saborio scored twice

Toronto FC came into Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night hoping to take advantage of a Real Salt Lake team that has not been performing at the top of its game over the last couple of months. The Reds likely left Sandy, Utah feeling like they were the ones who got taken advantage of, giving up a brace to Alvaro Saborio en route to a 3-1 loss.

TFC offered very little resistance up in the first half. RSL owned the midfield, and outside of a few counterattacking chances, Toronto lacked any real possession. On the night, the Reds garnered less than 30 per cent possession — which is seldom seen by any club.

“What can you say?” said Coach Aron Winter. “We were playing against one of the best teams in MLS. If you notice, I think about one and a half months ago they were playing in the final for the CONCACAF (Champions League). Today Salt Lake was the best team, for me, that we’ve played against.”
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Real Salt Lake dominates possession in win over the Whitecaps

Vancouver keeper Joe Cannon could not do much about either of the two Real Salt Lake goals.The Vancouver Whitecaps were unfortunate to have to face Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium the game after the Utah-based squad registered its first loss at home in two years.  The result was a 2-0 loss at the hands of RSL in lacklustre fashion.

“Today it just wasn’t good enough in so many aspects of the game,” said coach Tom Soehn, “especially when you look at the amount of 50-50 balls we lost. This league, especially on the road, it’s a difficult league, and when you have four or five (players) competing it’s not enough. It takes 11 guys.”

While the ‘Caps had a decent midweek outing against Chivas USA in the first match with Soehn at the helm, this one didn’t go as planned.  In the early moments it was clear that RSL was intent on its trademark style of play — one of dominating possession, and in this one it didn’t disappoint, spending nearly 63 per cent of the time on the ball, compared to Vancouver’s 37 per cent.
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Morales, Williams lead RSL to rout of the Crew

Javier Morales

On a brisk but tolerable night at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, Real Salt Lake was able to show what many had expected out of it coming into this CONCACAF Champions League Quarter-final matchup against the Columbus Crew.  Its 4-1 victory showed the dominance over their opponent that many had expected given the relative stability of the two lineups.

It was this stability, perhaps, that helped RSL to shine right out of the gate in this match.  And that early start was an important one according to Canadian International Will Johnson.  “I think it starts with the energy level,” said Johnson.  “Right off the bat, we just jumped all over them until we got our goal.  And then we stayed on top of them, and had a little bit of a letdown at the beginning of the second half.  Then we put the foot back on the gas and finished it off which was good.”
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On CONCACAF, Canada and the CCL: One-on-one with RSL’s Will Johnson

The11 caught up with Will Johnson at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, in the midst of final preparations with Real Salt Lake for the final leg of their CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal matchup against the Columbus Crew. We asked Will about the rumors swirling that FIFA may be set to grant CONCACAF a fourth spot for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and about Team Canada’s important summer this year in Gold Cup action.

The11: What are your thoughts on the potential for CONCACAF to get a fourth spot in the upcoming World Cup?

Johnson: That would be huge, but do be honest we have performed so poorly the last couple of times, that I don’t think we’ve even made it into the top six. Obviously it gives you a better chance, but there’s still a lot of work that we need to do. I’m excited about where things are at with Canada, but it still needs to be realized that we have a long way to go.
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