Real Salt Lake 0: Vancouver Whitecaps 0
by Kali Korbis, Rio Tinto
The 2012 MLS regular season ended with a whimper for both Real Salt Lake and the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night as the two sides battled to a scoreless draw in Salt Lake City.
Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie said of the point earned on the road:
“I think it’s a great point for us. It obviously finishes us ahead of Montreal and I think that that is important in terms of being the number one team in Canada. It’s very important to us and it also gives us the best seeding for the Canadian Cup for next season. It was our 12th clean sheet this season, I think, so that puts us at third in the league.
I think it was a disciplined performance away from home. When you come on the road that is how you have to play; be hard to beat, be hard to play against and if you get your chance, take it.”
His side visit LA Galaxy on Thursday in the play-in round. Real Salt Lake plated to their third successive 0-0 draw, safe in the knowledge they have finished the top Canadian side and secured a favourable seeding for next year’s Canadian Cup.
Kreis dropped several key starters mostly due to minor injuries, which affected the defensive lineup quite dramatically. Jamison Olave and Chris Schuler were both out through injury, while Kwame Watson-Siriboe and Kenny Mansally returned to the starting eleven after their own injury troubles. Midfielder Will Johnson, defender Nat Borchers, and goalkeeper Nick Rimando were rested, and Javier Morales missed the match through illness.
Head coach Jason Kreis remarked upon his lineup:
“Look at the back four plus one; we had one player playing out of position, we had another player who hadn’t played in the last month and who’s still a very young center back.
We had Kenny Mansally playing left back and he hasn’t played in a couple of months in a real game, we had Kyle Reynish playing goalkeeper who hasn’t played a game in I can’t remember when, and I think all of them performed very, very well tonight.”
The Whitecaps line up was powerful with Matt Watson, the only occasional starter. Barry Robson began on the bench.
While the first half was largely uneventful for both sides, each team had several chances to score and forced the opposing goalkeeper to make some crucial saves. Saborio forced Caps’ keeper Bard Knighton into one point blank save. The best opportunity for either side came in the 57th minute, but Whitecaps striker Darren Mattocks’ apparent goal was called back for offisde.
Knighton made further saves from Luis Gil and Jonny Steele in the second half.
Real tried to counter shortly thereafter, but was unable to find the back of the net, causing Kreis to joke about his team’s lack of scoring in recent matches:
“We put them in the bank here in these last three games and decided we will save them up for the first round of the playoffs.”
He further elaborated later, claiming that he would choose to take an optimistic approach to the scoring woes going into the playoffs:
“Just a little thing here or there is better, and if we don’t have three ties in our last matches, we have three wins.
Literally, I think that is just six inches this way or that way with some of the passes, or the final touches, or somebody just calms down to make a little bit better decision when on the attacking third, then were talking about all these wins we stacked up. But I also think that it can be a positive thing to have a little disappointment in our minds heading into the playoffs to give us a little bit of an extra edge.”
Captain Kyle Beckerman agreed:
“I think that is a positive thing that we will take from this game and the past couple. We will continue to work on that and keep it solid and work on some scoring this week.”
RSL is set to face the Seattle Sounders in the first round of the playoffs, but will have to wait for the outcome of Seattle’s next match to see how the playoff seedings fall.
Meanwhile, Vancouver will play a wild-card match against the Los Angeles Galaxy this week to determine who will move on in the Western Conference playoffs.
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) – Kyle Reynish; Kenny Mansally (Will Johnson, 78’), Chris Wingert, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Tony Beltran; Kyle Beckerman (C); Ned Grabavoy (Sebastian Velasquez, 63’), Jonny Steele; Luis Gil (David Viana, 71’); Alvaro Saborio, Fabian Espindola
Substitutes Not Used: Nick Rimando (GK), Yordany Alvarez, Paulo Jr., Enzo Martinez
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (4-4-2) – Brad Knighton: Jordan Harvey, Jay DeMerit, Andy O’Brien, Lee Young-Pyo; Matt Watson, Alain Rochat, John Thorrington, Gershon Koffie; Darren Mattocks (Barry Robson, 71’), Dane Richards (Kenny Miller, 78’)
Substitutes Not Used: Joe Cannon (GK), Martin Bonjour, Camilo, Jun Marques Davidson, Russell Teibert
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee’s Assistants: Corey Rockwell, Corey Parker
REAL SALT LAKE 0–VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC 0
SATURDAY, OCT. 27, 2012
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 0 0
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0 0 0
Scoring Summary: No Goals
Misconduct Summary: RSL – Chris Wingert (Foul) – 36’
VAN – Jay DeMerit (Foul) – 45 +1’
RSL – Will Johnson (Foul) – 82’
4th Official: Allen Chapman