Oh, how Real Salt Lake has fallen. Cassar’s RSL shot themselves in the foot by going down a man real early at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Meanwhile, Wilmer Cabrera’s Chivas USA turned to their reliable scoring machine to secure a 1-0 victory that won’t do much to turn their season around yet, but is a step in the right direction. Here are six things we learned, followed by player ratings, from Saturday’s contest between Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake.
1. So long, Luke Mulholland
Early on in the first half, Luis Gil, who was mentioned in the 10 Bold Predictions for this match, had a shot from the right side of the box blocked. Luke Mulholland, always a reliable goalscorer, had a shot from a similar spot sail high and wide right. Meanwhile, Chivas USA’s Donny Toia had a shot from the right side have all the effectiveness of a gridiron field.
In the ninth minute, tragedy struck for Real Salt Lake. A serious foul by Mulholland on Martin Rivero saw him sent to the showers in disgrace. This is particularly galling because he is the same Luke Mulholland boldly predicted to score for the visitors. Oh Luke. So now it was up to Chivas USA to pounce on the opportunity. In the 13th minute, Leandro Barrera had a shot, this time from the left side, sail too high.
2. Chivas turn up the heat
At this point in the contest, Chivas USA drew numbers forward. In the 15th minute, Erick Torres had a left-footed shot from the left side miss the top left corner. Rivero had a through ball for Barrera called back for offsides in the 16th minute.
In the 18th, Carlos Bocanegra had a header miss to the left. Chivas USA defender Tony Lochhead was cautioned for a handball. Toia’s next move in the 21st minute saw a volley sail too high. Nonetheless, Real Salt Lake’s Chris Wingert tried to defy the man-deficit with a shot from outside of the box, which missed to the right in the 22nd. In the 26th minute, Robbie Findley found Joao Plata, but he was caught offsides.
3. Erick Torres does it again
The aforementioned Plata had a right-footed shot from the right side of the box blocked in the 31st minute. Rivero had a shot from outside the boc in the 33rd minute miss to the left. In the 36th minute, Lochhead found Torres, who slammed one past Jeff Attinella for what would end up as the only goal in the game. Watch this.
Rivero’s next attempt in the 38th minute sailed high and out. Toia had a shot in the 41st minute saved by Attinella. RSL’s next threatening offensive sequence in the 42nd minute saw a Chris Wingert through ball for Javier Morales called back for offsides. In the second minute of injury time, Chivas USA defender Eric Avila had a shot saved.
4. Cards piling up for Chivas in second half
The second half would see Real Salt Lake chase a deficit in vain. Torres was gunning for a brace in the 46th minute but an RSL defender was there to deny him. Mauro Rosales was given a yellow for a foul on Kenny Mansally in the 47th. Toia was also cautioned in the 50th minute for a challenge on Findley. Both teams were trading blows. Torres’s next bid for a brace in the 56th minute was skied and a shot from Plata in the 59th was blocked.
5. Subs not up to the task for Real Salt Lake
In the 63rd minute, a couple of fresh faces came in for Real Salt Lake. Midfielder Sebastian Velasquez came in for Findley and rookie John Stertzer filled in for Cole Grossman. Rosales was hoping to get on the scoresheet in the 64th minute but his volley was too high. In the 68th minute, Barrera was denied by Real Salt Lake defender Chris Schuler. In the 70th minute, Torres had a header that was saved by Attinella. Stertzer was cautioned in the 72nd minute for a foul on Agustin Pelletieri. In the 73rd minute, Chivas USA midfielder Marco Delgado took over for Avila, while Real Salt Lake forward Olmes Garcia came in for Mansally.
6. Chivas USA stand tall late
In the 79th minute, a through ball by Pelletieri for Torres was ruled offsides. Soon after, Chivas midfielder Carlos Alvarez came in for Rosales in the 81st minute of play. Barrera had one more shot on goal miss to the right in the 83rd minute before he was subbed off by Ryan Finley in the 84th. Alvarez’s first chance on goal in the 87th minute missed to the right and another shot was saved.
Meanwhile, the aforementioned Garcia had a header from the centre of the box sail high and wide to the right in the 88th. A couple of late chances came in stoppage time for Real Salt Lake. In the third minute, Nat Borchers had a shot on goal from the center of the box saves and Garcia had another attempt saved in the fourth minute.
Chivas USA on the left, Real Salt Lake on the right
|8||Shots on Target||2|
|11||Shots off Target||3|
|81 %||Passing Accuracy||82 %|
|42.9 %||Possession||57.1 %|
Chivas USA Player Ratings
Dan Kennedy 6, Bobby Burling 6, Carlos Bocanegra 5, Donny Toia 5.5, Tony Lochhead 7.5, Agustin Pelletieri 6, Eric Avila 5, Martin Rivero 6, Mauro Rosales 6.5, Erick Torres 9, Leandro Barrera 7, Marco Delgado 4, Carlos Alvarez 3, Ryan Finley NR
Real Salt Lake Player Ratings
Jeff Attinella 7, Chris Schuler 6, Chris Wingert 5, Kenny Mansally 5, Nat Borchers 5, Cole Grossman 5, Javier Morales 4, Luis Gil 4, Luke Mulholland 1, Joao Plata 5, Robbie Findley 5, John Stertzer 3.5, Sebastian Velasquez 4, Olmes Garcia 3