Archive | April 2012


Real Salt Lakes wins a dramatic one at the RioT

Man of Steele returns


Photo Credit: smackdowntay (

Superhero comic worthy heroics came into play for Real Salt Lake in their dramatic 3-2 triumph over Toronto FC.  It’s one of those games that’ll be remembered throughout the rest of the season, especially if the points get close at the end.  This could have easily been a 2-2 draw worth only a measly point against the league’s cellar dwellers.

The game started off with an obviously desperate and rather lackluster Toronto chasing a thriving Real Salt Lake that seemed to have regained its famous stalwart possession-oriented swagger.  RSL passed the ball around midfielders and took the most out of their first corner kick thanks to Olave, Schuler, and Beckerman who provided the first tally of the game.

After that, it was almost a given that Real would hit the back of the net again before the end of the half.  Their passing was excellent. They were lucky not to concede when Jamison Olave committed a foul in the penalty area.  Torsten Frings sent an uncharacteristic shot off the post and out.  All of Rio Tinto thought that their side had taken a two goal advantage when Alvaro Saborio nodded a well-placed cross past a flailing goalkeeper.  Unfortunately, the sideline referee (who was a little bit out of position) called Sabo offsides.

The second half spun the whole game out of its flow.  RSL was giving up more possession as the clock ticked on.  Toronto’s momentum led to a goal from Eric Avila (who seems to be very lethal against Real).  The Avila goal led to more and more momentum for Toronto.  Avila went for a wonder strike that left Real Salt Lake fans pulling at their hair.  The fantastic curler met the top corner of the framework and ricocheted away.

Fortunately for RSL, they were able to pull back into the lead via a perfect cross from Fabian Espindola meant for Saborio.  Sabo actually never quite connected with the ball, but his great positioning and pressure led to Toronto FC defender, Eckersley scoring an own goal off of his knee.

On the other end Toronto stood up even to Real when 18-year-old defender Henry, who had replaced Eckersley, lost Saborio and headed a goal home past Nick Rimando.

Things were getting gritty for Real Salt Lake.  With the little amount of time on the clock slipping through their fingers, they fell back into the “RSL Way” passing and moving.  Thanks to some smart substitutions by coach Jason Kreis, Real was able to press forward harder with Luis Gil and Jonny Steele.  The intense pressure eventually payed off when Javier Morales flew through a defender on the edge of the 18-yard box with a stylish flick and a powerful cross to Beckerman who stretched his whole body out to lay off the ball to our Irishman Steele, who calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net.  The antsy crowd erupted into celebration and verses of “Believe”.

What more could be wanted from an RSL fan?


RSL under pressure to get back into form as they take on Toronto


Photo Credit: smackdowntay (

The build up to tonight’s game against Toronto FC seems pretty similar to when Real took on the Rapids and eventually defeated them 2-0 earlier this year.  RSL is a little off their form, coming back to a goal-hungry crowd at the RioT.

The difference?  TFC are winless so far this season and don’t present the chance of any extra rivalry adrenaline kicking in.  Come to think of it, this game is also a lot like the Chivas game earlier this season that Real Salt Lake dropped 1-0 in front of their home fans.

It’s a perfect trap game.  Real is expected to win against a team with a rather terrible history in MLS and is hoping to catch a break.  Only, they won’t.  They can’t either.  There’s no doubt in my mind that Toronto is going to come out swinging.  Just this last week their head coach said that they would make playoffs.  No doubt in his mind.  That’s a pretty dang epic statement from the boss of a team that’s lost all of their first six games of the season.  He’s got something to live up to now.  Toronto has something to live up to now.  And believe me when I say they’re gonna go for it.

Now I believe that the first half hour of the game will be the most critical.  That’s when TFC will be pumped up and ready to go.  If RSL can survive that stage, they can pull of a win with goals afterwards.  If they can score in that stage, it will bring Toronto’s dreams crashing down onto them.  One goal in a game like this against a struggling team like Toronto FC could easily open the floodgates for more.

Real has a tough test on the slate for tonight as long as Toronto keep their heads and come out firing.  RSL will need to get back to playing the “RSL Way” in order to pull off a nice win.


Back in business!!!


Photo Credit:  smackdowntay (

Yes, it’s been a while, but Claretpapers is finally back in full swing after a lull due to some computer issues.  I can guarantee things will be getting bigger and better from here on out!


RSL @ FCD 4/25/12

Real ties Dallas in Texas

RSL @ SJ 4/21/12

Real Salt Lake loses their grip on first place with a loss in San Jose

Simply an apology for something not foreseen

I promised I wouldn’t ever miss a game preview and recap after RSL fell at home to Chivas USA following the lack of pregame and postgame posts from me.

I failed to succeed in keeping that promise because my computer’s hard drive decided to give out.  What a downer!  And what do you know?  Real Salt Lake drops another game on a day I cannot type up a couple of posts!

I’m pretty superstitious.  If there is any possiblility of correlation between the two events, I am being put under a lot of pressure.

Luckily, my local library that has been under construction for several years was just completed and I am now able to use the public computers for lilmited time every day.  So that’s where the rest of my posts will be coming from until the hard drive issue is dealt with.

Thanks for your patience.  Once again, I’m terribly sorry about not being able to get posts up online.

(But believe me, I’ve got big plans for new content on the page!)


Real Salt Lake sign rookie Chris Estridge


Photo Credit:  smackdowntay (

Real Salt Lake made their fist signing during the 2012 season Wednesday when they traded a 2013 conditional draft pick to Vancouver in exchange for rookie and former Wake Forest and Indiana outside back, Chris Estridge.

Estridge was let go by the Vancouver Whitecaps during the preseason.  It wasn’t long until he showed up on the RSL recruitment radar!  Real brought him in with a group of a few other trialists but ended up extending his trial.  He featured in a few reserve league matches for the Claret and Cobalt and RSL was obviously impressed with something about him.

There’s not much to really know about Chris yet aside from his college career.

He started out playing for Wake Forest.  In his first two seasons he played three different positions.  Upon transfer to Indiana, Estridge became a shoe-in at outside back and played 42 games.  His college days ended in the NCAA Tournament in a loss to eventual champions North Carolina.

Don’t expect him to be featuring too soon.  He was a second round pick, which generally means he’s quite a stellar player.  He’s essentially an extra second round pick rookie for Real Salt Lake.  He’ll be in the same class as Enzo Martinez.

Hopes are high for the youngster!


Recap: RSL shows why they’re kings of the Rockies


Photo Credit: smackdowntay (

Real Salt Lake threw all the doubts and fears of inconsistent play aside as they beat the Colorado Rapids very convincingly with a score of 2-0.

After struggling in fixtures against Chivas, most of the game against Portland, and then again against Montreal, tonight’s performance was in doubt.  For the past week or so, RSL just couldn’t get passes together as they are so well known for.  They seemed to play more laid back and lazy and not defend half as well as they should have.  Maybe a Rocky Mountain Cup rivalry match was all they needed.

The fans really got behind the claret and cobalt clad boys!  Although it wasn’t a complete sell-out, it sure sounded like one.  The volume in the stadium was immense.  In fact, Colorado standout Kosuke Kimura even seemed a little flattened by the RSL faithful’s constant booing in his direction after he embellished a soft hit from Olave.  And let me tell you, “Believe” was pulsing through the stadium after both the goals.

The Rapid’s fans really seemed to quiet down after conceding the first goal.  But honestly, their team wasn’t performing at its best and there wasn’t all that much for the poor fans to cheer about.  (Just watch the highlights.)

Fabian Espindola’s goal scoring struggles continued into this match.  He slowed the play down on a few breakaways and ended up giving the ball away.  He also squandered another chance one on one with Colorado netminder Pickens.  However, he did get his third goal of the 2012 campaign.  There is a little controversy over him using his hand to control it, but believe me when I say that not many if any of the fans even saw the outstretched arm bring down the ball.  He was sandwiched between to Colorado defenders when it happened.

Overall, RSL combined very well.  Sebastian Velasquez had an excellent match as did Will Johnson and Luis Gil.  Those three have a brilliant future at this club.  This was one of those games that was simply fantastic to watch!


RSL vs COL 4/7/12

Real takes a 2-goal advantage in the first leg of the RMC