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Ellinger pleased with Real's 1-1 tie in Portugal

Published: Thursday, March 3 2005 12:00 a.m. MST

Real Salt Lake made another good impression on coach John Ellinger in Monte Gordo, Portugal Wednesday.

After battling to a 1-1 tie with Portimonense of the Portuguese Second Division in Monte Gordo, a team that tied a Ukraine's Dynamo Kiev three weeks ago, Ellinger said, "For what we have, it's been fantastic."

The tie improved RSL's preseason record to 5-1-2, and what's particularly exciting for Ellinger is that most if not all of those results have been without Eddie Pope, Clint Mathis and Marlon Rojas.

"Everybody got a little taste of Clint and Eddie in Florida, and know the level we can get to," said Ellinger. "Everyone realizes this could be a very good team. We're hoping we stay injury free and continue progressing."

Salt Lake's Jason Kreis opened the scoring in the fourth minute a low-driven 30-yard free kick. Just three minutes later, Portimonense equalized on a free kick of its own.

Neither scored after that, but it wasn't for a lack of chances.

"The technical level was very high. They ping the ball around pretty good," said Ellinger. "It was one of those games with moments where it was end to end."

Ellinger said the game got a little feisty at the end, but he was pleased with how his defense held up against a squad that takes a lot of chances going forward.

ROJAS ON HOLD: Trinidad & Tobago National Team defender Marlon Rojas won't be joining the team in Portugal after all. He continues to have problems with his Portuguese visa, and the team finally decided Wednesday that it wasn't worth flying him all the way to Portugal for two days of training. He'll join the team in California in two weeks.

NEXT GAME: RSL's exhibition game on Tuesday, March 8, against Olhanense, of the Portuguese Second Division, has been canceled. Real is now scheduled to play Recreativa Huelva, who currently sits No. 2 in the Spanish Second Division.

MATHIS SCORES FOR U.S.: Real Salt Lake striker Clint Mathis scored one of the U.S. National Team's seven goals in a 7-0 exhibition victory over MLS expansion team Chivas USA Wednesday.

JERSEY LAUNCH: RSL and Adidas are joining together to announce the unveiling of RSL's official jersey on Saturday, March 12, at 6 p.m. The jersey launch will take place at the Town Lift Plaza in downtown Park City, at 825 Main.

RSL TICKETS: Real Salt Lake announced that season ticket mini plans and group ticket sales are now available by logging onto www.realsaltlake.com or by calling 866-9-SOCCER.


E-mail: jedward@desnews.com

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