SANDY — Charlie Davies turned to Chris Wingert and said, "that's football."
Wingert could only laugh afterward on what he obvious felt was a horrendous decision by referee Terry Vaughn to award a penalty kick to D.C. United in the 83rd minute.
"He didn't even drag his feet, he literally jumped," said Wingert. "I was almost more sliding to block the shot thinking he was going to shoot it and he just kicked it away and then jumped over it. It's almost laughable. I don't know what to say."
Replays seemed to confirm that Wingert didn't touch D.C. striker Davies with his sliding challenge in the penalty area, but that's not what the ref saw.
Vaughn issued the following written statement to the media through a pool reporter after the match.
"In the 83rd minute, a tripping foul was committed by Real Salt Lake within their own penalty area, resulting in a penalty kick. The referee made this decision to call the penalty kick."
That was little consolation to Wingert, who tweaked his hamstring slightly while trying to chase Davies down on the counter attack.
"Charlie is a friend of mine, we roomed together at national team camp. He even looked at me and was kind of smiling and said, that's football," said Wingert.
MOVING UP THE CHARTS: Fabian Espindola's 38th minute penalty kick on Saturday was the 20th of his career with Real Salt Lake, moving him into sole possession of second place in the team record books.
He's still nine behind Robbie Findley who scored 29 goals in 96 career matches with RSL. Espindola needed 77 games to reach his 20th goals.
Espindola tweaked his hamstring slightly in the first halftime, but with limited substitution options Kreis kept him in the match until the 83rd minute. Espindola seemed to tweak it more just before being replaced.
OLAVE FATIGUE: Despite having some bright moments earlier in the match, defender Jamison Olave nearly cost Real Salt Lake the tie Saturday night with a very silly challenge at the edge of the penalty area in stoppage time.
D.C. United nearly converted the free kick into the winning goal.
"The decision to push the player wasn't a good one, it could've cost us the game," said Kreis, who believes Olave is fatiguing at this stage of the season.
COMING HOME: Alvaro Saborio had a match to forget on Saturday in the Gold Cup quarterfinals.
The Costa Rican striker missed a penalty kick in regulation, and then again in a shootout as the Ticos were eliminated by Honduras.
Saborio will return to his club team next week, but his availability on Wednesday in Chicago isn't known at this time. The RSL striker has scored two goals in 12 combined matches this year, but he hasn't scored since March 22.
"We're going to continue to do what he did when he was here, continue to believe in him, work on technical aspects of his finishing, and at the end of it he's going to have to come through this rough patch. Forwards have rough patches, and this one's been a little longer than typical for him. He'll come through," said Kreis.
FABULOUS FIVE: With his start on Saturday, Nat Borchers became the fifth player in Real Salt Lake history to appear in 100 league games.
He's now fifth on the list behind Andy Williams (169), Nick Rimando (122), Chris Wingert (111) and Kyle Beckerman (105).
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