Deseret News web sports producer Landon Hemsley is posting updates from tonight's western conference match between RSL and Vancouver Whitecaps FC in addition to posting commentary from social media. Follow him on Twitter at @EarlOfHemsley.
Scoring Summary: 1-0 RSL
9' — Devon Sandoval (Lovel Palmer assist)
VANCOUVER, B.C. — Real Salt Lake came into Saturday night's match with most of their reserve team named as the starters.
Turned out the youth and relative inexperience didn't affect RSL's ambitions for the night. Salt Lake came up with a 1-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC at B.C. Place.
The lone goal of the night came was delivered courtesy of Devon Sandoval's head. In the ninth minute of the match, Lovel Palmer made a strong run down the right hand flank, and the ball was sent to his feet. Palmer sent a bending cross into the danger zone, and Sandoval was there to bang in the header.
Throughout the remainder of the match, the Whitecaps frenetically attempted to regroup and level the match, a feat they were unable to accomplish.
RSL almost took a 2-0 lead in the final five minutes of the match. Joao Plata found himself on the end of a Jeff Attinella goal kick deep in Whitecaps territory. He set himself up to shoot to the far post, but feigned the far shot and made an attempt at the near post. The shot hit the post and was deflected harmlessly away.
Saturday's match featured the return of long-injured Chris Schuler to the starting lineup. Schuler suffered an injury in May and hasn't seen the pitch in MLS play since. RSL's back line, long maligned with injury and inexperience, visibly benefitted from his return.
Goalkeeper Jeff Attinella also made a number of saves to preserve the lead, but on the whole, the shutout was achieved by committee defense. At every turn, RSL's back line had the answer for a progressively frustrated Whitecaps FC side.
RSL will play for the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night at home against D.C. United. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
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