Real Salt Lake: Lacking punch in finale, RSL ends in a draw against Vancouver
Ben Brewer, Deseret News
SANDY — Real Salt Lake wrapped up the regular season on Saturday night in ho-hum fashion, battling the Vancouver Whitecaps to a 0-0 draw in front of a sell-out crowd of 20,483 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
It was the third straight scoreless draw for RSL, but the first of the three with leading scorer Alvaro Saborio in the lineup.
Without much to play for, Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis opted to hold five regulars out of the starting lineup and it showed at times.
Despite the frustrating night offensively, RSL set a new club record with 57 points, eclipsing the 56 points it earned during the 2010 season. Coach Jason Kreis’ team finished with 53 points in 2011.
Real Salt Lake won’t know its exact playoff seed until after Sunday night’s regular season finale between Seattle and Los Angeles. If Seattle wins or ties, RSL will finish as the No. 3 seed and open the playoffs at home next weekend. If the Galaxy win, Kreis’ team will open the playoffs in Seattle.
With the playoffs looming next week and not much to play for, Kreis didn’t start Nick Rimando, Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Javier Morales or Will Johnson — even though Johnson entered the match in the 78th minute. Morales, Borchers and Olave didn’t even dress.
Despite the lack of finishing both teams had their chances, particularly RSL, which outshot Vancouver 16-4. The home team only put three of those 16 shots on goal, however.
Vancouver appeared to take the lead in the 57th minute on a header by Darren Mattocks, but the linesman deemed that the striker was slightly offside when John Thorrington delivered his free kick near the corner flag.
With the draw, Real Salt Lake ended the regular season on a 10-game unbeaten streak over all competitions.
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