Real Salt Lake report card: Defenders steal the show, other position groups contribute

Published: Thursday, June 27 2013 2:50 a.m. MDT

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Starters: Alvaro Saborio and Robbie Findley

Substitutes: Joao Plata (64th minute) and Olmes Garcia (79th minute)

Alvaro Saborio had several chances to score and he finally headed one into the back of the net in the 86th minute. The score came off a precise pass by substitute Olmes Garcia, which found Saborio crashing the net.

“He worked hard last match, and didn’t score, and he worked hard again tonight — he probably should have scored another one. … It restores that confidence and momentum. I thought it was really critical that he had a goal tonight," coach Jason Kreis said.

Both Saborio and Robbie Findley lacked urgency throughout the first half, as did most of the team. They were unable to find any openings for each other, but the lack of offensive production mostly stemmed from the Carolina RailHawks defense. The USL Pro side sat deep in its half, which limited attacking options for RSL. Midfielder Kyle Beckerman voiced the difficulty that comes from playing a team utilizing that tactic.

"I think they had an idea to defend with 11 players and make it difficult for us," Beckerman said. "It's really tough to break a team down that's not going to expose themselves to try and go score. So it was just about being patient and take shots."

Garcia and Joao Plata both came in during the second half and had an immediate impact. The substitutes offered a lift of energy off the bench, which resulted in Saborio's goal.

Grade: B+
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Nussdorfer AC
Salt Lake City, UT

Ned looked a little off against Carolina, but still did fine. It was a nice performance by the entire team. Stephenson seems to thrive in the Cup games.

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