Real Salt Lake Reserves Capture 1st Win of 2012 Reserve League PlayJune 12, 2012 - Major League Soccer (MLS) Real Salt Lake
First half action began quietly as both teams pressed forward for chances but were denied by strong defensive plays and exquisite goalkeeping by both sides. The Fire curled in a free kick destined for the top corner but was denied by the woodwork in the 38th minute. Seconds later, RSL MF Jonny Steele almost got the go-ahead goal with a quick turn-and-shoot move from 18 yards out but the ball sliced wide.
Within minutes of the second-half whistle, Velasquez had an open shot on goal but missed wide; shortly thereafter, RSL trialist Matias Quiroga threaded a ball through the six-yard box to an onrushing FW Cody Arnoux, but a mistimed run squandered the chance. Hard tackles and penalty kicks filled the next 30 minutes as both sides sought to gain an edge. Grabavoy put RSL up 1:0 in the 78th off a penalty kick and the Claret-and-Cobalt extended its lead in the 92nd minute as RSL-AZ Academy player Jordan Allen drove a shot far post, which deflected off a defender and saw Velasquez finish the goal in sliding fashion.
"We got in the moment when we started to fight for the goal and pushing up a little more and luckily we got a PK and I had a rebound off Jordan's shot and was able to score it," said Velasquez.
The Fire tried to mount a comeback with a PK of its own in the 93rd minute by MF Orr Barouch, but the final whistle came shortly after.
RSL MF Javier Morales returned to action today, and captained the team for the first 45 minutes. The action was the talismanic RSL playmaker's first since Wednesday, May 9 at Chicago, when a right quadriceps strain forced the Argentine star off after only 20 minutes. Morales is hopeful to return to RSL first-team action this Saturday at Chivas USA, the team against which he suffered a horrific ankle injury last May 7, severely limiting his on-field contributions during the last 13 months.
After starting the reserve campaign with five games in seven weeks, the RSL Reserves waited two months before today's matchup against Chicago. The RSL Reserves next face the Houston Dynamo Reserves (3-1-1; 10 pts.) on Tuesday, July 10 (11:00 a.m. MT kickoff). The Chicago Fire Reserves resume play with a home challenge against the Colorado Rapids Reserves (4-2-1; 13 pts.) on Wednesday, August 15 (10:00 a.m. CT). Click here for the full 2012 MLS Reserve League schedule on MLSsoccer.com.
Real Salt Lake Reserves Notes
* Today's match featured a pair of RSL-Arizona Academy players and a pair of trialists. DF Carlos Salcedo and D/F Kenny Mansally helped keep RSL's defensive line strong as Jordan Allen and Chris Tweed-Kent attacked Chicago's end.
* With his full shift today, midfielder Yordany Alvarez remains the only player that has logged the full 540 minutes of MLS Reserve League play across RSL's opening six contests. GK Kyle Reynish follows close behind with 517 minutes and MF Jonny Steele has 504. Both players were subbed out of the FC Dallas Reserves match in April and Steele made an early exit today in the 62nd minute, replaced by Nico Muniz.
* Chicago Fire Reserves goalkeeper Jay Nolly made his return to Utah, where he was drafted in the second round of the 2005 MLS Superdraft. After a year in the Claret-and-Cobalt kit, Nolly was traded to D.C. United for Freddy Adu and RSL stalwart Nick Rimando. Today, Nolly entered in the second half but couldn't keep RSL's attempts out of the back of the net.
Major League Soccer Stories from June 12, 2012
- Islanders edge Union in friendly, 3-2 - Philadelphia Union
- Real Salt Lake Reserves Capture 1st Win of 2012 Reserve League Play - Real Salt Lake
- Chivas USA Academy Player Called up to the U.S. U-15 Boys' National Team - Club Deportivo Chivas USA
- Rapids Re-Sign Defender Drew Moor to Multi-Year Contract - Colorado Rapids
- Earthquakes Announce Addition of Club Seats to New Stadium - San Jose Earthquakes
- Weekly Update: Rapids Resume Regular Season at Vancouver on Saturday - Colorado Rapids
- D.C. United Teams Up with Korrio - D.C. United
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.