February 4, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Real Salt Lake
IRVINE, Calif. (Monday, Feb. 4, 2013) - Real Salt Lake dropped its preseason scrimmage against the University of California-Irvine on Monday, giving up two first half goals to fall 0-2 to UC-I at Anteater Stadium.
Head Coach Jason Kreis ran out an untested squad, with DF Chris Schuler the only expected 2013 regular to feature in the match. RSL started the match decently, getting a good look at goal in just the second minute. Rookie MF John Stertzer crossed from the left to open MF Sebastian Velasquez at the spot, but Velasquez couldn't control his shot, sending it wide of goal.
Irvine had the next good look in the 18th minute, when DF Matthew Tilley headed a dead ball off the crossbar from the top of the six-yard-box. Real Salt Lake hit back with a chance of its own in the 19th, with FW Devon Sandoval getting a goal called back for offside.
Irvine took the lead in the 32nd minute. FW Christopher Santana ran onto a ball in the left side of the box, picking his head up and firing a shot past onrushing RSL GK Lalo Fernandez and inside the far post to put the Anteaters up 1-0.
UC-I hit the bar again in the 38th minute, when FW Enrique Cardenas curled a cheeky effort off the crossbar from 20 yards out.
Irvine FW Lester Hayes III doubled his team's lead in the 41st minute. The rangy striker collected a ball in the left side of the area, chipping an audacious long-range shot from a tight angle past Fernandez and into the top-right-corner.
Real Salt Lake made nine changes at halftime, removing every starter except MF Yordany Alvarez and FW Joao Plata. The Claret-and-Cobalt tightened things up in the second-half, controlling a bit more of the ball and limiting UC-I's chances. Still, RSL couldn't find any joy in the final third, failing to create any chances of note in the second 45.
Real Salt Lake will have the day off on Tuesday before getting back to work with a double session on Wednesday. The Claret-and-Cobalt will train once on Thursday before taking on the L.A. Galaxy in a friendly on Friday. The team will return to Utah following that match, spending the weekend in Salt Lake City before heading to Arizona on Monday, Feb. 11 for the team's third and final leg of preseason at the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup.