The game in 100 words (or less): It really was the perfect storm for Real Salt Lake to knock off the white-hot Vancouver Whitecaps — Pedro Morales was suspended and RSL were at home, where they actually attempt to play soccer these days — and yet it was another uninspiring, flat performance from the Claret and Cobalt, capped off by a pair of second-half red cards which will have a lasting effect on the team next week. Credit to the Whitecaps, though, as they ground out the result in without their best player, on the road and in a much slower game than they would have liked. They can win multiple ways, and that’s not something many MLS teams can say right now.
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Three moments that mattered
4′ — Saborio with a very un-Sabo-like miss — There’s not many more clinical finishers of chances in MLS than Alvaro Saborio, so imagine my surprise when Saborio had a one-on-one chance against David Ousted — from a tough angle, granted — and not only missed the chance, but shanked it well wide and high.
76′ — Saucedo lunges in on Rosales and sees red — Sebastian Saucedo’s lunging, over-the-ball tackle caught the ankle of Mauro Rosales and could have done quite a bit of damage. Easy call for the referee, that’s a red 10 out of 10 times.
80′ — Mattocks rises up and heads it home — Darren Mattocks can really get up with the best of them, and he reminded us of this fact when the ‘Caps made the most of their man advantage. Russell Teibert’s cross found Mattocks with only one man to beat to the ball, and Mattocks rose like a fish out of water, heading past a stuck-in-cement Nick Rimando.
Man of the match: Russell Teibert — Not only the ball the young Canadian played to Mattocks for the game-winning goal, but Teibert is becoming a really well-rounded midfielder, capable of creating chances from anywhere on the field. No Pedro, no problem for the ‘Caps.
Real Salt Lake: Rimando, Phillips, Vasquez, Olave, Beltran (Stertzer 83′), Gil, Beckerman, Mulholland (Sandoval 88′), Allen (Saucedo 64′), Saborio, Garcia
Vancouver Whitecaps: Ousted, Adekugbe, Kah, Waston, Beitashour, Laba, Koffie, Mattocks (Hurtado 90′), Teibert, Mezquida (Rosales 71′), Rivero
Goals: Mattocks (80′)