Real Salt Lake 3, Timbers 3
Real Salt Lake’s Cole Grossman kept his focus when the Portland
Timbers lost theirs.
Grossman scored in stoppage time and Salt Lake played to a 3-3
draw against the Timbers to remain in first place in Major League
Soccer’s Western Conference.
”Turf field, fast field, (everything) happens really fast,” he
said. ”I’m just trying to keep it on goal and luckily it went
Grossman’s goal in the 93rd minute, with RSL down a man, came
after Kalif Alhassan scored in the 86th minute to give Portland the
lead. With the tie, the Timbers pulled even with the Colorado
Rapids for second place in the conference standings.
”When the dust settles, there’s still some positives in where
we’re at,” Timbers coach Caleb Porter said. ”We can’t let this
get us too down that it affects the next game.”
While the two teams hadn’t met in an MLS match this season, they
played in a U.S. Open Cup match on Aug. 7 in Utah. Real Salt Lake
won that contest 2-1 to advance to the final against D.C. United on
The Timbers were coming off a 2-1 win at home over FC Dallas on
Saturday, while RSL lost 4-2 at the Los Angeles Galaxy to set up
Wednesday’s key conference matchup.
Real Salt Lake was without goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who has
started 20 games this season for the team, because of the flu, and
forward Alvaro Saborio, who sat with a calf strain. Midfielder Kyle
Beckerman did not play because of yellow-card accumulation.
For the second straight match the Timbers missed Will Johnson,
who has six goals and three assists this season, because of a right
shoulder injury. Forward Frederic Piquionne also sat out his second
game because of an ankle injury. A sore ankle sidelined midfielder
Jeff Attinella, who had made three appearances for RSL this
season, started in goal and was peppered by the Timbers from the
start, including a cross from Diego Valeri that was out of reach
but hit the post. Attinella then saved the rebound shot.
The Timbers went ahead in the 24th minute on Rodney Wallace’s
header off a free kick from Valeri, giving him assists on
Portland’s last seven goals. It was Wallace’s fifth goal of the
Veteran defender Nat Borchers tied it at 1 with an unassisted
goal for Salt Lake in the 38th minute. With Portland goalkeeper
Donovan Ricketts on the ground in a tangle of players in front of
the net, Borchers tapped it in for his first goal of the
Javier Morales’ penalty kick in the 43rd minute gave Real Salt
Lake a 2-1 lead. Portland’s fans loudly booed the call, then
taunted the officials with angry chants. When time ran out after
the first half, Timbers defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste appeared to
confront the referees, and coach Caleb Porter also appeared to
shout in their direction before leading Jean-Baptiste off the
Portland evened the score at 2 on a penalty kick by Valeri in
the 57th minute after Morales was yellow-carded. Alhassan’s
go-ahead was a cross that tipped off Attinella’s fingers.
Playing a man down after Yordany Alvarez was sent off with a red
card in the 79th, Grossman scored his first career goal for Real
Salt Lake when Portland appeared to let down its guard in stoppage
”You saw at the end of the game. We’re up 3-2 and then we let
our foot off the pedal,” Portland defender Michael Harrington
said. ”We were even down a man.”
Grossman, who was subbed in late in the match, was making his
first appearance in a match since being sidelined by a concussion
on March 23.
”I think when you enter this time of the season, you’re always
thinking that you want to go places for wins, but if you walk out
places with a draw at this time of the season, that has to be
success,” RSL coach Jason Kreis said.