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

Oct. 1.

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

Jack Jewsbury.

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.