Real Salt Lake Loses 2-0 to Danish U-20 National Team in 2013 Season Opener
By Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake on Mondaydropped its opening match of the preseason, falling 2-0 to the Danish U-20 national team at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Ariz.
Head Coach Jason Kreis ran out an untested First XI, with MF Javier Morales the only expected 2013 regular in Monday’s starting lineup. RSL turned in an uneven first half performance, struggling to control the ball and failing to create any chances of note.
Denmark’s U-20’s had its first look in the fifth minute, when one of their forwards was slipped behind the RSL defense and into the box. RSL GK Lalo Fernandez was quick off his line, diving to swipe the ball off the Danish No. 9’s feet just inside the area.
Real Salt Lake MF David Viana was whistled for a suspect foul in the box in the 37th minute, giving Denmark a penalty kick that MF Uffe Bech converted in the 38th.
RSL made its first change six minutes later, subbing Morales off for RSL-AZ Academy MF Jose Hernandez in the 44th minute. Morales had taken a slight knock to his right leg moments before and was taken off as a precaution. He is not expected to miss any time.
The Claret-and-Cobalt made 10 changes at the break, removing every starter except DF Carlos Salcedo. The second half went better than the first, with a slightly more experienced lineup able to keep more of the ball and generate a couple of opportunities.
RSL’s best sequence of the match came in the 65th minute. Building from the back, the Claret-and-Cobalt strung well over a dozen passes together to set MF trialist Khari Stephenson up for a 20-yard effort that rolled wide of the left post.
Real Salt Lake conceded the second goal of the match in the 72nd minute, when MF Yordany Alvarez headed a Denmark free kick past GK Jeff Attinella and into the Claret-and-Cobalt’s net to give Denmark a 2-0 lead.
RSL pushed up the field more frequently after Alvarez’s own goal, but didn’t create any clear cut opportunities before the final whistle.
The Claret-and-Cobalt will return to Salt Lake City on Monday night, getting two days off before heading to Irvine, Calif. from Feb. 1-8 for another training camp. RSL’s third and final leg of preseason will take place from Feb. 11-24 at the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson, Ariz.