- By Ethan Gomberg

Sandy, Utah - It was a windy night in the Wasatch Mountains when two of the best clubs in the league met up to do battle. Although the momentum was with Dallas coming in tonight, self-searching Real Salt Lake made a statement win by controlling the game tonight and defeating FC Dallas 2-0. Both goals were in the 2nd half by midfielder Andy Williams and striker Fabian Espindola. Dallas came to Utah on a fantastic run hoping to make Real Salt Lake the next victim. After dispatching Columbus last week in Frisco, FC Dallas was looking very good coming into this match. Salt Lake also had a decent run of late, however several draws against weaker opponents and a recent run of bad form against officials, cannot be a good comparison.\

Starting off, surprise starter Luis Gil and Alvario Saborio both had quick runs down the middle but Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman and Dallas's defense held. Early in the 6
th minute, Dallas midfielder Brek Shea had a deflection on a kick off from RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando but it simply went out for a goal kick. In the 15th minute, Dallas defender George John's foul was apparently too much like NHL when Ricardo Salazar called him for the foul. After several passes near the box Dallas was able get away from a scare when Saborio was ruled off side in a dangerous header.

A 29
th minute yellow to RSL midfielder Kyle Beckerman first of the game. Shortly after Dallas midfielder Andrew Jacobsen's nagging injury led him to leave the field for Ricardo Villar.

After a sloppy foul by RSL defender Chris Schuler on Milton Chavez and two Dallas throw ins near RSL's goal, RSL had a storng counter ending with Gil nearing getting his foot on the ball and the net. Dallas midfielder Jackson was issued a yellow for a hard tackle on RSL Will Johnson during the play.

The last 10 minutes of the half had the most excitement. Jackson's powerful kick moments after RSL run was barely deflected by Rimando. Right after RSL had a dangerous corner which led to a missed attempt on goal. The first half ended 0-0.

The second half started with an early run by Saborio led to a free kick inn a dangerous place and RSL midfielder and MLS veteran Andy Williams made Dallas pay when his 47
th minute spot kick careened off Hartman and in to goal, making it RSL 1 Dallas 0. A unusual goal on someone like Kevin Hartman. After the game, RSL coach Kreis said “Kevin [Hartman] has been extremely good against us – I think he’s been extremely good against everybody – but for some reason he’s pulled off some incredible saves against us in the last year and a half since he’s been [with FC Dallas]. … Some of the assistant coaches and I were talking about ‘couldn’t we just get one bounce to go past Kevin Hartman,’ and we got it. I think a bounce has been a long time coming for this club.”

Moments later Gil and Saborio ran deep into Dallas’s goal but veteran goalkeeper Hartman was there this time to make the stop much to the dismay of the home crowd. On his play in this match, Gil said “Yeah, I’m a little hesitant here and there, sometimes I don’t feel like I have the right shot and sometimes I give it up. It’s coming; it’s taken me a while. I’ve had my chances and stuff, I’ve just got to keep on going and it will come.”

Despite several brave runs by Dallas, led by Jackson, Shea and Chavez, RSL controlled the most of the possession. RSL for their possession had little to show for it. One interesting contest of the night was the battle between two players who might be in contention for USMNT time. RSL's defender Tony Beltran and Dallas’s Brek Shea. Perhaps what was the most surprising was that diminutive Beltran won most of the one-on-one individual battles against the early favorite for MVP. In fact Shea was yellow carded in the 74
th minute from grabbing Beltran's arm when he stole the ball from Shea.

Dallas substituted far earlier than RSL, using all three by the 74th minute. Apparently Dallas's plans were to perhaps play for the draw and then the return trip to Dallas might be more in their favor.

RSL continued to push and had several nice attempts on goal. One particular sequence led to 2nd half sub midfielder Fabian Espindola getting into the box but Hartman nearly saving it. Near the 85
th minute a combination of Shea and Jackson almost scored, but the ball was cleared off the line at the last minute by RSL defender Chris Wingert. After the match Dallas coach proudly proclaimed “It was a great ball to Brek Shea and he took it down extremely well and he was going in to try to take the shot himself and he played a great ball across to Jackson and I don’t think he hit it as cleanly as he wanted to hit it. Give credit to [Chris] Wingert for never giving up and for coming in. I mean, that’s a 1-1 game and I don’t think Salt Lake scores unless the gods are with them.”

Dallas had a last gasp attempt on goal with a dangerous corner but they could not make it count. With the seconds counting down, a quick goal kick from Rimando led to terrible back pass by Dallas midfielder Bobby Warshaw which was intercepted by Johnson. Johnson’s quick pass play with Espindola ended the game on a high note for RSL. Espindola slotted in a goal to the opposite side of a diving Hartman. Goal for RSL. And with that Salazar calls the game. Game over. RSL 2 Dallas 0

Dallas and Real Salt Lake meet again in Frisco Texas on Tuesday night for the next round of the US Open Cup. RSL has never won in Dallas, but this win coupled with their earlier season draw in Texas (first point ever for RSL at Dallas) will perhaps give them the confidence they need for the result. FC Dallas will have the home field advantage and perhaps a different strategy for containing RSL’s possession game.

Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 2 2
FC Dallas 0 0 0

Scoring Summary:
RSL -- Andy Williams 2 (Kyle Beckerman 4) 47
RSL -- Fabian Espindola 6 (Will Johnson 1) 94+

Misconduct Summary:
RSL -- Kyle Beckerman (caution; Persistent Infringement) 29
DAL -- Jackson (caution; Reckless Tackle) 37
RSL -- Jamison Olave (caution; Tactical Foul) 67
DAL -- Brek Shea (caution; Tactical Foul) 71
DAL -- Bobby Warshaw (caution; Tactical Foul) 90
RSL -- Nick Rimando (caution; Delaying a Restart) 93+

FC Dallas -- Kevin Hartman, Zach Loyd, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Benitez, Jackson, Eric Alexander (Eric Avila 60), Bobby Warshaw, Andrew Jacobson (Ricardo Villar 30), Brek Shea, Marvin Chavez (Milton Rodriguez 75).

Substitutes Not Used: Bruno Guarda, Ruben Luna, Andrew Wiedeman, Chris Seitz.

Real Salt Lake -- Nick Rimando, Chris Wingert, Chris Schuler, Jamison Olave, Tony Beltran, Will Johnson, Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy (Fabian Espindola 66), Andy Williams (Collen Warner 81), Luis Gil, Alvaro Saborio (Jean Alexandre 88).

Substitutes Not Used: Arturo Alvarez, Nelson Gonzalez, Rauwshan McKenzie, Kyle Reynish.

Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee's Assistants: Craig Lowry; Claudio Badea
4th Official: Armando Villarreal
Time of Game: 1:51
Attendance: 17,734
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-88-degrees
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