Victory for Utah's struggling soccer pioneers | Buzz Blog

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Victory for Utah's struggling soccer pioneers

Posted By on July 25, 2009, 10:08 PM

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%uFFFD%uFFFD %uFFFD %uFFFD %uFFFD %uFFFD %uFFFDTonight’s Real Salt Lake home game against FC Dallas highlighted the Beehive’s soccer team at its absolutely worst – and its ferocious best.---

%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD The first half saw one-time RSL player Jeff Cunningham turned Dallas striker fulfil his promise of revenge in today’s Tribune for the RSL coach dumping him several years ago. Cunningham’s goal in the first 10 minutes was as remarkable for the cool manner he delivered the ball into the back of the net as for the utter shambles of Real’s passive defense. A second goal by Dallas in the first half, again taking advantage of an almost comatose Real defense, had furious Real fans chanting, for of all players, Dallas’ Cunningham.

%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD Whatever RSL coach Jason Kreis said in his team’s changing room at half time, Real came back on to the field a changed team – aggressive, driven, focused. Midfielder Javier Morales, who's had a less than sterling season, helped set up some useful pushes towards Dallas' penalty box. When RSL forward and goal machine Yura Movsisyan was substituted onto the pitch suddenly the team took off. Movsisyan drilled a beautiful shot from outside the penalty box past Dallas’ goalie. Then RSL’s invaluable Robbie Findlay took advantage of a penalty for a tightly angled shot into the right of the net to draw the teams 2-2.

%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD Mosivyan, who is set to leave RSL at the end of the season for a European team, scored one more goal in extra time. This came after a Dallas defender scored an own goal. Final result : 4-2 to Real. win for Real.

%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD Such a dramatic turn of events was accompanied by some bizarre refereeing and a lot of over-dramatized fouls. More than half a dozen players received yellow card warnings. Two men were sent off, one of them Real’s coach Jason Kreis from his own bench. Last season Kreis got into trouble for complaining to the press about poor refereeing.

%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD After the final whistle blew, Real’s tough, vital defender Chris Wingert ran round the pitch shouting jubilantly at the 18,000 fans, who were shortly to occupy the stadium with their upturned faces as a fireworks show celebrated Pioneer Day. Whatever the shambolic first half, no doubt many of Real’s fans took satisfaction from the result and the defiant pluck their team showed, perfectly captured by Wingert’s determination to get to every ball.

%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD As the soccer season moves relentlessly towards the play-offs, Real’s coach Kreis, despite spending the last few minutes of his team’s return to form off the field rather than on the sideline, must have taken heart at the roar of the home crowd at yet another Real goal. More importantly, by the 92nd minute, when Movsisyan scored his second goal, Kreis’ team was a few points closer to having another chance at the play-offs in September.


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