RSL handed TFC their first loss of the season on Saturday, claiming an emphatic 3-0 victory at Rio Tinto Stadium. Alvario Saborio led the way in the triumph with a brace that included an early penalty kick, and so too did an impressive Javier Morales. Luis Gil scored the other goal for the hosts.
"It's always good to get a commanding lead at home and really dominate the game," said midfielder Kyle Beckerman.
"To be honest with you, I think this game was over-hyped," added defender Nat Borchers. "I think it was just another home game for us. We knew what we had to do. We had to come out and be aggressive. When we got those early goals, there was no turning back."
The result kept RSL undefeated at 2-0-2 under first-year head coach Jeff Cassar while dropping Toronto to 2-1 and giving the star-studded Reds a hard lesson.
Nick Rimando made three saves and recorded his 110th career shutout.
"It was a good shutout for us," Rimando said. "We wanted to get a shutout after letting in some goals the last two games. It feels good to play some good soccer on this field. A win is a win and we got three points, so it's good for the confidence."
Saborio's first goal came when referee Baldomero Toledo pointed to the spot in the 10th minute after Toronto defender Doneil Henry gave him little choice. Just inside the 18, Henry was anything but subtle as he spun Saborio around and flung him to the turf.
Saborio took the penalty kick himself and made it look easy. As Toronto goalkeeper Julio Cesar dove to his right, Saborio gently but firmly placed his shot in the opposite direction to put RSL up 1-0.
Gil then added the second in the 28th minute. Saborio dummied a ball that made its way to defender Chris Wingert's, whose shot rebounded and fell at Gil's feet. The 20-year-old midfielder then took a shot that was deflected before beating Cesar.
In the stands watching Gil's first goal since Aug. 30 of last year was US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who was high-fived by RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen after the goal.
Toronto fell further behind in the 55th minute. Morales popped the ball up over the defenders and inside the 18, where Saborio latched onto the pass and flicked it off the inside of the right post to put his RSL up 3-0.
The Claret-and-Cobalt continued to control much of the run of play for the remainder of the game. But the home team also had to stave off a number of TFC attacks, and Nick Rimando got some help from the post on a shot by Michael Bradley to preserve his 110th career shutout — two short of the all-time MLS record held by the retired Kevin Hartman.
Toronto forward Jermain Defoe, who had buried all three of his team's goals as they got off to a 2-0 start, was held scoreless in the match. Not that he didn't have chances, but Salt Lake's defenders repeatedly played him off the ball until he was subbed out — heading straight to the locker room with a member of the training staff — for Dwayne De Rosario in the 61st minute.
Real Salt Lake's next game will see them take on Sporting Kansas City on Saturday for a rematch of December's MLS Cup final. The game will be broadcast on ABC 4 starting at 6:30.
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