RSL downs Columbus, 1-0, to take MLS playoff series lead

SaltlakeCCrew

Real Salt Lake took a major step toward a potential first-round series upset on Saturday, scoring a 1-0 victory in the opening leg of its series vs. defending MLS Cup champions Columbus Crew.

Robbie Findley tapped home a Yura Movsisyan pass in the 88th minute to send RSL into Thursday night's Game Two in Columbus up a goal.

The Crew played without reigning MLS MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who was left on the bench in favor of Emilio Renteria and Steven Lenhart in a decision best described as questionable.

In case you missed it, here is Findley's game-winning goal:

What did you think of RSL's victory? See Real Salt Lake pulling off the series upset, or do you see Columbus pulling away in game two? Still stunned that Schelotto didn't play?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Columbus Crew, MLS- Real Salt Lake. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to RSL downs Columbus, 1-0, to take MLS playoff series lead

  1. bayonetbrant says:

    hard to believe Schelotto never got on the field. Just about everything else Warzycha’s done this year has worked, but this one might come back to haunt him.

    According to Shawn Mitchell at The Columbus Dispatch ( link to blog.dispatch.com )
    – GBS, the Crew’s top scorer and most talented player, on the bench? The Crew is anticipating a physical game, I’m told, and wants its “Luchadores” in the attack. –

  2. Nats fan says:

    Nice goal by Findley at the end but the biggest story of the game: Attendance: 11,499. I heard the argument about the Utah game going on at the same time but seriously, there’s going to be a big local college football game in most major markets on any given fall Saturday. Yes, 4:00 p.m. on Halloween is questionable for a still young, up and coming league like MLS (wouldn’t have mattered to the NFL). However, this also reflects what happens when you rely too heavily on families with young kids for your attendance: they’re very, very fickle. Seriously, does anyone think that the Sounders or TFC wouldn’t have had a home sell-out for a playoff game in similar circumstances? I don’t think a UW home football game would’ve mattered too much to Sounders fans. The weather wasn’t even too bad for late October either (sunny, 56 degrees). I shudder to think of how empty the Revs game is going to be today.

  3. JoeW says:

    I had said that winning in SLC is tough given the altitude so I’m not surprised at the result (especially given the form that Columbus showed late in the season–reminded me of DCU’s Supporter Shield winning sides in at least that regard. Of course, RSL still has to seal the deal on the road (not something they’re known for doing). But it wouldn’t shock me if they park 9-10 men behind the ball, count on Rimando to make some incredible saves and see if Movsisyan and Findley can grab a goal by countering. You’ve got to give them at least a 40% chance of either playing a 0-0 match or grabbing a goal on a counter. So once again, life for the SS winner is a tough break. Because Columbus has clearly been the best team in MLS this season. A weak start but otherwise the most impressive soccer (both in MLS and outside of it in the CL).

  4. Jerome says:

    Its why i was hoping Toronto and DC United made the play-offs. So 11,500 wont happen like it does in New England and RSL. Also hoping Seattle makes it to the Finals……if not at least LA Galxy with Beckham to get a sell-out. If neither do, than fail on MLS in that regards for putting it in a neutral site again.

  5. simplicio says:

    Nats, good observation BUT … Nothing I can do.

    I get my season tickes for RedBulls (tell me about the torture this year? I went to one game. But, I am ready for next year (with season tickets)!)

    Lets complain about something that “can” be done.

    I embrace “american football”. I try to watch just the playoff game. But I can’t ask people to switch to soccer … why? I can’t bear my self to go to some RBNY games … and I didn’t want to travel to DC to watch the National team (it didn’t feel compeling)… I live close by … I am a soccer hard-core fan…. imagine that! Let’s keep some perspective.

    Lets wait a little bit until the teams start playing very nice … passing, fighting balls, sliding like real pro’s … then we can make some noise …

    – in my opinion –

  6. Austin F says:

    cant imagine RSL going back to columbus and beating them ESPECIALLY if they have GBS….columbus will beat them there, we will just have to see if it will be by one to go to overtime or by two to go on to the next round

  7. Juan Carlos Osorio, Master Strategist and Soccer Genius says:

    Ives, you wrote:

    “The Crew played without reigning MLS MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who was left on the bench in favor of Emilio Renteria and Steven Lenhart in a decision best described as questionable.”

    Why? I thought that was a very wise decision…the kind I would have made.

  8. JD says:

    I’m an RSL season ticket holder who missed my first game of the season yesterday along with three other STHs beside me. It all came down to the start time. Anybody with kids couldn’t make the match and still get their kids ready for Halloween. Rio Tinto was almost full for the Colorado game last week, so this wasn’t a question of fans’ passion. What I’d like to know is how hard RSL worked to get that start time changed?

  9. utard says:

    I’m with JD… folks outside Utah would have a hard time understanding how things work in this state. There’s a reason that the Jazz play usually 0 home games a year on Sundays. And the Jazz have all the support they want, but you still can’t mess with Sundays in Utah. There are just a lot of outside factors in life for Utahns that prevent us from being SEC football fans (you know, spending three days prior to a game tailgating around a college football stadium)

    I tried to figure out every possible way to attend the game- but here in Utah taking your kids trick-or-treating around the neighborhood or to grandma’s house is generally more important. Had the game been at 2 or even noon, it probably would have been a sell-out.

  10. Never First says:

    After reading the comments from Warzycha after the match, I believe he is over-thinking things. He talked about wanting to change things up after losing 3-1 at RSL earlier this year. He talked about the Moreno/Schelotto combination going the last 5 games without a goal. I think he was trying to get some young blood in there to shake things up.

    Although 0-1 isn’t a terrible result for the Crew, I don’t feel good about Columbus being able to make it to the championship game.

  11. Hincha Tim says:

    Crew fans and pundits talk smuggly of being the best team in the league because they won the Supporters Shield. They would best realize this: Columbus only won only 2 more games than RSL this season. RSL outscored Columbus this season. Columbus’ vaunted defense only allowed 4 less goals than RSL this season. The difference between Columbus and RSL was only 9 points. Not exactly overwhelming superiority.

    As far as parking 9-10 men behind the ball, Joe W., that’s exactly what Columbus did at Rio Tinto. They certainly played ugly, cowardly soccer and I’m glad they paid the price with a loss.

    Oh, and by the way, before you start snarking on RSL’s attendance figures, you may want to know this too: Average home attendance for RSL (last playoff team in the league): 16,972, Columbus (“Supporters” Shield winner): 14,370. Who really deserves the “supporters” shield more?

    Columbus’ support of its Championship team is pitiful: 9th out of 15 teams in average attendance. Take care of your own house before you criticize others.

  12. Kip says:

    Tim the standings don’t lie, the Crew were the best team in the regular season and did win the supporters shield. I don’t care how close you think it was, that is a fact. They went out and got the most points and were the best team.

    Congratulations on a good win last night but you are creating an argument where there is none. The Crew were the best team during the regular season and nothing you can say above takes that away.

    The regular season and the playoffs are two seperate seasons. Seperate the two because your argument is weak.

    See you in Columbus on Thursday.

  13. Chitwonfire says:

    I’m glad Columbus lost after playing bunkerball, that’s disgraceful. The best team in the league bunkering against the team in the last playoff seed. Sad.

  14. ben says:

    While I think the Ute football game played a small part in the lower attendance (as well as the fact that it has been snowing here off and on for a week), I think there were 2 much larger factors in play.
    1-this game was very poorly marketed outside of the usual channels meaning that most casual sports fans in the SLC area didn’t even know there was a playoff game occuring.
    However, the biggest factor was number 2: it was 4pm on Halloween. Utah is odd in that, with the high concentration of young children, a lot of families go out trick-or-treating by 4 or 5 in the afternoon. So many families chose to go trick-or-treating rather than attend the game. Add on top of that the short notice and unexpected nature of RSL even making the playoffs and most people already had plans for Halloween (parties, etc.).
    I was actually impressed that there were as many people there as there were. It may not have come through on TV but the atmosphere was excellent, especially as RSL pushed for a goal late.

  15. d1ddy says:

    Tim isn’t questioning the fact that the Crew did win the supporters shield, just pointing out that the difference between the first seed in the playoffs (SS winner) and the last seed (RSL) was only nine points. Relax, you won the SS, you are the “best” team, but as we know, anything can happen in the league, especially the playoffs.

    Also, the Crew don’t really seem to be playing with the confidence of a team defending their championship or winning the SS (sit your best playmakers in order to play bunkerball and counter???). Call it tactics, whatever, seems sissy to me.

  16. EL CUERVO says:

    Like a told u guys, First hit,… RSL, Today… NE!!! Go REV’S!!!! we deserve it…

  17. Colin says:

    In my opinion, the MLS should have put this game on Friday night or Sunday. Saturday afternoon had too many factors going against it to really work out. What’s with all these afternoon games, anyways? PRIMETIME is where the MLS needs to be putting these playoff games, not mid-afternoon.

  18. Chase says:

    Post of the week right there…hilarious!

  19. Olli says:

    It does seem sissy, but it’s too bad that’s what RSL is going to try to do on Thursday. And anyone who knows RSLs history knows that’s something we’re not very good at.

  20. Crew Fan says:

    Shockingly poor decision making by the Polish Rifle… insane to sit Guille in a playoff match, no on is a better competitor.

  21. superbrink says:

    This argument is complete hokum. If there’s one thing different about Utah is that it’s populace is very good at passively explaining what better people and supporters of the “family” they all are. News flash, people in Toronto and Seattle love their kids just as much as you do bub. Also, people from all religions make time for their religious observations. You had a conflict with the game and trick-or-treating with your children. People in Seattle or Toronto would also have had the same conflict and would have also chosen to be with their families. The difference between Seattle and Toronto, and weaker MLS markets like Salt Lake is that other customers would have purchased/used the tickets that were not used by those who had game-time conflicts. Thus, Real’s marketing decision to focus on families is the reason for the low attendance, not some special “culture” that people in Utah magically posses that other places do not have.

  22. It wasn’t a very pretty game, and at points in the game I was starting to think that we (RSL) would have to get a win on the road, but they did what they had to do and got a late goal. Good job boys!!! About the attendance, that was sad. If you are a STH then you should be there. No excuses. I woke up at 530 ran a half marathon at 8, then had family pictures in Provo at 1, made it to the game by 330, then went trick or treating with my 1 and 3 year old. They were with me through out the day. People need to stop making excuses, yes Utah is a family state and it is a kids holiday. Oh well I need to start planning a trip to Seattle.

  23. Never First says:

    Do any of you even know what bunker ball is? Did you even watch the game? It was an ugly game that lacked creativity, but it wasn’t bunker ball. There is a difference.

  24. georg says:

    Totally agree that utah is a family oriented market and that. in itself probably cost RSl 3000-4000 in attendance, but another huge factor was that all of Utah and its supporter’s were sold on the fact that RSL needed 3 wins to get into the play-offs. When the team got in thru the back door, RSL could not sell this match in one week.

    For those of us who were there, we were loud and totally enjoyed the win against Columbus.

    Now watch out, Columbus needs 2 and have not looked capable of getting one goal lately.

    RSL moves on against Chicago!!!!

  25. sciroccer says:

    Man, what’s with all the whinning about attendence? I was there! My kids still went trick or treating, So what? “Utahns always say their better” Who makes a comment like that? The reason it was bad for RSL is because of a lot of things! There was a soccer tourn. in St. George the same day, that took a lot of soccer fans out of it. I personnaly know 12 people (coaches and parents) that are STH’s that were already commited to that. Check the miles between SLC, and St. George, UT. They’re not very close. BUT it still dosent matter the whole league is growing still. I see A LOT of games with empty seats (Toronto included) during the season. What any of us should be concerned with, is what’s happing on the pitch. And low attendence or not- RSL beat Columbus! That’s all I care about right now!!!

  26. utard says:

    Ever been to Utah? Ever lived here? I’ve lived other places and while people other places don’t love thier kids less (I’m certain of that), there are more constraints that many Utahns have that don’t exist as much elsewhere. Having more kids at a younger age while attending college full time and working full time means that other things are more important than a soccer game. It is unfortunate, to a degree. Again, there is a reason why the Jazz almost never have a home game on a Sunday, and while Utah and BYU NEVER have league games of any sort on Sunday. Things are just different here.

  27. Nate says:

    That’s odd. I went to the game, took my niece and nephew trick-or-treating afterward, and still made it to Grandma’s house to show off the costumes. All it came down to was using our time wisely. We wore the costumes to the game. Problem solved. Didn’t think of that, did you?