Real Salt Lake made their most compelling statement yet that they are starting to figure out how to remain a Supporters' Shield contenders even without Javier Morales. Bolstered by goals from Andy Williams and Fabian Espindola, RSL beat FC Dallas 2-0 on Saturday. RSL has now gone undefeated in their past six matches, including two wins in their past three.
But it was not all rainbows and unicorns for RSL. Alvaro Saborio was pulled in the 88th minute, and according to a report from RSL Tribune writer Michael C. Lewis, headed straight for the locker room without acknowledging coach Jason Kreis. A trainer was reportedly sent to summon Saborio, but returned to the field empty-handed. Saborio left the locker room without making a comment to reporters and Kreis offered little insight into the situation other than to say he pulled Saborio because he looked tired.
The reason for friction between Kreis and Saborio was not immediately apparent. After getting off to a rocky start with no goals in his first six matches and then missing six matches with injury, Saborio scored in each of his previous two games.
The incident marred what otherwise was a feel-good game for RSL. FC Dallas came into the match on a 9-1-3 run and was playing better than any other team in MLS. RSL controlled the match, claiming a 61-39 advantage in possession and forcing FCD goalkeeper Kevin Hartman into five saves.
As good as Hartman was for most of the night, though, he failed to stop Williams' shot in the 47th minute. Williams' free kick hit Hartman in the hands, but slipped through to give RSL a 1-0 lead.