Saturday night was more exciting than it should have been. With an hour and 14 minute lightening delay it could have been a snooozer. But Real played much better attacking soccer than they have done lately and what many expected to be a flagging D.C. United playing their 5th game in 14 days showed no lack of attacking soccer of their own as the night turned into the Dwayne De Rosario vs. Nick Rimando night. Dwayne was classic 'D'ro', with great runs and some terrific shots, but Nick was classic 'Nic'Ro' - doing everything in the book to keep Dwayne off the score sheet. Will Johnson scored off a header in the 48th minute to give RSL the 1-0 win. Real Salt Lake came into Saturday's match against D.C. United hoping to see a spark that's gone dormant during a 4-game winless streak. They got one, about 3 minutes into the game when the Wasatch range was lit up by lightening to stop the game for 1:14. The Claret and Cobalt last won more than a month ago on July 27, when they beat Vancouver 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium. The team has gone 0-3-1 in league play since, losing at Colorado, at Vancouver, at home against Dallas and tying Philadelphia. For D.C., Saturday's game was the 5th in 14 days. RSL (44 pts) remains in second place in the west by a thin margin with Seattle (43 pts), and L.A. (40 pts) nipping at their heels.

Game Stats

Match Info

Real Salt Lake (13-10-4, 44 pts)
D.C. United (12-9-5, 42 pts)

Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Attendance: 20,334

Score: Real Salt Lake 1, D.C. United 0

Goals: Will Johnson, 48'

Cards:

Yellow: Javier Morales (RSL) 25', Marcelo Saragosa (DCU) 60', Chris Wingert (RSL) 71', Emiliano Dudar (DCU) 78', Kwame Watson-Siriboe (RSL) 82', Chris Korb (DCU) 87'

Red: None

Summary:
Real Salt Lake | D.C. United

13 Attempts on Goal 14
4 Shots on Target 4
5 Shots off Target 6
4 Blocked Shots 4
6 Corner Kicks 5
12 Fouls 14
15 Open Play Crosses 12
2 Offsides 7
3 First Yellow Cards 3
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
57 Duels Won 49
53% Duels Won % 46%
349 Total Pass 296
78% Passing Accuracy % 76%
54% Possession 46%

Nick Rimando (GK)

Nick played perhaps his strongest game of the season Saturday and clearly playing the key role in RSL's win. He did everything - saved shots, distributed near assists and skying high to win balls in the 18 yard box. Nick's first test came in the 22nd minute off a Dwayne De Rosario corner that was perfectly placed back-post. Nick's muscled his way through the crowd and went airborne to bring down the ball with force. He was aided in the 28th minute by the woodwork when Dero sent a cracker at goal that pinged off the right post and out of harm's way. His ball forward to a streaking Alvaro Saborio in the 35th minute was a thing of beauty that was either destined for a shot on goal by Sabo or a play out by D.C.'s defense. It got the latter and led to RSL's third corner kick of the night. Nick shined numerous times in the second half, charging down one wide open shot to keep the clean sheet and blocking a terrific De Rosario set piece in the 77th.

MIN 90
SHT 14
SV 4
GA 1
A 0
FC 0
FS 0

Cards: None

Grade: A, Man of the Match

Tony Beltran (DEF)

Tony took the brunt of D.C.'s attack as they shifted left much of the night. He was matched up regularly with both Dewayne De Rosario and Chris Pontius. On two occasions he played some odd balls backward that were luckily not costly but the rest of the night, his defensive effort was strong, especially late in the second half when he was instrumental in keeping two De Rosario sorties into the box from amounting to anything. Where Tony shined Saturday was offensively, bringing the ball upfield with skill three or four times to put the ball into dangerous positions.

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 1
SOG 0
CK 0
OF 0
FC 1
FS 2

Cards: None

Grade: B+

Nat Borchers (DEF)

Normally expected to captain RSL's defense and to ensure the right shape, Nat ended up having the greatest impact in the air Saturday night. He is normally very strong there and Saturday was no exception. Nat came up big in the final minutes of the second half as D.C. threw numbers forward out of desperation and Nat seemed to be in the right place at the right time to turn all their final efforts in the box away.

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 0
SOG 0
CK 0
OF 0
FC 0
FS 0

Cards: None

Grade: A-

Kwame Watson-Siriboe (DEF)

Kwame seems to be finding his RSL legs and turned in a fine performance in place of the still injured Jamison Olave. His positioning feels like we're watching a different player than when he joined the team and his ability to hang with D.C.'s speedy and potent front line was a testament to the hard work he's put in on the training pitch. His foul in the 58th minute gave D.C. their best chance for a goal early in the second half, but he quickly turned around on a set play to put the ball in the back of the net off a nifty spin move only two minutes later. Saborio fouled on the same play to negate the goal. He also had two chances off corners to head one in, but couldn't keep the ball down. He was issued a yellow card in the 82nd minute for a frustration takedown after a no call in the box while he was in the act of shooting.

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 2
SOG 0
CK 0
OF 0
FC 0
FS 3

Cards: Yellow 82'

Grade: B+

Chris Wingert (DEF)

Chris rarely turns in a stinker of a game. Saturday he kept that streak alive. His even presence on the field gave RSL an advantage up the left side where D.C. struggled to not only defend the connection between Wingert, Johnson and Junior but struggled to mount any sort of attack up what normally is D.C.'s strongest side. He was issued a yellow card in the 71st minute for dragging down D.C.'s Nick DeLeon after losing a turnaround ball in the midfield and will be suspended on yellow card accumulation in RSL's next match.

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 1
SOG 0
CK 0
OF 0
FC 1
FS 1

Cards: Yellow 71'

Grade: A-

Kyle Beckerman (DEF)

Kyle looked rested and eager Saturday. He gave a prototypical Beckermanian effort chasing down balls, clogging the midfield with aggressive defense and orchestrating a number of very good build-ups. Kyle clearly smelled blood in the water, giving D.C. no quarter in their 5th game in 14 days. He took one attempt that sailed too far off track to be considered a shot, but in every other way he teamed with Javier Morales superbly to keep the game flowing in RSL's direction. Most importantly, on a night when RSL was handed three cards, Kyle wasn't amongst the recipients.

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 0
SOG 0
CK 1
OF 0
FC 2
FS 1

Cards: None

Grade: A

Ned Grabavoy (MID)

Ned played a critical role in RLS's attack Saturday. He's been criticized before for sometimes being too defensive minded, but Ned seemed to have been given the green light to press D.C.'s defense and, h took two shots but it was his passing that made the difference. His passes in and around the box figured into a number of shots on goal. Most notably, in the 48th minute when his superbly timed and placed back-heel found Paulo Junior at the edge of the 6 yard box to chip it onto Will Johnson's head for the night's only goal.

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 2
SOG 0
CK 0
OF 0
FC 1
FS 0

Cards: None

Grade: A

Will Johnson (MID)

RSL has a nice weapon in Will Johnson. His dynamo never slows and whether it's chasing down balls, challenging 50-50s or driving forward for the box, he keeps other team's off balance. And that defined his night Saturday as 8 days of rest seemed to give him extra energy, if that's possible. He had two of RSL's four shots on goal and it was his hard run in the 48th minute that put him in perfect position to head Paulo Junior's chip past D.C.'s Bill Hamid to put RSL up 1-0.

MIN 90
G 1
A 0
SHT 2
SOG 2
CK 0
OF 0
FC 2
FS 0

Cards: None

Grade: A

Javier Morales (MID)

Javier might have wished for pads in the 9th minute when he was shoved recklessly to the ground by a D.C. defender for a no call from the referee. But his weaving run at the box in 10th minute that included a sweet nutmeg on D.C.'s Marcelo Saragosa, showed no effect. The shot was deflected out by a fingertip save by D.C. keeper Bill Hamid for a corner. Javier troubled D.C. the rest of the night with laser like passes to his forwards that gave them ample opportunity to press the attack, especially with impunity most of the second half. And his continued peskiness in the midfield was to blame for drawing two of D.C.'s four yellow cards.

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 2
SOG 1
CK 5
OF 0
FC 1
FS 7

Cards: None

Grade: A

Paulo Junior (FWD)

With Fabian Espindola resting on the bench, Paulo had another chance to prove himself. He did, in the 48th minute when he took a back heel from Ned Grabavoy to chip a beauty right at a streaking Will Johnson who pounded it home for a goal. His speed and craftiness definitely had D.C.'s bigger, but slower, defensive line working hard to contain him - and they struggled mightily to do so.

MIN 63
G 0
A 0 (should have been awarded one for Johnson's goal, but his chip was barely deflected before Johnson headed it in.)
SHT 0
SOG 0
CK 0
OF 0
FC 1
FS 1

Cards: None

Grade: A

Alvaro Saborio (FWD)

For the first time in many games, Alvaro Saborio didn't prove to be RSLs only real offensive threat. But that didn't mean he wasn't threatening. He played terrific soccer with his back to goal, distributing a number of very good balls both out of the air and on the ground with pressure at his back. His work in the 86th minute to win the ball out of the air with his feet, flick it back over his head and then chase it down for a breakaway that won Javier Morales a free kick in the 87th, was a beautiful piece of soccer. He was subbed out in the 89th minute in place of the more defensive minded Yordany Alvarez.

MIN 89
G 0
A 0
SHT 2
SOG 1
CK 0
OF 1
FC 2
FS 2

Cards: None

Grade: A

Fabian Espindola (SUB 63', FWD)

Fabi subbed on for Paulo in the 63rd minute and was clearly excited to be back in the game. His speed got the better of a clearly winded D.C. defense every time he was sent forward and it was key to RSL maintaining possession and the win the final 25 minutes of the game.

MIN 27
G 0
A 0
SHT 0
SOG 0
CK 0
OF 0
FC 0
FS 0

Cards: None

Grade: A

Yordany Alvarez (SUB 89', MID)

Alavarez came on in the 89th minute in place of Alvaro Saborio to keep RSL's 1 goal win intact. It proved to be the correct move as RSL held on to win their first league game in 5 matches.

MIN 1
G 0
A 0
SHT 0
SOG 0
CK 0
OF 0
FC 0
FS 0

Cards: None

Grade: Didn't play enough for a grade.