T-180: Rio Tinto Stadium is a wonderful venue to play and watch football. Not only can it host soccer games, but rugby union contests as well. For example, the youth side of my rugby team, Belmont Shore, earned the ignominious honor of finishing with a lead medal—fourth place—at the national tournament down there.
And yes, it does do high school gridiron contests as well, just like the Home Depot Center with their CIF State Championship games.
With a 130 x 90 Kentucky Bluegrass surface, Rio Tinto Stadium was constructed from 2006 through 2008. This stadium seats 20,000 for football matches and 25,000 for concerts (including an upcoming gig by Paul McCartney).
Stadium amenities include 32 luxury suites, a 2,000-square foot Stadium Club, 1,000 premium club seats, five locker rooms, a 60-foot Video Board, and ribbon LED boards stretching 200 feet long on both the east and west fascia.
T-170: The Rio Tinto Group is a diversified, British-Australian, multinational mining and resources group with headquarters in London and Melbourne.
The company was founded in 1873, when a multinational consortium of investors purchased a mine complex on the Rio Tinto river, in Huelva, Spain from the Spanish government. Since then, the company has grown through a long series of mergers and acquisitions to place itself among the world leaders in the production of many commodities, including aluminium, iron ore, copper, uranium, coal, and diamonds.
Rio Tinto Group is a dual-listed company traded on both the London Stock Exchange where it is a component of the FTSE 100 Index and the Australian Securities Exchange where it is a component of the S&P/ASX 200 index.
And without turning into too much of either a stadium tour guide or a company spokesperson here, this is a nice segue into tonight's contest between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.
T-160: Bruce Arena's Galaxy are rolling. They finished the first three months of the 2010 Major League Soccer season unbeaten and have started the month of June on the right track with a 4-1 rout of the Houston Dynamo.
Currently, Los Angeles are 10-0-2 (32 points).
T-150: As for Jason Kreis's Real Salt Lake, they are sitting fourth on the overall league table and second in the MLS Western Conference with a 6-3-2 record (20 points).
LOS ANGELES GALAXY
Manager: Bruce Arena
Formation: 4-4-2 Diamond
Colors: Blue tops, blue shorts, blue socks
1 Donovan Ricketts
28 Sean Franklin ---- 4 Omar Gonzalez ---- 16 Greg Berhalter (C) ---- 2 Todd Dunivant
11 Chris Birchall
26 Michael Stephens ---- 88 Alex Cazumba
9 Jovan Kirovski ---- 17 Tristan Bowen
12 Josh Saunders GK
20 A.J. De La Garza DEF
6 Eddie Lewis MID
7 Chris Klein MID
84 Clint Mathis MID
21 Alan Gordon FWD
27 Bryan Jordan FWD
REAL SALT LAKE
Manager: Jason Kreis
Formation: 4-4-2 Diamond
Colors: Burgundy tops with blue sleeves and yellow collars, burgundy shorts, burgundy socks
18 Nick Rimando
3 Robbie Russell ---- 4 Jamison Olave ---- 6 Nat Borchers ---- 2 Tony Beltran
77 Andy Williams
8 Will Johnson ---- 20 Ned Grabavoy
11 Javier Morales
7 Fabian Espindola ---- 16 Alvaro Saborio
24 Kyle Reynish GK
28 Chris Schuler DEF
30 Rauwshan McKenzie DEF
26 Collen Warner MID
21 Luis Gil MID
12 Jean Alexandre MID
19 Pablo Campos FWD
T-130: Other midweek matches include the Chicago Fire vs. the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, the Kansas City Wizards vs. the Philadelphia Union on Thursday and also on Thursday, Seattle Sounders FC hosts D.C. United.
T-120: Two hours to go before kickoff here at Rio Tinto Stadium. Real Salt Lake is reeling off a scoreless draw at RFK Stadium.
No Kyle Beckerman in the line-up will make things pretty interesting.
T-110: Edvin Jurisevic is our match official tonight. Linesmen are Frank Anderson and Eric Proctor. Fourth official today is Tyler Ploeger.
T-100: I think I contracted some type of stomach virus while posting this today, so I will be feeling a little woozy while posting. Do forgive me if this is the case.
T-90: This will be a big week in sports. I think if the Galaxy get a result against RSL that they like, the Lakers could be on their way to a successful defense. (And if not, then it's living proof the Zen Master may have lost his mojo in mid-June.)
FIRST HALF START: 6:08 P.M. PT
1' - And we're off. Early knock on Alex Cazumba by Fabian Espindola
4' - Tristan Bowen with a warning blast. That goes high.
5' - Sean Franklin with a knock on Javier Morales. Some physical play early.
6' - I have had to put up with a lousy wireless connection at DeVry University. Yessir, I am balancing this play by play with this piece of garbage we call "class lectures."
10' - Action is going nonstop right now.
12' - Offsides on Alvaro Saborio. Now we have a slight weather delay due to lightning. Is it raining down there in Utah!? Damn Great Salt Lake.
PLAY SUSPENDED AT 6:20 P.M. PT
6:30 p.m. - First time I posted this one. Not very often I get to post miscellany in the middle of a weather delay, but it seems like the football gods are a bit angry.
6:45 p.m. - So it's 6:45 p.m. Pacific Standard Time . . . and it's still delayed due to lightning. I'm getting shot after shot of impatient supporters, waiting for action to resume due to Mother Nature's intervention.
Whatever the case, the fans will be coming home a little later than usual due to Mother Nature's lightning bolts.
6:48 p.m. - Ahhh, here they come. Let us continue the proceedings here, shall we?
PLAY RESUMES AT 6:55 P.M. PT
13' - And here we go again! La Barra Real, bangingp those drums on Big Wednesday. In the other match today, Chicago and Colorado are tied 1-1. Goal kick Donovan Ricketts. The Big Cat From Montego Bay begins the beguine.
14' - Great speed from Nat Borchers. He wants to put the G's in a fix, the No. 6. Nick Rimando restarts the attack for Real Salt Lake.
15' - Wide shot. Juninho almost gave up that shot by Will Johnson. Just what the heck was he doing?
16' - This is Tristan Bowen. Sean Franklin with the foul. Here comes RSL.
17' - The pace for this match is now accelerating.
18' - Defensive backline will have to reset for Los Angeles.
19' - Offsides, Todd Dunivant. So much for that one.
20' - Yellow card 19 Juninho. Los Angeles Galaxy. He got the ball, but he also got the man as well. A well-deserved yellow.
21' - Too long for Fabian Espindola. Throw in for the Galaxy. This is Sean Franklin. Out, and here's another one for the No. 28. RSL kicks it out again. Darn, three straight for Franklin? He's getting his repetitions.
22' - LA will need to be cautious with the possession. Nick Rimando boots it deep for the followers of Jason Kreis with a goal kick.
23' - Saborio wants to increase the pace just a tad. Every World Cup flag is out in full force today. One for each of the 32 countries participating in the big show. Dunivant with a foul on Saborio.
24' - Goal kick. Real Salt Lake was offsides. No goal. Whew, that was a big bullet dodged early by Los Angeles.
25' - Here's a corner for RSL. Nothing doing.
28' - Will be off for a little bit due to laptop updates. (Damn Patch Tuesday . . . )
31' - Alex Cazumba is being marked like the Dickens by Morales.
32' - High one-timer by Chris Birchall.
33' - A corner by Morales is denied by the Galaxy defense. Rimando with the save on Bowen.
37' - Johnson with another shot that goes wide.
38' - Another corner for Real Salt Lake. Doesn't materialize.
39' - Bowen is fouled for the first time today.
40' - A shot for Fabian Espindola deflected. Another shot from Espindola. That too is deflected. Corner now for RSL. They are drawing people forward, the home side. Denied.
41' - Once again, this is the tenacious defending we have come to expect from the Los Angeles Galaxy. This is why they have given up the least goals so far this season.
42' - Here's Ned Grabavoy. Saved by Ricketts. Wonderful save. Here is Robbie Russell. Another spectacular save for the Big Cat from Montego Bay.
43' - Chicago now leads 2-1. Corner by Javier Morales.
45' - Gregg Berhalter with a knock on Morales.
What an exciting first half, ladies and gentlemen on The View and on Bleacher Report. A lightning delay could not prevent an entertaining half of football from materializing. We are scoreless at the break.
Los Angeles Galaxy 0
Real Salt Lake 0
SECOND HALF START: 7:45 P.M. PT
46' - The second half is underway. Let's see if we will get a goal scored here this period. Can Los Angeles turn the possession war on its head and make something out of this?
47' - Here's Real Salt Lake with the possession. Robbie Russell leading the charge. Blatant push on Andy Williams by Juninho. Easy call for Edvin Jurisevic.
48' - Goal kick for Ricketts. Oooh, Rimando had to get that one off.
49' - Some more great defending. Plenty of time for them to get the go-ahead.
50' - Bad pass. Throw-in for RSL.
51' - 51 minutes into the contest, and it's still scoreless. Saborio with the foul.
52' - Berhalter, asking for a foul. He gets it.
54' - Offsides on Jovan Kirovski.
55' - A little stamping shenanigans here? But that's two opportunities for LA that went south due to playing too direct.
56' - Andy Williams with the foul on Chris Birchall.
57' - Goal kick for Rimando.
58' - Alex Cazumba, meet the altitude. Foul on Birchall.
59' - Real Salt Lake substitution. IN 17 Chris Wingert. OUT 2 Tony Beltran.
60' - Corner for the Galaxy is deflected. They are forcing the issue now, the G's.
61' - Long ball too strong for Espindola, and he is in pain. A little stretch will do the trick.
63' - Substitution Real Salt Lake. IN 19 Pablo Campos. OUT 7 Fabian Espindola. Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy. IN 84 CLint Mathis. OUT 9 Joban Kirovski.
64' - Yellow Card 77 Andy Williams. Real Salt Lake. Questionable yellow card, fouling Clint Mathis from behind. Real Salt Lake looks to pull within nine points of the league leaders. They are still locked in a scoreless draw.
65' - Colorado's Conor Casey with a 91st minute equalizer makes it 2-2 the final for the Rapids against the Chicago Fire.
66' - Juninho with an ambitious one-time shot. He needs to work on his technique from that angle, and learn to cope with the altitude.
67' - Alex Cazumba tries to argue his case, but he fouled Andy Williams. Temper, temper, young man.
68' - Set piece time on the way for Real Salt Lake. Off the Galaxy wall for a corner kick.
69' - There's some pushing and shoving on both sides. Gregg Berhalter and Jamison Olave breaking out the handbags.
70' - Now Cazumba is disgusted, as he should. It's another corner. Real Salt Lake with contact in the box forces a goal kick by Ricketts.
71' - The altitude here is doing a job on the players today. The passing has been shabby, and they had to rely on the best judgment of the officials, too.
72' - Dangerous chance for Pablo Campos. He never got a good spot on that header. Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy. IN 21 Alan Gordon. OUT 17 Tristan Bowen. Welcome back, Alan.
73' - Short passes with work. I do not understand why Juninho is drying to play direct football here.
74' - Jason Kreis is beside himself. Is this some sort of conspiracy, he thinks? To give the Galaxy at least one point?
75' - Juninho doesn't seem to be getting the message: PLAY. IT. SHORT. This is Alex Cazumba.
76' - Gordon with the rough challenge. Rimando will be wise to ask the team to slow the pace down.
77' - And Alan Gordon is brought down hard. No foul. He's not too happy. It's called "consistency," Mr. Gordon.
78' - The frustration mounts. Saborio with the tackle. Substitution Real Salt Lake. IN 26 Collen Warner. OUT 77 Andy Williams. Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy. IN 6 Eddie Lewis. OUT 88 Alex Cazumba.
80' - GOAL! Real Salt Lake. 11 Javier Morales. No one was guarding Morales on the wing. That is a rare blown assignment by the Galaxy, and they are down 1-0. Yellow card 11 Javier Morales. Real Salt Lake. Can't take your shirt off like that, Javier, in spite of the exuberance.
82' - The Galaxy will be on their heels the rest of this game.
83' - Scenario time. Corner for the Galaxy. It looked to be offsides on the Morales goal. Unbelievable.
84' - Yellow card 4 Omar Gonzalez. Los Angeles Galaxy. He will be suspended for the next match against Toronto FC. As if things hadn't been bad enough.
85' - Real Salt Lake will be wise to just sit on this lead for the rest of the game.
87' - Ricketts is completely disgusted with the defense. Actually, the team in particular.
88' - The Galaxy continue to play with a sense of urgency.
89' - The crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium are in sheer anticipation.
90' - Three minutes of stoppage time will be given.
92' - Another great save from Nick Rimando. He has been magnificent this game.
93' - That's a wrap.
LOS ANGELES GALAXY 0
REAL SALT LAKE 1
Stay tuned for my take on this contest on Bleacher Report and the View from Victoria Street. Beware, it's not going to be a pretty one . . .