Chivas USA shocks Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto

RSL players and staff chalk up the loss as an anomaly, not a sign of concern, after the Goats ruined Salt Lake's perfect start to the season.
SANDY, Utah -- Bet not many people saw that coming.

Chivas USA, a team pointless through its first two home games of 2012, came to Utah and stymied one of the league's best and walked away with a 1-0 road triumph thanks to a second-half goal from Casey Townsend.

Chivas picked up its first win of the season and simultaneously dealt RSL its first loss of 2012, in a venue where the Goats had never won previously. 20,415 - the fourth-largest crowd in Rio Tinto Stadium history - went home disappointed as Chivas executed its game plan to perfection to earn a valuable three points on the road.

"The biggest thing for me is that I think we had a great crowd tonight and I wanted to reward them," said head coach Jason Kreis. "I was hoping to have the result go our way."

Notwithstanding the disappointment of losing at home, which Salt Lake does so rarely, Kreis and company seemed fairly happy with the team's play.

"I'm not talking too much about results," said Kreis. "I'm pretty pleased with the performance again. We created a ton of chances, we had the majority of the possession, we were the more attacking-minded team, we were the more dangerous team. On a different night we win that game by multiple goals."

Midfielder Ned Grabavoy echoed his boss' sentiments. "I don't think it was bad," he said. "The game was exactly what we thought. But Chivas in the type of team where if you don't score a goal and bury that team, they get a goal and fall back even farther into a shell. I thought we did enough to change that game - they just hung around until we made a mistake and they scored a goal."

If there's one area in particular that let RSL down on the night, it was their performance on offensive set pieces. Real had multiple dangerous free kicks and nine corner kicks, but they couldn't convert.

"We have to work on that," said midfielder Javier Morales, RSL's preferred set pieces taker. "We had maybe 10 free kicks and 10 corner kicks. We were close, but Olave misses, Schuler misses . . . but that's soccer. Sometimes we score four goals, sometimes nothing."

RSL will need to get back to work and sort itself out quickly, because next week it begins a daunting schedule that includes three games in seven days, two of them on the road.

"We need to get back into training and work on the things we didn't do well," said midfielder Johnny Steele. "We know we're a good team. Jason [Kreis] will point out the factors we didn't do well and we'll fix it."