Soccer: Real Salt Lake's Yordany Alvarez shines as fill-in starter
For the second time in five games, a suspension strapped Kyle Beckerman to the bench. For the second time in five games, Yordany Alvarez was there to fill the void.
Signed as a backup in February, Alvarez was effective Saturday in his third start of the season, showing off great footwork and mobility in a 2-0 win over Colorado. With an All Star-sized hole to fill, Alvarez manned the midfield well and was aggressive across the pitch. A rough estimate credits him with as many as 10 tackles in the game's first 30 minutes.
"He won the lion's share of 50-50s," said defender Nat Borchers. "He was very good with his distribution, got stuck in a lot of tackles. I was very satisfied with how he played. He even got forward a few times and created some chances."
Added midfielder Will Johnson: "He was very solid. Made some tackles for us. Great when he can step in for Kyle to do a great job like that. I don't know what more you could say. Really solid game."
The suspensions haven't helped a roster that has also been hampered by injuries. RSL entered the weekend with only 59 minutes of play from its "first choice" starting XI this year a stretch cut short by, perhaps fittingly, a red card to Johnson in a May 5 win over New England.
When Beckerman returns Friday against Vancouver, another player is swapping out onto the unavailable list. Reserve Jonny Steele will serve a one-game suspension after drawing his fifth yellow card in the 82nd minute against the Rapids.
Defender Jamison Olave and forward Alvaro Saborio both have four yellow cards and will be suspended should they incur another. Olave can earn a caution reduction with two more "good behavior" games.
Rimando second in all-time MLS wins
Goalkeeper Nick Rimando took sole possession of second place on the all-time MLS wins list Saturday, earning his 132nd career win and moving past former Chicago, New York and Chivas USA keeper Zach Thornton.
Rimando didn't record any saves, but that was due partially to RSL's stiff defense and Colorado's anemic shooting. Questioned about his milestone after the game, he fell back on his habit of crediting the team.
"On offseason we could talk about awards, stats, etc., but tonight the team won, and I'm happy because it was much needed," said Rimando, who was also invited to train with the U.S. national team in May. "We want to continue to move forward we don't look at stats, we look at how the game goes, we were organized and fought hard."
FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman leads MLS history with 175 career victories. He made one save in Dallas' 5-0 victory over Portland this past weekend.
P Vancouver at RSL, 7 p.m., TV • CW30