MADRID - Real Salt Lake MF Duke Hashimoto slammed home a 15-yard blast from the center of the box in the 84th minute to tie the score at 1-1 vs. the Real Madrid "C" team Wednesday, with both teams enduring 40-yard winds at Ciudad Real Madrid in the Valdebebas region of the Spanish capitol.
FW Kyle Brown, acquired by Real Salt Lake in early January on a draft-day transaction from the New England Revolution, created the Hashimoto chance when he took a clearance from RSL GK Kyle Reynish on the left touchline just on the attacking side of midfield. Brown, a former all-state H-back in Texas high school football, blazed into the box, juking one defender and twisting another on the touchline before laying back to Hashimoto.
Brown and Hashimoto each saw additional chances in the final minutes to try and give RSL the win. In the 86th minute, Brown posted up in the box with his back to the goal, received a ball from Hashimoto and turned and shot high and right. In the 89th minute, Hashimoto pulled the trigger from 20 yards out, just narrowly missing the left post.
"We looked much better in the second half after a sluggish start," said RSL Head Coach John Ellinger. "I'm particularly pleased with some of the young guys, new to the team - Kirby, Curfman, Kyle Brown and Chris Lancos all have looked really good. We are deeper, younger, faster and stronger than we have been in our three years. Now we need to continue getting everyone on the same page."
RSL started the game in a 4-4-2 formation, with defending NCAA College Cup Champion 'keeper Reynish backstopping the squad behind fellow 2007 draftees Steven Curfman (Wake Forest) and Dustin Kirby (Ohio State) in the center of the defense with Cottonwood High's Joey Worthen on the left and Ivory Coast trialist Jean-Martial Kipre on the right. Hashimoto shared space in the midfield with veteran Kenny Cutler, with Kyle Brown on the right and Andy Williams on the left. Up top, captain Chris Brown ran alongside Atiba Harris.
RSL fell into a hole early, with the RM "C" team taking the early lead in the 9th minute. Following a clearance by the RSL defense, the ball fell to Madrid's left wing, collected by Juanmi. With no pressure coming from the defense, Juanmi took two light touches and unleashed a 35-yard laser towards the near post. The shot could not be corralled by Reynish, and the "C" squad was up 1-0 just 10 minutes in.
The remainder of the first half saw few opportunities created by either side, and turned into somewhat of a chippy affair late in the first half, beginning in the 36th minute when Kipre won a ball by picking Toto's pocket, with Toto responding with a forearm shiver to the face. No foul was called and the teams played on for a couple of minutes, when Jose Callejon took down Chris Brown from behind. Again, no foul was called, and Brown took matters into his own hands, returning the favor to Callejon in the 41st minute. Finally, the whistle was blown, but no cards were shown. RSL's finest sequence came with just a minute left in the half, as Kipre sent a long ball to Kyle Brown, who found a streaking Harris in the box. Harris laid the ball back to Cutler, but his shot was snuffed just before intermission.
The second half saw much more rhythm from both teams, as Jamie Watson, Willis Forko and Chris Lancos entered the game, pushing Worthen to left mid and Kyle Brown up top. Reynish came up with two big saves in the 46th and 49th minute to keep the score 1-1, and Chris Brown's hard work created several free kick opportunities around the box.
In both the 61st and 82nd minutes, the same Reynish-Hashimoto-Kyle Brown combinations created opportunities for RSL, but free kicks from 20 and 25 yards out went high. In the 73rd minute, Kyle Brown played a great ball into his namesake Chris, but the latter Brown's shot was wide right.
RSL returns to Ciudad Real Madrid Thursday for its final session at 6:00 p.m. Madrid time for a game against Spanish Segunda B San Sebastian. The team then departs for the United States Friday morning, arriving in Salt Lake Friday night at 11:00 p.m. MT.
RM C 1:1 RSL
RM: Juanmi - 9'
RSL: Hashimoto (K. Brown, Reynish) - 84'
Kyle Reynish; Jean-Martial Kipre (Willis Forko 46), Dustin Kirby, Steven Curfman (Nik Besagno 72), Joey Worthen; Kyle Brown, Kenny Cutler, Duke Hashimoto, Andy Williams (Chris Lancos 46); Atiba Harris (Jamie Watson), Chris Brown
Real Madrid Castilla Lineup:
Kilo (Reguero 46), Velayos, Giradles, Parra, Jordi, Prosi, Jose Callejón, Toto, Vazquez, Jose Manuel, Juanmi