It’s 1-1 at the half (although 2-1 to RSL on aggregate).
This is a tense, but open game being played at breakneck speed – a great ad for MLS.
Chivas USA had taken the lead after a half hour from the penalty spot, Javier Morales pushing Ante Razov from the back and Sacha Klejstan confidently punching the ball past Nick Rimando into the right top corner of the net. Wonder what that RSL player said to Kljestan before the spot kick was taken in an effort to psyche him out before he was pushed away?
Real Salt Lake replied nine minutes later, a superbly threaded ball by Robbie Russell splitting a square Chivas USA defense. Morales ran onto it and sent a hard cross over that was met by a diving Dema Kovalenko for the equalizer.
Plenty of passion so far in this one – RSL has three yellow cards, Chivas USA one.
The match-up between Chivas USA’s Atiba Harris and Jamison Olave is one to watch. At one point the pair clashed, Harris objected to the challenge and Olave could be seen on TV saying “You want a piece of me?” Harris got a piece of him a couple of minutes later – and Olave had to leave the field for treatment.
The shot count stands at seven for RSL, six for Chivas USA.
Plenty of passion off the field, too.
Legion 1908 unfurled their huge flag that covers the entire north end of the stadium below the grass berm for the first time since the fourth SuperClassico against the Galaxy in 2007. Chivas USA won that game – and the series, BTW.
There was also a delay of game immediately after kickoff when Legion 1908 hurled a torrent of red and white rolls of paper that literally papered Nick Rimando’s goal. It required the efforts of a small squadron of staff (and several RSL players) to remove the stuff.
I bumped into Greg Vanney before the game, too. Did he quickly turn into a Chivas USA fan upon his Galaxy retirement?
Plenty more to come tonight.