D.C. United Vs. Real Salt Lake: Another Charlie Davies Penalty Helps United Scrape 1-1 Draw

One controversial penalty for each team results in a share of the points between D.C. United and Real Salt Lake.

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D.C. United Vs. Real Salt Lake Player Grades: Chris Pontius Stars Against Real Salt Lake

Grading the performance of D.C. United's players after Saturday's 1-1 draw against Real Salt Lake.

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D.C. United Vs. Real Salt Lake: Late Davies Penalty Rescues United Again

For the second time this season, a late penalty from Charlie Davies rescued a point for D.C. United as the Black-and-Red drew 1-1 with Real Salt Lake.

Davies, who came on in place of Josh Wolff in the 62nd minute, won the 83rd-minute penalty himself with what was, in all honesty, a blatant dive under a very benign challenge from RSL defender Chris Wingert. But referee Terry Vaughn, after a long moment of contemplation, pointed to the spot, much to the amazement of Wingert, the rest of his Real Salt Lake teammates, the fans at Rio Tinto Stadium, and anyone who had access to television replays like this one.

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Davies' penalty barely eluding the despairing dive of RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando and nestled into the lower right corner of the net in a repeat of his heroics on April 9th, when the striker's 89th minute penalty secured a 1-1 home draw against the Los Angles Galaxy.

United will argue that they deserved a result from this match in spite of the spotty nature of the goal, and it will be hard to argue otherwise. United hit the crossbar twice in the second half, both on shots by Chris Pontius that had Rimando well and truly beaten.Pontius' first opportunity came in the 51st minute, when the midfielder played a one-two with Blake Brettschneider about five yards outside the box before spanking a right-footed shot off the bar. Pontius repeated the trick in the third minute of stoppage time when Andy Najar rolled a free kick through the Real Salt Lake penalty area. Pontius ran onto the ball and banged another right-footed shot off Rimando's crossbar with the last significant kick of the game.

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D.C. United Vs. Real Salt Lake: Espindola's Penalty Puts RSL Up 1-0 At Halftime

Fabian Espindola's penalty kick in the 38th minute has put Real Salt Lake on top 1-0 over D.C. United as the teams go to halftime at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

D.C. United will feel aggrieved to go into halftime behind by a goal, as they played the home side to a standstill during the first 45 minutes. But seven minutes before halftime, Clyde Simms was penalized harshly for handling the ball in the penalty area by referee Terry Vaughn. It appeared that the ball hit the hand of Simms as opposed to the midfielder making a deliberate attempt to play the ball with his hand. Regardless, the penalty was awarded and Espindola sent Bill Hamid the wrong way as he converted coolly into the bottom corner.

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United put the ball into the net in the 14th minute when Chris Pontius redirected a ball from Josh Wolff into the RSL net, but Wolff was correctly ruled to have been offside when he redirected a cross from Perry Kitchen into Pontius' path.

Ben Olsen made two changes to his starting lineup from last weekend's 4-2 loss to San Jose. Jed Zayner, making his return from a hamstring injury, was given his third start of the season in place of Chris Korb in defense, while Stephen King also made his third start of the season in central midfield alongside Simms. Blake Brettschneider started alongside Wolff up top, with Charlie Davies once again relegated to the bench.

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D.C. United Vs. Real Salt Lake: United Head West Again To Face Slumping Real Salt Lake

After a disappointing home loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, D.C. United head west once again this weekend to take on Real Salt Lake. RSL once appeared destined for the top of the Western Conference, but has only won one match in the six they've played since May 14.

D.C. United (4-5-4) at Real Salt Lake (6-3-3)

When: 9:00 p.m., Saturday, June 18.

Where: Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah.

TV: Comcast SportsNet.

Team News and Tactics

D.C. United: Joseph Ngwenya will not be available in any capacity for tonight's match, as he suffered a sprained MCL in training late this week. Dejan Jakovic and Marc Burch are absent with hamstring injuries, while Devon McTavish and Santino Quaranta did not travel with the team this week thanks to their various concussions. Once again, it is unclear whether Dax McCarty will be sufficiently recovered to start in central midfield tonight. If not, Ben Olsen will hand another start to the departing Fred. Similarly, it is unclear if Charlie Davies will be healthy enough to start up front alongside Josh Wolff or if Blake Brettschneider will lead the line again. 

Real Salt Lake: Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica) and Arturo Alvarez (El Salvador) still have Gold Cup commitments to see out. Canadian Will Johnson will be eligible to play in his first game back from Gold Cup duty, but expect Luis Gil to get a second straight start in the role of left-side midfielder. Also, look for Fabian Espindola and Jean Alexandre to get the start up front.

Key to the Game

Don't Fall Asleep: Real Salt Lake's trademark is their possession-oriented game, which requires lots of quick, simple passes, and good movement off the ball. It will be essential that United's defenders account for every RSL player when the home side is on the attack. Otherwise, a repeat of last week's shoddy performance against San Jose is very much on the cards.

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