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.
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.