SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake (7-3-7, 28 points, West #2) broke its five-game winless streak in MLS play on Friday, converting two penalty kicks to top New England Revolution (7-7-2, East #3) 2-1 in front of a sold-out Rio Tinto Stadium.
MF Javier Morales scored in the 35th minute, converting his third penalty kick of the year to give RSL the lead. But the lead did not last long as New England DF Darrius Barnes pulled one back for the Revs two minutes later in the 37th minute. RSL secured the win in the 65th minute after earning a second penalty kick with RSL FW Joao Plata converting from the spot for his seventh goal of the year.
RSL welcomed back two of its most important players on Friday, as U.S. internationals Kyle Beckerman and GK Nick Rimando made their first appearance and start for the Claret-and-Cobalt since being named to U.S. World Cup roster in mid-May. Beckerman and Rimando were with the U.S. squad until this past Tuesday, when the Americans were knocked out of the tournament with a 2-1 loss to Belgium in the Round of 16. Beckerman and Rimando missed a total of six MLS matches as well as RSL’s U.S. Open Cup loss to Atlanta on June 14.
RSL dominated the first half, maintaining the majority of possession and creating a multitude of chances. Real Salt Lake registered the first opportunity in the sixth minute. The play started with Morales who sprung RSL MF John Stertzer down the left side the box, who then put in a low cross into the six yard box. RSL FW Devon Sandoval was on the receiving end but was unable to get a clear hold on the ball for a shot in front of goal.
The Claret-and-Cobalt tested New England again four minutes later. Morales again provided the buildup, showing off some nifty footwork on the edge of the area to slip in a pass to RSL DF Chris Schuler inside the box. Schuler then laid off a pass to a waiting Beckerman in the center of the area who got off a low right-footed to the far post that forced a diving one-handed save from New England GK Bobby Shuttleworth.
RSL had another decent look in the 16th minute. Beckerman slid a pass to spring Plata down the left flank. Plata did well to create space near the touch line to put a cross into the box which found Stertzer open at the far post. Stertzer attempted to volley the cross on frame but his shot went high over the crossbar.
The Claret-and-Cobalt saw a golden opportunity to take the lead slip by in the 24th minute. RSL earned a free kick on the left side 25 yards out from goal. Morales sent in a dangerous ball to the far post that RSL DF Nat Borchers put back across the face of goal that was eventually cleared out to the top of the area. Beckerman was there though and sent a low left-footed follow up shot but was again denied by a diving Shuttleworth. The Revs ‘keeper couldn’t hold onto the shot however, and Sandoval attempted to clean up the rebound but the target forward was called offside.
Real Salt Lake finally found its long-awaited goal through a penalty kick awarded in the 35th minute. The foul was called on New England DF Darrius Barnes who appeared to take down Schuler in the box on an RSL corner kick. Morales stepped to the spot and coolly finished past Shuttleworth, sending the ‘keeper the wrong way for his fifth goal of the season.
The lead wouldn’t last for long however as New England found the equalizer two minutes later through none other than Barnes. New England earned a free kick on the right side from 27 yards out that Revs MF Chris Tierney took, sending in a great ball to the far post that an open Barnes was able to head past Rimando from close range.
The start of the second half saw New England come out on the front foot with RSL almost going down in the 53rd minute. Revs MF Lee Nguyen found himself with room at the top of the box and found New England DF Jose Goncalves open inside the area on the right side. The Portuguese right back blasted a shot to the bottom corner that hit the right post and then deflected off the back of a diving Rimando, and skimmed across the face of goal inches off the goal line that RSL was eventually able to clear out of harm’s way.
Real Salt Lake went on to grab the lead in the 65th minute through another penalty kick. Morales blasted a shot from just inside the 18 yard box on the left side that deflected off of Sandoval inside the six yard box. Stertzer attempted to gather the ball but was taken down from behind by New England’s Tierney. Plata stepped up to take the spot kick and buried his shot in the upper corner for his seventh goal of the season.
Real Salt Lake almost made it three goals on the night with chances for Morales in the 83rd and 90th minutes. The Argentine’s first attempt came after RSL won a free kick at the top of the 18 yard box and sent a curling shot to top right corner that missed just wide. Seven minutes later, Morales worked his way just inside the top of the area on the left side, and blasted a shot to the near post that hit the side netting.
Real Salt Lake will return to action on the road, travelling to California to take on LA Galaxy on Saturday, July 12 at 8:30 p.m. MT at StubHub Center. Next Saturday’s match will be broadcast live on CW30, ESPN 700 and 102.3 La Gran D FM.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 2–1 NE
- Tonight’s sold-out attendance of 20,513 marked the sixth time in eight home games this year that Rio Tinto Stadium was at capacity. RSL was at capacity for the March 22 season opening 1-1 draw against LA, the April 19 1-0 win against Portland, the May 17 2-1 victory over Colorado, the May 24 scoreless draw with FC Dallas and the June 7 3-1 loss to Portland. Tonight’s sellout marks the club’s 35th sell-out across all competitions since Rio Tinto Stadium’s 2008 opening. Tonight’s attendance also marked the third-highest in Rio Tinto Stadium history.
- Tonight’s match was Real Salt Lake Captain Kyle Beckerman and GK Nick Rimando’s first appearance and start for the Claret-and-Cobalt since being named to the U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup roster in mid-May. The international duo returned to Salt Lake City on Thursday after the U.S. was knocked out of the tournament in a 2-1 loss to Belgium in the Round of 16. Beckerman and Rimando missed a total of six MLS matches (and seven games across all competitions, including RSL’s U.S. Open Cup loss at Atlanta Silverbacks) after being named to the U.S.’s World Cup roster. In their absence, the Claret-and-Cobalt went 1-3-2 in MLS play. The Claret-and-Cobalt also fell 2-1 at Atlanta Silverbacks in the club’s opening U.S. Open Cup match on June 14.
- Tonight’s win broke Real Salt Lake’s five-game winless streak min MLS play and snapped its three-game losing streak. Tonight’s win is the club’s first since May 17 at Rio Tinto Stadium, a 2-1 victory over Rocky Mountain Cup rival Colorado Rapids.
- RSL MF Javier Morales scored his fifth goal of the year, converting a PK in the 35th minute. The Argentine is now 3-for-3 in penalty kicks taken so far this year.
- RSL FW Joao Plata also converted from the spot in the 65th minute for his seventh goal of the year – the most of an RSL player this year.
- The Claret-and-Cobalt were without a couple of players tonight as MF Luke Mulholland missed the match while serving a one-game suspension for his red card in the June 28 loss to Chivas USA. RSL FW Robbie Findley also did not dress tonight due to a knock picked up in training this week.
- RSL MF Ned Grabavoy subbed on in the 76th minute, marking his return to the lineup after missing last week’s game at Chivas USA due to a hip flexor injury suffered on June 7 v. Portland. The veteran midfielder had previously started the first 15 matches of the 2014 season.
- Real Salt Lake is now 9-4-4 in regular season play against New England Revolution. RSL is now riding a six-game unbeaten run against New England that dates back to 2010. The Claret-and-Cobalt has five wins and one draw in the time frame.
- RSL improved its rather meager record in Independence Day matches tonight – its 10th match on the summer holiday in Utah. RSL is now 2-1-7 on the holiday.
REAL SALT LAKE 2–1 NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
FRIDAY, JULY 4, 2014
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 1 2
New England Revolution 1 0 1
RSL – Javier Morales – 35’
NE – Darrius Barnes (Chris Tierney) – 37’
RSL – Joao Plata – 65’
RSL – Chris Wingert (Yellow; Foul) – 19’
NE – Lee Nguyen (Yellow; Foul) – 32’
RSL – Javier Morales (Yellow; Foul) – 36’
NE – Chris Tierney (Yellow; Foul) – 64’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Nick Rimando; Chris Wingert, Nat Borchers, Chris Schuler, Tony Beltran; Kyle Beckerman (C), John Stertzer (Cole Grossman, 69’); Luis Gil (Ned Grabavoy, 76’), Javier Morales; Joao Plata (Abdoulie Mansally, 87’), Devon Sandoval
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella (GK); Aaron Maund, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Olmes Garcia
New England Revolution (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth; Jose Goncalves, A.J. Soares, Andrew Farrell, Darrius Barnes (Steve Neumann, 81’); Daigo Kobayashi, Lee Nguyen, Chris Tierney, Kelyn Rowe; Diego Fagundez (Teal Bunbury, 63’), Patrick Mullins (Saer Sene, 79’)
Substitutes not used: Brad Knighton (GK); Kevin Alston, Scott Caldwell, Stephen McCarthy
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Alejandro Mariscal
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Weather: Partly cloudy and 94 degrees