Foxborough, Mass (Saturday, May 13, 2017) – Real Salt Lake (2-7-2, 8 pts.) conceded four goals in the first 41 minutes on the new artificial turf at Gillette Stadium Saturday night against New England Revolution, extending to four games the club’s active losing streak in Major League Soccer action. RSL falls to 2-4-0 in the six games since new Head Coach Mike Petke was installed, following an 0-3-2 start to the 2017 campaign.
A young RSL quartet made their first starts of 2017 as Petke introduced a new formation at New England, as DF Reagan Dunk – the club’s first-round draft pick from the University of Denver in the most recent MLS SuperDraft – made his league debut. Dunk was joined by MF Ricardo Velazco, the USL Real Monarchs leading-scorer a year ago, and homegrown rookie MF Jose Hernandez as well as second-year MF Omar Holness in a new-look diamond midfield.
Down 0-4 in the 70th minute, RSL’s newest acquisition – 20-year old Venezuelan international Jefferson Savarino, a forward signed on Tuesday to a Young DP contract – made his MLS and RSL debut, quickly offering speed and guile to the attack.
The current four-game losing streak for RSL is the club’s longest since September/October, 2011, and is tied with one other four-game drought (2007) as the third-longest in club history, trailing a 10-game and a separate five-game pointless run during the team’s inaugural 2005 season. RSL has been outscored 13-1 by opponents during the current losing streak, the first time in the club’s 13-year history that RSL has allowed three or more goals in more than just back-to-back contests.
RSL’s active winless run on artificial surface was also extended Saturday, the Claret-and-Cobalt falling to 0-13-5 in its last 18 games away from natural grass, a run that dates back to Nov., 2013, when a 1-0 win at Portland advanced the Utah side to MLS Cup 2013. RSL heads to Seattle and Century Link Field on Saturday, May 20, in the next opportunity to snap the turf drought.
UP NEXT: RSL returns to action in quick fashion as they welcome New York City FC to Rio Tinto Stadium on May 17 (7:30 pm MST kickoff). In 2016 RSL topped NYCFC 3-2 at Yankee Stadium behind goals from Yura Movsisyan, Juan Manuel Martinez and an own goal from NYCFC defender Frederic Brillant. RSL is 2-0-0 against NYCFC all-time and 1-0-0 against the third-year side at Rio Tinto Stadium.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
NE – Scott Caldwell (Diego Fagundez, Chris Tierney) 4th minute: Twisting and turning in the corner, Fagundez created space past RSL defender Reagan Dunk for a cross. Fagundez whipped a low ball into the box to an onrushing Caldwell who smashed home from six yards.
NE – Kei Kamara (Lee Nguyen) 18th minute: A perfectly weighted corner kick swung in by New England midfielder Lee Nguyen was met with a header from Kamara after getting away from his defender from six yards out.
NE – Diego Fagundez (Kelyn Rowe, Lee Nguyen) 34th minute: Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe made a darting run into the box forcing the RSL defenders to step to one side of the field to close the angle. Rowe did well to cross the ball to the far post to Fagundez who tapped home the off-balance shot from inside the six-yard box.
NE – Lee Nguyen (Kei Kamara, Chris Tierney) 41st minute: New England picked up a loose ball and quickly countered finding Kamara out wide. Kamara quickly found Nguyen at the top of the area who took one touch to set up his shot before finding the bottom corner of the far post.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:
RSL – Sunny, 25th minute: After a corner from New England midfielder Lee Nguyen bounced around inside the six-yard box, Sunny pounced on the loose ball to clear the danger out for another corner kick.
RSL - Demar Phillips, 29th minute: A wonderfully served ball towards the back post by Chris Tierney was searching for Kei Kamara was cut out well by Phillips as he headed the ball away from danger and out for a corner kick.
NE – Cody Cropper, 29th minute: A snap header towards the near post from RSL striker Joao Plata forced the Revolution goalkeeper into a diving save at his near post to parry away the effort.
RSL – Aaron Maund, 53rd minute: A cross from Chris Tierney searching for Lee Nguyen forced the RSL defense into a scramble. Nguyen headed the ball back cross the face of goal where Maund was there to head away the danger.
RSL – Matt Van Oekel, 60th minute: Revolution forward Kei Kamara made a darting run into the box looking for a shot on goal. Kamara fried one towards the near post but Van Oekel did well to collapse to his left to parry the ball away.
NE – Cody Cropper, 81st minute: RSL debutant Jefferson Savarino curled a free kick from 25 yards out from the left side of the field to the far post, Cropper getting a finger on the Venezuelan offering to deny far-side netting and preserving the NE clean sheet.
- Jefferson Savarino started the match on the bench for RSL after signing with the club on May 8. Savarino came off the bench in the 61st minute to make his RSL debut.
- RSL were without youngsters Justen Glad, Brooks Lennon, Sebastian Saucedo and Danilo Acosta as they take part in the U-20 World Cup in South Korea with the USMNT.
- RSL defender Reagan Dunk made his debut for the club with his start against the Revolution. Along with Dunk making his debut, Jose Hernandez, and Ricardo Velazco both made their first ever starts for RSL.
- RSL played with a midfield diamond formation for the first time since May 2015 when they beat NYCFC 2-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Match: Real Salt Lake at New England Revolution
Date: May 13, 2017
Venue: Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass.
Weather: Rainy and 50 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 0 0
New England Revolution 4 0 0
NE – Scott Caldwell (Diego Fagundez, Chris Tierney) 4’
NE – Kei Kamara (Lee Nguyen) 18’
NE – Diego Fagundez (Kelyn Rowe, Lee Nguyen) 34’
NE – Lee Nguyen (Kei Kamara, Chris Tierney) 41’
Real Salt Lake (4-4-2): Matt Van Oekel; Demar Phillips (Justin Schmidt, 46’), Chris Wingert, Aaron Maund, Reagan Dunk (Yura Movsisyan, 84’); Ricardo Velazco, Sunny, Jose Hernandez, Omar Holness; Joao Plata (Jefferson Savarino 71’), Luis Silva
Subs not used: Lalo Fernandez, Chris Schuler, Luke Mulholland, Albert Rusnák
New England Revolution: (4-3-3): Cody Cropper; Andrew Farrel, Benjamin Angoua, Antonia Milnar Delamea, Kelyn Rowe (Je-Vaughn Watson 81’); Xavier Kouassi, Scott Caldwell (Daigo Kobayashi 66’), Chris Tierney, Diego Fagundez; Kei Kamara (Femi Hollinger-Jensen 67’), Lee Nguyen
Subs not used: Brad Knighton, London Woodberry, Joshua Smith, Teal Bunbury
Stats Summary: NE/RSL
Shots: 13 / 6
Shots on Goal: 8 / 3
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 9 / 3
Fouls: 21 / 17
Offside: 2 / 1
NE – Scott Caldwell (caution) 29’
RSL – Omar Holness (caution) 35’
RSL – Ricardo Velazco (caution) 44’
NE – Andrew Farrell (caution) 79’
RSL – Jose Hernandez (caution) 80’
RSL – Luis Silva (caution) 84’
Referee: Hilario Grejeda
Assistant Referees: Adam Garner, Kevin Klinger
4th Official: Geoff Gamble