Preview: Revs face tough test at Fortress Rio Tinto
REAL SALT LAKE vs NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
RIO TINTO STADIUM, Sandy, Utah
May 5, 2012 (WEEK 9, MLS Game #81)
9 p.m. ET (KUCW-30; CSN-NE)
Real Salt Lake conclude a two-game homestand when they play host to the New England Revolution on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. Real returned home and got back to their winning ways last weekend, getting a dramatic winner for a 3-2 victory against Toronto FC. The Revolution put paid to a three-game losing skid at midweek, in a 2-1 home win against the Colorado Rapids.
REFEREE: David Gantar. SAR (bench): Corey Rockwell; JAR (opposite): Adam Garner; 4th: Abbey Okulaja
MLS Career: 8 games; FC/gm: 26.4; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 4; pens: 1
- REAL SALT LAKE - DOUBTFUL: FW Cody Arnoux (L adductor strain); MF Nico Muniz (R knee MCL strain)
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION - OUT: FW Zak Boggs (R ankle sprain); MF Ryan Guy (R calf tightness); DF Flo Lechner (R foot fifth metatarsal fracture); MF Sainey Nyassi (R hamstring strain); FW Jeremiah White (concussion)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: RSL: Kyle Beckerman
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: RSL: Javier Morales
ALL-TIME (14 meetings): Real 6 wins, 28 goals ... Revolution 4 wins, 18 goals ... Ties 4
AT SALT LAKE (7 meetings): Real 3 wins, 17 goals ... Revolution 2 wins, 7 goals ... Ties 2
LAST YEAR (MLS):
4/9: NE 0, RSL 2 (Schuler 27; Paulo Jr 47
7/4: RSL 3, NE 3 (Johnson 24; Saborio 56; Espindola 83 - Lekic 4; Tierney 16; Joseph 63)
- This is the only league meeting between the clubs this season.
- Real Salt Lake have a four-game unbeaten streak alive against New England, dating back to 2009. RSL won three games in a row in the series before the teams played to a 3-3 draw July 4 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
- Real own the two heaviest defeats of New England in club history - a 6-0 win in 2009 and a 5-0 win in 2010, both at Rio Tinto Stadium.
- Coaches record: Jason Kreis vs. NE: P10 W5 L2 D3 ... Jay Heaps vs. RSL: first game
REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake returned home and returned to their winning ways, getting a dramatic late goal for a 3-2 win against Toronto FC on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. Real are in second place in the Western Conference with 19 points from 10 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: RSL get last-gasp win over Toronto
- Real Salt Lake took the lead after just seven minutes. Defender Jamison Olave headed a corner back across the goalmouth, where center back Chris Schuler redirected the ball on frame. With goalkeeper Milos Kocic scrambling to get back in position, Kyle Beckerman toed the ball over the line.
- Toronto FC had a wonderful chance to pull level in the 16th minute when Eric Avila drew a penalty after to a poorly timed slide tackle from Olave. But Torsten Frings sent his spot kick wide of the left post.
- TFC did even terms when Avila took it upon himself to get the equalizer three minutes after the break. Ryan Johnson flicked a pass to Avila, who tricked his way around Olave on the edge of the area and curled the ball into the right corner of the goal.
- But the score lasted until the 57th minute. A cross came in from the right side, and TFC's Richard Eckersley and RSL striker Alvaro Saborio both challenged for the ball, which unluckily ricocheted off the Toronto defender's knee and past goalkeeper Milos Kocic.
- Yet once again Toronto clawed back into the game. On a 78th-minute corner kick, substitute Doneil Henry rose above a pack of attackers and defenders in the RSL goalmouth and headed the ball home.
- Real consigned TFC to history three minutes into stoppage time. Javier Morales gave himself space on the edge of the box following a throw-in and sent a centering pass to Beckerman, who knocked it back to Jonny Steele. He stepped through the ball and gave Kocic no chance for the dramatic winner.
- RSL head coach Jason Kreis made three changes to the team that came back for a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas. Jamison Olave came into the team for Nat Borchers, Ned Grabavoy started in midfield for Luis Gil, and Fabian Espindola returned in place of Paulo Junior.
- REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran (Luis Gil 87), Chris Schuler, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert - Ned Grabavoy (Jonny Steele 82), Kyle Beckerman, Will Johnson - Javier Morales - Fabian Espindola, Alvaro Saborio.
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- The win ended a three-game winless streak - all on the road - where RSL took just one of a possible nine points.
- "When you get to the dying moments of the match and you think about how things played out, I still would have felt the performance was pretty darn good. We had a ton of scoring chances," said RSL head coach Jason Kreis. "On a different night I think we win that game handily. I think on the other side of that, we could have lost that game, because we took a ton of risks at the end. Fortune favored the bold, I guess. When we're at home, we go for three points, and nothing less is acceptable."
- Real have now won three games on the trot at Rio Tinto Stadium. "It always feels good when you come home from being off on the road for a while," said goalkeeper Nick Rimando. "There are tough games against tough opponents. It doesn't get any easier. Even the worst team stat-wise in the league can give us a run for the money. We have to make sure we come out to every game focused and ready to play, because we have a target on our back."
- Jonny Steele scored his second late goal after coming on as a substitute. He scored in the 89th minute March 31 in Portland, the equalizing goal in what ended as a 3-2 RSL victory.
- "It's odd, I guess, when someone comes on and scores twice, so maybe he'll be the esuper sub,'" said Jason Kreis. "I know that Jonny is going to want more minutes going forward and if he keeps contributing in that fashion he'll get more consideration.
- Javier Morales made his third consecutive start and played the entire match for a second game in a row. He recorded his second assist, his first since March 31.
- "If you ask him, I'm pretty sure he'll tell you, eI just want to play,'" Kreis said. "And I think that's where we're at right now is that Javier just needs to play to get his form back. ... He hasn't played many games in the last year, and I think that he feels that he has something to prove. And when he feels that way, that means really good things for Real Salt Lake."
- Real Salt Lake have scored five goals in the final quarter-hour of games this season - second-most in MLS (behind Colorado, with six). They've twice scored game-winners in stoppage time.
- "We like to make things interesting. I don't think it was our best performance, especially against a team that was struggling," said Luis Gil. "It's always good at least to get the win. Overall, I feel like we played hard every single minute and that counts."
- The New England match ends a two-game homestand for RSL - they have three of their next four games away from Rio Tinto Stadium.
- "[A record of[ 6-3-1, almost a third of the way through the season - we're in a great position for how we've played," Nat Borchers said. "I think we'd like to be more consistent with our home games. We've given up a lot more goals than we're used to, so the focus this week has been defending. So I think we still have some things to work on which is a good thing. We haven't peaked out early in the season."
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution put an end to their three-game losing streak in fine fashion, coming back for a 2-1 win against the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 9 points from 8 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Revs get big win at home against Rapids
- The game's goals came in an 18-minute span before halftime. The Rapids captured the lead in the 21st minute when Jaime CastrillÛn shook off his marker at the near post and thumped home Mart"n Rivero's inviting corner.
- The Revs drew level just six minutes later through Saer Sene. Following a half-cleared corner kick, Clyde Simms hit a diagonal ball for Stephen McCarthy to flick on at the back stick. He nodded the ball back to the spot where Sene swept home with a left-footed side volley.
- Fernandp C·rdenas sent the Revs into the break with the lead with an alert finish in the 39th minute. Sene latched onto the ball and found C·rdenas on the right side of the penalty area. The Colombian midfielder cut inside and floated his effort over the adrift Matt Pickens.
- Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made two changes to the team that suffered a 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Fernando Cardenas and Benny Feilhaber came into the team, in place of Kelyn Rowe and Lee Nguyen.
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-2): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston (Darrius Barnes 42), A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney - Fernando Cardenas (Bjorn Runstrom 84), Shalrie Joseph, Clyde Simms, Benny Feilhaber - Jose Moreno (Lee Nguyen 68), Saer Sene.
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- The Revolution put an end to their three-game losing streak, getting a first victory since March 31.
- "Collective defense (was the key to tonight). We were a unit out there," said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. "Unfortunately in the three losses if you went back we probably played more technically sound. But we didn't defend as a unit. But tonight that was something we asked our guys to do and we gave up a set piece, but other than that, there wasn't a ton of things when they broke us down and we gave away goals."
- The Revolution have scored six of their seven goals in the first half this season, and four have come in the opening quarter-hour.
- Shalrie Joseph reached the 250-appearance plateau in league games in the Colorado match - all with the Revolution.
- Matt Reis was credited with his 100 career goalkeeper victory, the sixth goalkeeper in MLS history to reach the 100-win mark, joining Kevin Hartman (174), Zach Thornton (131), Nick Rimando (127), Joe Cannon (111) and Scott Garlick (107).
- "It's kind of a relief. It's something that, the last three games, it's been there in the back of my mind but it's finally a hurdle to get over and focus on the rest of the season," said Reis.
- Fernando C·rdenas made his first start since the season opener, playing 84 minutes wide on the right of midfield, and scored his first MLS goal.
- "With Fernando, he's a unique player because he doesn't really have a position. In Colombia he played on top ... in a weird system and he's kind of elusive in that way. So tonight he was fresh," Heaps said. "I was so excited to give him that opportunity because he's earned it. He's worked hard in training and kept his head up and I thought that he did a good job as the game went on that it showed he's probably not 90 minutes fit, but he had a good impact on the game."
- Saer Sene scored his third goal, his first since March 31, when he scored in back-to-back games. His goal snapped a 199-minute goalless drought for the Revs.
- (Sene) is someone I did not want to go 90 tonight. ... He's a unique player. You don't really see a lot of players like him. He drifts, he comes in to play, but he's always dangerous," Heaps said. "I just think there's more there even. I think you see some spots of brilliance and there's more. I see more in training sometimes, so there's a good upside. But tonight he worked hard and did a lot of good things, a lot of the little things, well."
- Said Joseph: "We have to keep giving him chances and he's going to score. He's just that good (around the penalty area). He can create chances on his own, but if we can help him a little bit more and get numbers in the box, I think we're going to get more goals. Tonight we had chances, he held the ball up for us when we needed him to. He said himself that he needed to work on his fitness a little bit by realizing (MLS is) a different league. He's doing the right things. He's working and he's encouraging everybody and that's what you need from your top striker."
- The Revolution were forced into a change before halftime when Kevin Alston was forced off. Darrius Barnes made his first appearance of the season.
- "I've asked a lot of Kevin because I see the potential of Kevin, so I ask a lot of him. He has the talent I never had as a right back, so I see it and I want it and I want him to keep getting better," said Heaps. "And so he played through a 102 temperature, and when he got hit, he went into a coughing fit - that's why he got sick."