FCD welcome Kreis, RSL to Dallas
and after a seven-minute delay where Suarez was carried from the field after a collision with Guzan knocked him out -- Ruiz neatly converted his own penalty when he sent the rookie 'keeper the wrong way (85).
Then four minutes deep into stoppage time, O'Brien played provider as FC Dallas broke out on a nearly uncontested counterattack, the Irish winger driving in a cross to the top of the box where Eddie Johnson headed it past an on-rushing Guzan.
"The goals came a little bit late but they were good," FC Dallas coach Colin Clarke said. "They (Chivas USA players) looked like they were tired a little bit and we were comfortable with possession. The field was wide and we exploited it well."
Clarke made two changes to the team that played to a scoreless draw with the Colorado Rapids the previous weekend. Bobby Rhine came in at right back, in place of Philip Salyer, while Simo Valakari returned from a shoulder injury to replace Oscar Pareja in the heart of the midfield.
Here's Clarke's team (4-3-3): Scott Garlick - Bobby Rhine, Clarence Goodson, Greg Vanney, David Wagenfuhr - Richard Mulrooney, Simo Valakari, Carey Talley - Eddie Johnson, Carlos Ruiz (Oscar Pareja 89), Ronnie O'Brien
It was the first match back in Los Angeles for FC Dallas striker Carlos Ruiz, and he celebrated with the penalty kick. There was no question he was going to take the kick after he was knocked down by Ryan Suarez to earn the maximum penalty.
"It meant a lot to me coming back to Los Angeles and seeing that the fans hadn't forgotten what I did with the Galaxy," Ruiz said.
In addition, each member of the three-pronged attack for the Hoops grabbed a goal. "If you watched all three of our games so far, you can see that we're getting better and better every game," Eddie Johnson said. "Later in the season after we get more games in and people get comfortable with each other, we're going to be hard to beat."
O'Brien's goal was named Sierra Mist Goal of the Week in fan voting on MLSnet.com, the league's official website. O'Brien long-range bomb received 69% of the vote, far surpassing the second-place goal (Brian Dunseth's goal for Real Salt Lake, 18%).
REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake made the first-ever home game in club history something to remember, as a late goal gave them a 1-0 victory - the expansion club's first in history - against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday afternoon. The victory moved Real to second place in the Western Conference with four points from three matches, three behind leaders FC Dallas while a point ahead of the Los Angeles Galaxy.
At Rice-Eccles Stadium, a crowd larger than the listed MLS capacity filed in to see the first home match for expansion Real, and they weren't disappointed.
Nine minutes from the end, Clint Mathis whipped in a free kick from the right flank that bounded through the packed penalty area, where defender Brian Dunseth came crashing in at the back post to send a diving header past Rapids goalkeeper Joe Cannon and give the Utah club its first win.
Real coach John Ellinger made three changes to the team that lost 3-1 at Los Angeles Galaxy the previous Saturday. Brian Dunseth made his Real debut, coming into central defense in place of Nelson Akwari. There were new flank midfielders in Chris Brown and Luke Kreamalmeyer as Marlon Rojas moved to left back in place of Matt Behncke and Dipsy Selolwane moved to partner Jason Kreis in attack with the injury to Andy Williams.
Here's Ellinger's team (4-3-1-2): D.J. Countess - Rusty Pierce, Brian Dunseth, Eddie Pope, Marlon Rojas - Chris Brown (Evan Whitfield 70), Brian Kamler, Luke Kreamalmeyer (Leslie Fitzpatrick 76) - Clint Mathis - Dipsy Selolwane (Jordan Cila 83), Jason Kreis
"We started off better than we did in the first two games, but still a little bit slower than we're capable of doing," said Mathis to the Deseret Morning News. "We kept pressuring them and we were bound to get a goal; we had chance after chance."
It was a second clean sheet in three matches for Real. "As far as defensively as a team, the pressure all over the field was the best by far out of the three games,'' Ellinger said. "Everyone worked for each other, and even when you want to be an attacking team, you still have to play good team defense. I thought defensively we were superb, and if that continues, that will be a good thing for us."
Having moved back to an attacking midfield role he filled for the U.S. national team in the 2002 World Cup, Mathis brought back the Mohawk haircut he also sported in that tournament. "I told them that I'm too old for that," he said to the Salt Lake Tribune. "I figured, let's do it for the first day, but I don't know if [coach] John [Ellinger] is going to let me cut it since we won."
Leslie Fitzpatrick made his MLS debut coming in on the left of midfield. The Trinidad & Tobago international came to Real from the Atlanta Silverbacks of the USL First Division.
To a man, the Real team was excited about the support they received for their first match in Utah. "In the sport of soccer, the crowd is everything," defender Eddie Pope said to The Salt Lake Tribune. "It's a real 12th man for us. ... And that was certainly one of the loudest crowds I've heard in awhile at an MLS stadium. That surprised all of us, fired us up before the game, fired us up at halftime. All we could talk about was how good the crowd was."
On Wednesday, Real obtained midfielder Seth Trembly from the Colorado Rapids for their fourth-round selection in the 2006 supplemental draft. Defender Jeff Stewart was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list.
INJURIES & SUSPENSIONS
Ellinger said playmaking midfielder Andy Williams could be back sooner than the mid-May timetable originally forecast. While the Real boss said he will not be ready this weekend, he could be available for selection for the April 30 match against San Jose. "He's feeling pretty good," coach Ellinger said. "[But] we're taking it slow."
Still, Ellinger said that his return wouldn't automatically signal a return to a striker role for Mathis. "We might play them both under Jason [Kreis]," Ellinger said. "We get more out of Clint when he is running the show."
Brian Kamler was held out of full training during the week after aggravating a groin injury, but he is expected to be available for the Dallas match.