Real Salt Lake came out firing against FC Dallas on Saturday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium, but it was FCD who came away with three points after a 2-0 victory.
Playing before a crowd of over 40,000, RSL and Dallas played a spirited match following the U.S. 3-0 win against Costa Rica in World Cup qualifying.
In the 22nd minute, Abe Thompson beat the RSL defense and face a one-on-one with RSL 'keeper DJ Countess. Countess stretched his full frame to make a finger tip save, but Ronnie O'Brien was there to put the ball in the net off the deflection, giving Dallas the 1-0 lead.
On the ensuing kick, RSL was able to move the ball down field. When the ball played into the box, Dallas 'keeper Scott Garlick came off his line to beat a streaking Jason Kries to the ball and nearly paid for it. Kries and Garlick reached the ball simultaneously and the ball popped free. Seth Trembly picked up the loose ball and played it toward an open net. But the a weak shot allowed the Dallas defense to get back and clear the ball off the line.
Then in the 35th minute midfielder Nik Besagno, the first pick in the 2005 SuperDraft making his first start for RSL, showed his mettle. He stood up O'Brien, fought for the ball, and poked it away, but not before clipping O'Brien's ankles sending him to the ground. Referee Baldomero Toledo wasted no time issuing Besagno a yellow for the foul.
Just three minutes later it Besagno in the thick of things on an Andy Williams corner. As the ball came into the middle of the box, Besagno got position and put a head to it. Garlick went the wrong way, but the ball missed just off the top corner.
With the half winding down, Dallas gave RSL one more scare on a dangerous corner kick. The ball sailed past the goal mouth and was met far post by Aaron Pitchkolan, who used his head to play the ball back into the goal mouth, where it was met by Thompson. Thompson's shot looked to be headed for the back off the net, but it ricocheted off the cross bar and was cleared by RSL.
Coming out of halftime, Dallas and RSL played even ball. However, again Dallas was the first to capitalize. O'Brien was able to crack the RSL defense in the 58th minute when he snuck between two defenders to fire off a rocket. RSL breathed a momentary sigh of relief when Countess made a nice kick save, but the ball bounced out to Thompson who easily slotted Dallas' second goal of the night.
Things didn't seem to get better for RSL when a couple of minutes later defender Rusty Pierce went down in a heap. Matt Behncke came on as an immediate substitution for Pierce. A short time later RSL coach John Ellinger made his second substitution, sending forward Jordan Cila on to replace Besagno in the 69th minute. At the next opportunity, Dallas countered RSL's move by sitting forward Thompson in favor of defender Drew Moor.
After Dallas made the change the defensive lineup, Real was unable to create any serious scoring chances. FC Dallas played out the game the way their unconventional 5-5 lineup dictated and held on for the 2-0 road win.
MLSnet.com Man of Match: Ronnie O'Brien (FC Dallas)
David Hale is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
FC Dallas (7-1-3) vs. Real Salt Lake (3-6-2)
June 04, 2005 -- Rice-Eccles Stadium
DAL -- Ronnie O'Brien 5 (unassisted) 22
DAL -- Abe Thompson 1 (unassisted) 58
FC Dallas -- Scott Garlick, Bobby Rhine, Clarence Goodson, Greg Vanney, Chris Gbandi, Roberto Mina (Ty Maurin 83), Ronnie O'Brien (Steve Jolley 89), Aaron Pitchkolan, Simo Valakari, Arturo Alvarez, Abe Thompson (Drew Moor 72).
Substitutes Not Used: Jeff Cassar, Oscar Pareja.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Ronnie O'Brien 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Ronnie O'Brien 2, Abe Thompson 2); FOULS: 11 (Roberto Mina 4); OFFSIDES: 1 (Abe Thompson 1); CORNER KICKS: 6 (Arturo Alvarez 4); SAVES: 6 (Scott Garlick 5)
Real Salt Lake -- D.J. Countess, Brian Dunseth, Rusty Pierce (Matt Behncke 61), Nelson Akwari, Chris Brown, Nikolas Besagno (Jordan Cila 68), Brian Kamler, Andy Williams, Seth Trembly, Clint Mathis, Jason Kreis.
Substitutes Not Used: Kenny Cutler, Cameron Knowles, Luke Kreamalmeyer, Jay Nolly, Leighton O'Brien, Dante Washington, Jamie Watson.
TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Clint Mathis 3, Andy Williams 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Seth Trembly 2, Andy Williams 2); FOULS: 9 (Seth Trembly 3); OFFSIDES: 2 (Jason Kreis 2); CORNER KICKS: 8 (Andy Williams 7); SAVES: 3 (D.J. Countess 3)
RSL -- Nikolas Besagno (caution; Reckless Foul) 35
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee's Assistants: -George Vergara; Corey Rockwell
4th Official: Chuck Locke
Time of Game: 1:48
All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.