FC Dallas extended their their longest unbeated streak in team history to six games Saturday by beating Real Salt Lake 2-0 in front of the over 40,000 gathered at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
After watching the United States beat Costa Rica 3-0 in World Cup qualification, the large crowd witnessed FC Dallas continue their epic goal-scoring production this season -- even without the services of top strikers Eddie Johnson (U.S. national team duty) and Carlos Ruiz (injury).
The Hoops opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when Abe Thompson ripped a shot from the top of the box requiring a diving save from DJ Countess. The RSL 'keeper was not able to hold on to the ball and the deflection fell to Ronnie O'Brien who buried his chance into the open net for his fifth goal of the year.
RSL rookie and the No. 1 pick from the 2005 SuperDraft Nik Besagno, playing in his first MLS game, took a lesson from seasoned veteran Ronnie O'Brien in the 35th minute. O'Brien challenged the 16-year-old at the middle of the park. Besagno didn't give up easily, but in the process the two wrapped up, Besagno ended up followed the Irish international and received a yellow card.
Dallas kept the high offensive intensity through the first half. On a corner in the 44th minute, the cross was headed down to the path of Abe Thompson who cracked his shot off the cross bar.
The scoring continued for the visitors in the second half. O'Brien broke through the RSL backline in the 58th minute and unleashed a low blast. Countess was able to deny the chance with his foot, but the deflection fell to Thompson who put FCD up 2-0.
The Hoops' defense successfully absorbed RSL's attack, stifling any kind of dangerous attack.
MLSnet.com Man of Match: Ronnie O'Brien (FC Dallas)
Scott McAllister 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.