The New England Revolution snapped a three-match winless streak in emphatic fashion, dispatching Real Salt Lake 4-1 in the first-ever meeting between the two sides on Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium.
Two early goals from Clint Dempsey (11th minute) and Taylor Twellman (16th minute) set the home side on their way before Jason Kreis replied after 31 minutes with a thunderous free kick from 28 yards. The Revolution spurned a number of chances to seal the game before Brian Dunseth headed into his own net in the 76th minute to double the lead. Khano Smith added a 90th-minute exclamation to cap off an explosive night for the home side.
The home side went off on a flyer, as two goals in the first 16 minutes showed devastating offensive potential as the Revolution threatened to run Real Salt Lake off the park.
Dempsey opened the scoring on 11 minutes. Jay Heaps beat Kenny Cutler for pace, turning the corner to hit a bending ball at the near post. Dempsey, knocking down Rusty Pierce in the process, met the ball to smash his header home. Dempsey celebrated by hopping the signage and doing a Revolutionary jig complete with a period-style hat.
Five minutes later, Twellman gave the Revolution a second. It was a curling corner kick off the boot of Jose Cancela that caught the Real defense flat-footed. Jay Heaps rose at the near post with nary a challenge. His directed header found the open run of Twellman at the far post to smash home from three yards.
Brimming with confidence, Heaps hit a long ball over the top directly into the run of Steve Ralston in the 18th minute. Ralston did well to latch on to the pass and then smashed his strike off the crossbar. Twellman's rebound was beaten off the line by goalkeeper D.J. Countess.
After being dominated for the opening 20 minutes, the visitors awoke and created a series of chances that culminated in their opener on 31 minutes.
Michael Parkhurst's slack pass in the 22nd minute afforded Seth Trembly a volley on the right edge of the box, forcing Revolution 'keeper Matt Reis into action for the first time.
Jason Kreis nearly scored with an audacious heel flick from a long distance strike on the half hour, but Parkhurst scrambled the effort off the line.
Kreis threw the visitors a lifeline a minute later with a blistering 28-yard effort off a free kick. Twellman conceded the kick at the edge of the area with a rash tackle, and Kreis's low blast to the right corner left Reis with no chance.
Ralston should have engineered an immediate reply in the 32nd minute. Ralston was streaking towards goal but momentary hesitation allowed Cutler to retreat and knock his effort out for a corner.
Kreis went close again on 37 minutes from distance, with the effort whistling just wide of Reis's left hand post.
Andy Dorman had a gilt-edged chance to lengthen the lead in the 58th minute. Joe Franchino's diagonal ball across the face of the goal area should have met Dorman's run, but the Welshman somehow failed to connect.
Countess pulled off a great double save after 62 minutes. Twellman's heel pass put Heaps through, but his attempt was denied by the Real 'keeper. After the play reset, Heaps's cross to Twellman was on the mark, but Twellman's header was acrobatically denied by Countess.
Shalrie Joseph displayed some fancy footwork in the 73rd minute before finding the run of Cancela. The Uruguayan popped his attempt over the far post with better options well within his grasp.
The third goal always looked likely, and it was left to Real to put it through its own net in the 76th minute to seal a pointless return to Utah's capital. Dunseth was the culprit, heading back towards his own goal from another Heaps header, seeing the ball crash onto the crossbar before the deflection fell over the line to give the Revolution a two-goal advantage.
Smith scored a cracking goal in the 90th minute, as a defensive miscue allowed the Bermudan to beat his marker with a solo run before blasting his effort past the poorly positioned Countess at the near post.
MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Jay Heaps (New England Revolution)
Kyle McCarthy is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
Real Salt Lake (5-12-4) vs. New England Revolution (11-4-6)
August 10, 2005 -- Gillette Stadium
NE -- Clint Dempsey 7 (Jay Heaps 2) 12
NE -- Taylor Twellman 10 (Jay Heaps 3, Jose Cancela 4) 16
RSL -- Jason Kreis 8 (unassisted) 31
NE -- own goal (Brian Dunseth) 76
NE -- Khano Smith 2 (unassisted) 90
Real Salt Lake -- D.J. Countess, Rusty Pierce, Brian Dunseth, Eddie Pope, Paul Broome, Chris Brown (Jamie Watson 75), Kenny Cutler, Andy Williams, Seth Trembly (Leslie Fitzpatrick 87), Jason Kreis, Jordan Cila (Brian Kamler 46).
Substitutes Not Used: Nelson Akwari, Jay Nolly.
TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Jason Kreis 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Chris Brown 2, Jason Kreis 2); FOULS: 17 (Seth Trembly 4); OFFSIDES: 2 (Jason Kreis 1, Andy Williams 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Leslie Fitzpatrick 1, Andy Williams 1); SAVES: 4 (D.J. Countess 3)
New England Revolution -- Matt Reis, Jay Heaps, Michael Parkhurst, Avery John (James Riley 65), Steve Ralston, Jose Cancela (Khano Smith 76), Andy Dorman, Shalrie Joseph, Joe Franchino, Taylor Twellman, Clint Dempsey.
Substitutes Not Used: Gilberto Flores, Jeff Larentowicz, Marshall Leonard, Doug Warren, Easton Wilson.
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Taylor Twellman 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Taylor Twellman 3); FOULS: 19 (Clint Dempsey 5); OFFSIDES: 3 (3 tied with 1); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Jose Cancela 5); SAVES: 5 (Matt Reis 4)
RSL -- Seth Trembly (caution; Pushing, Holding) 53
Referee: Ricardo Valenzuela
Referee's Assistants: Thomas Supple; Richard Eddy
4th Official: Erich Simmons
Time of Game: 1:50
All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.