For the second consecutive match the MetroStars saw a lead slip away late, Real Salt Lake overcoming a two-goal and one-man disadvantage with a pair of goals in the final 11 minutes to claim a 2-2 draw on Independence Day at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Ante Razov and Mike Magee had given the MetroStars a lead with goals on either side of the halftime break, and they had a further advantage when Brian Dunseth was sent off just before halftime. But Seth Trembly scored a 79th-minute goal for RSL before a last-gasp penalty kick from Jason Kreis gave the draw.
The last time the teams met, gale force winds and rain met the teams for their season opener. The conditions for their Fourth of July meeting in Salt Lake were quite opposite from that day.
RSL had the early momentum, creating several chances on goal. In the 12th minute Kreis was put through by teammate Clint Mathis, but Metros 'keeper Zach Wells did well to fluster Kreis enough so he could not get a shot off.
Wells came up big again in the 25th minute. A corner kick fell to Mathis on the back post and the RSL midfielder drilled a low shot through traffic that was smothered well by Wells.
The momentum then began to shift in the MetroStars favor. First Sergio Galvan Rey buried a bicycle kick, but the apparent goal was disallowed because Galvan Rey was adjudged to have been offside.
Then in the 27th minute the Metros hit with their first dangerous chance coming from a long run from Eddie Gaven who received the ball from about 40 yards out and went directly to goal. He blew by RSL defender Brian Kamler, but was met by a sliding D.J. Countess who made the initial save. The ball then fell to Razov at the top of the box, but his shot went high above the crossbar.
In the closing minutes of the half the Red and Black got on the scoreboard. Galvan Rey unleashed a chance that was punched out by Countess. But the deflection fell right into the path of Razov, who hammered his third goal home for the Metros and his fourth of the year.
Then just before the break Dunseth received a straight red card for a hard challenge on Gaven.
The Metros exploded out of the break, getting their second goal on the night. Mike Magee scored his first since Sept. 11, 2004, Razov getting the assist after being set up by Gaven.
In the 70th two Metros received yellow cards each for separate fouls on Mathis. First, Razov was testing the strength of the material on the Real player's shirt, then seconds later Michael Bradley sent Mathis to the turf with a wicked crack to the shin, also receiving a yellow card.
But against the run of play RSL substitute Trembly made the score 2-1 in the 79th minute. From the corner of the penalty area Trembly curled a surprising shot around Wells inside the far post.
The home side continued to pressure as the Metros were giving the RSL attackers space to run at goal. The pressure finally broke in the final minute of normal time as Kreis was brought down in the box by Carlos Mendes and referee Kevin Terry pointed to the spot for a questionable penalty.
Kreis buried the spot kick for his 97th goal of his MLS career, leaving the MetroStars with a very unsatisfying draw.
MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Jason Kreis (Real Salt Lake)
Scott McAllister is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
MetroStars (5-4-6) vs. Real Salt Lake (3-9-4)
July 04, 2005 -- Rice-Eccles Stadium
MET -- Ante Razov 4 (unassisted) 44
MET -- Mike Magee 1 (Eddie Gaven 4, Ante Razov 2) 48
RSL -- Seth Trembly 2 (Leslie Fitzpatrick 1) 78
RSL -- Jason Kreis 6 (penalty kick) 90
MetroStars -- Zach Wells, Chris Leitch, Jeff Agoos, Jeff Parke, Carlos Mendes, Michael Bradley, Mike Magee (Tim Regan 87), Eddie Gaven, Mark Lisi, Sergio Galvan Rey, Ante Razov.
Substitutes Not Used: Danilo da Silva, Tony Meola, Seth Stammler, Ryan Suarez.
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Ante Razov 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Sergio Galvan Rey 2, Ante Razov 2); FOULS: 16 (3 tied with 3); OFFSIDES: 8 (Sergio Galvan Rey 3, Ante Razov 3); CORNER KICKS: 1 (Mike Magee 1); SAVES: 4 (Zach Wells 3)
Real Salt Lake -- D.J. Countess, Nelson Akwari, Brian Dunseth, Rusty Pierce (Cameron Knowles 14), Brian Kamler (Seth Trembly 76), Andy Williams, Kenny Cutler, Clint Mathis, Chris Brown (Leslie Fitzpatrick 46), Jason Kreis, Jamie Watson.
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Behncke, Nikolas Besagno, Jay Nolly, Leighton O'Brien, Dipsy Selolwane, Dante Washington.
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Jason Kreis 3, Clint Mathis 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Jason Kreis 3); FOULS: 8 (Brian Dunseth 2, Andy Williams 2); OFFSIDES: 6 (Jamie Watson 3); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Andy Williams 5); SAVES: 4 (D.J. Countess 4)
RSL -- Brian Dunseth (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 45
RSL -- Clint Mathis (caution; Dissent) 65
MET -- Ante Razov (caution; Pushing, Holding) 69
MET -- Michael Bradley (caution; Pushing, Holding) 70
RSL -- Seth Trembly (caution; Pushing, Holding) 83
Referee: Kevin Terry
Referee's Assistants: Paul Scott; David Bragg
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
Time of Game: 1:52
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.