Real Salt Lake 2, Revolution 1

Real Salt Lake has the New England Revolution’s number

The Revolution did several things right against Salt Lake. New

England scored first. It played aggressive for 90 minutes, trading

blows with Salt Lake on both ends of the field. None of it proved

enough to shake a lingering jinx the Revolution has experienced in

recent seasons.

Alvaro Saborio scored twice and Salt Lake ran its unbeaten

streak against New England to five games, beating the Revolution

2-1 on Saturday night. The victory also boosted RSL into a

first-place tie with San Jose and Seattle atop the Western

Conference.

Salt Lake (7-3-1) has dealt the Revolution two of their worst

losses in club history during the unbeaten string that stretches to

2009 – winning 6-0 in 2009 and 5-0 in 2010.

Given that history, trailing by a single goal was no

insurmountable obstacle.

”We don’t stop believing,” midfielder Kyle Beckerman said.

”Tonight we went down a goal and there wasn’t any doubt in our

mind that we were going to win this game.”

RSL claimed its latest victory even while playing part of the

second half a man down. Salt Lake yielded the man advantage when

Will Johnson was shown a red card in the 59th minute for a foul on

Clyde Simms. The Revolution lost the man advantage when reserve

forward Fernando Cardenas was given a red card in the 82nd minute

for a foul on Jamison Olave.

Being forced to play only 10 players could have resulted in a

negative momentum shift for RSL. It did not play out that way. Salt

Lake stayed aggressive and kept pounding the ball at the goal,

forcing New England goalkeeper Matt Reis to make several incredible

saves.

”We’re unfazed,” RSL coach Jason Kreis said. ”This team has

probably been through literally every tactical situation there

could be. Everybody probably even knows what we’re doing. We don’t

have to tell them what the shape is going to be. We go into that

shape and carry on.”

New England (3-6-0) struck first on Blake Brettschneider’s goal

in the 22nd minute. He dribbled into the left side of the box and

blasted a right footed shot past RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando into

the right corner.

It was exactly the kind of start the Revolution hoped to get

against their league nemesis.

”We definitely felt confident going forward,” Brettschneider

said. ”It’s a tough place to play with altitude and the

environment. They’re just a good team in general.”

Salt Lake began tied it in the 34th minute. Beckerman dropped

the ball in the middle of a cluster of players outside the

goalmouth, Javier Morales knocked it down with his head and it fell

at Sabario’s feet for an easy goal into an empty net after Reis

dived for the ball.

Saborio put Salt Lake ahead in the 55th minute. Morales booted a

free kick over a three-man defensive wall and sent a cross toward

Saborio near the far post. He outjumped the closest New England

defender and headed the ball into the net.

Morales thought Salt Lake had several more goals left in the

tank, but said the complexion of the game changed entirely once

Johnson left with his red card. From that point on, it was simply

about survival.

”Down a man, it’s hard to play,” Morales said. ”We scored the

second goal and we were playing pretty good. Then another red card

changed the game.”

Johnson will serve a mandatory one-game suspension when Salt

Lake plays the Chicago Fire on Wednesday night. Cardenas will sit

out New England’s home match against the Vancouver Whitecaps next

Saturday.