After pulling away with a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute, the New England Revolution could not hold in the second half, conceding two goals to Real Salt Lake and ultimately losing 2-1. The Revolution fall to 2-4-3 on the year, putting them all alone in 7th place with 9 points in the Eastern Conference.
The first half of play was dreadful at best, as the dreary rain seemed to bring on dreary play over the two clubs for the first 45 minutes. On seven corner kicks for the Revs, not one found it’s way on target in the first half. Scoring opened up in the second, starting with a New England goal in the 51st minute from Ryan Guy. Kelyn Rowe controlled the ball beautifully outside the box only to send it over as Guy struck a rocket out of the air and past Real Salt Lake goal keeper Nick Rimando. However Guy’s athletic back flip celebration may have come too soon.
New England fell back into a much too comfortable state following the goal, allowing a Devon Sandoval goal to come in the 77th minute from a rebound off Bobby Shuttleworth. The rookie’s strength was clearly enough to overpower Goncalves in front and tip the ball over Shuttleworth who was recovering from his fall to the ground. Following the equalizer, Olmes Garcia would give Real Salt Lake the lead just 12 minutes later, also sneaking a rebound goal past Bobby in the 89th minute. With the go-ahead goal in place, New England would find themselves in a tough situation down 2-1 with time ticking away.
A controversial yellow was given to Carlos Salcedo in extra time as he dragged down Revolution defender Stephen McCarthy on his attempt to complete a header in the box. This was Salcedo’s second yellow of the match, making the booking a red card with just minutes left. Unfortunately, a semi-healthy Saer Sene could not capitalize on the penalty kick. Keeper Nick Rimando read Sene like a book, moving to his lower-right side for the save and sealing up the victory for Real Salt Lake at 2-1.
Only mixed feelings can come from such a wild match since certain players looked great while others performed under par. Rowe and Nguyen once again continued to shine in the midfield while Andrew Farrell and Stephen McCarthy remained strong in the defensive core. After substitutions, a whole new game came about for Real Salt Lake. They found the back of the net twice and made Juan Toja look foolish towards the final minutes. Jerry Bengtson was once again non-productive, allowing a critical scoring opportunity early in the match to slip away.
Overall the Revs played solid considering their team is still quite injury plagued and an experienced Kalifa Cisse could not make the start in the 4-1-4-1 formation. The defense stood tall for most of the match but scoring will continue to be the focus of the team’s troubles. Just when it looked like the shots on target number was on the rise, New England put up a dismal 3 shots on net while Real recorded 7. Perhaps a healthy Juan Agudelo could turn these stats around since the Jerry-Fagundez scoring combo clearly is not impressing anyone.
The Revolution will look for a critical three points this Saturday when they host their Eastern Conference foe New York Red Bulls. April 20th was the last meeting between the two squads with New York capturing a 4-1 victory at Red Bull Arena. With the talents of Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill coming in, the Revs must step up the scoring to compete with the 20 point team. The match will kickoff at 7:30pm ET at Gillette Stadium. Coverage can be found on Comcast Sportsnet New England and 98.5 The Sports Hub.