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New England 0 – Real Salt Lake 2

Posted on 09 April 2011 by Hank Alexandre

In another game dominated by questionable refereeing, the New England Revolution were shown up by Real Salt Lake’s second string in a 0-2 defeat at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.

Head Coach Steve Nicol made three changes from Wednesday night’s line up, inserting Kenny Mansally on the right wing and Marko Perovic on the left. Franco Coria was the third line up, coming in for AJ Soares who was issued a questionable red card in the match against Vancouver.

Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis made more wholesale changes from his midweek CONCACAF Champions League squad, resting starters Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman, Nat Borchers, Fabian Espindola, Andy Williams and Javier Morales.

Despite the lack of star power, the Real Salt Lake side did more than enough to throw the Revolution off their stride. AS the first half progressed, the Revs were hard pressed to mount any serious attack, much less maintain any possession.

The first real chance from either side came when Bobby Shuttleworth was tested by Salt Lake’s Will Johnson in the 21st minute, but the Revs keeper was equal to the task, jumping high to his left to stop the ball from going into the upper right corner. New England came back minutes later with a scathing shot from Kenny Mansally who took a chance from distance, but his effort sailed over the cross bar.

It was the visitors that would draw first blood however, following an excellent chance by MLS veteran, Salt Lake Midfielder Ned Grabavoy, whose curling shot beat Shuttleworth but deflected off the post before it was cleared out by the Revs’ defense for a Salt Lake corner. Warner’s corner from the left side was inswinger, and Salt Lake centerback Chris Schuler beat everyone to it and headed it into the back of the net.

The goal seemed to energize the Revolution squad as they began to assert themselves on the field. But, despite dominating the run of play and commanding most of the possession, the home side was unable to find an equalizer before the half ran out. Pat Phelan did well to connect with an excellent cross from Kevin Alston in the 42nd minute, but his header could not find the frame. Marko Perovic won a free kick in the 44th minute, however his effort could not find the corner. Finally in stoppage time Zack Schilawski missed with his header from Stephen McCarthy’s cross.

The second half saw two substitutions from the Revs as they shifted to a true 4-4-2, moving Perovic up top and taking off Schilawski and McCarthy and introducing Sainey Nyassi on the right hand side and Ilija Stolica at forward. It would be Salt Lake however to capitalize again, this time on a break away from Paulo Araujo, Jr., who was led into open space behind the Revs’ back line by Collen Warner. Paulo Jr , one on one with Shuttleworth slotted the ball home and took the 2-0 lead.

New England again steeled themselves and pushed forward into the attack, first winning a corner kick in the 49th minute, followed by a right footed blast from Perovic. Reserve Salt Lake keeper Kyle Reynish was well positioned to make the save, and denied the Serbian striker’s bid for his first goal of the season.

The Revs were forced to use their final substitution in the 53rd minute, as Ryan Cochrane left the field with an injury, and Darrius Barnes came on, making only his second appearance of the season.

Minutes later, Salt Lake mustered another attack in the 58th minute, again through Paulo, Jr. This time Shuttleworth was equal to the task, again diving to his left to make the save. Almost immediately New England countered with another attack from Perovic, whose effort moved left.

In the 60th minute, the tension on the field began to escalate as Kevin Alston collided with Will Johnston, who caromed hard off the defender and into the field side advertising boards. Alston, who picked up a yellow card for the foul, had words with Arturo Alvarez, who somehow escaped disciplinary action after shoving Alston in front of Referee Jason Anno.

Perhaps sensing more yellow cards were coming, Kreis subbed off Jean Alexandre, and put in his normal starting midfielder Kyle Beckerman in the 62 minute. Beckerman almost immediately had an impact on the match, as he instigated an argument with Revolution captain Shalrie Joseph. Joseph, who pointed his finger into Beckerman’s face more than once, was shown a straight red card in the 70th minute, and the game deteriorated from there.

Despite a handful of chances from both sides, the story on the pitch once again became about the officiating. Referee Jason Anno, having already sent off Joseph, tacked on another red card to his midfield partner Pat Phelan. He then issued a second yellow to Will Johnson, resulting in three ejections in one game.

This was the second game in less than a week for the Revs that had three ejections.

With a 10 man Salt Lake team facing 9 men from New England, the remainder of play slightly favored the visitors, as it had for most of the match. Coach Nicol said of his team’s performance “we weren’t good…first half we probably found their men more times than we found our own. If you do that, I don’t care who you play against, You’re going to be in trouble. You have to give them credit, they had great shape, and kept solid.”

Due to the red cards, the Revs will be without the services of Joseph and Phelan when they head to take on Houston on Sunday, April 17th. However they hope to have the services of new signing, danish striker Rajko Lekic, provided his paperwork is complete, as well as veteran French midfielder Ousmane Dabo, who is expected to return to full training next week.

Scoring Summary:
RSL – Chris Schuler (Collen Warner) 27
RSL – Paulo Jr. (Collen Warner) 47

New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Didier Domi, Franco Coria, Ryan Cochrane (Darrius Barnes 53), Kevin Alston, Pat Phelan, Shalrie Joseph ©, Stephen McCarthy (Ilija Stolica 46), Kenny Mansally, Zack Schilawski (Sainey Nyassi 46), Marko Perovic

Substitutes Not Used: Tim Murray, Chris Tierney, Kheli Dube, Zak Boggs

STATS*: Shots: 9; Shots on Goal: 3; Saves: 4; Corner Kicks: 2; Offside: 0; Fouls Committed: 19

Real Salt Lake: Kyle Reynish, Tony Beltran, Rauwshan McKenzie, Chris Schuler, Robbie Russell, Ned Grabavoy, Collen Warner (Luis Gil 79), Jean Alexandre (Kyle Beckerman 62), Will Johnson ©, Arturo Alvarez, Paulo Araujo

Substitutes Not Used: Nick Rimando, Nat Borchers, Fabian Espindola, Javier Morales, Andy Williams

STATS*: Shots: 14; Shots on Goal: 6; Saves: 3; Corner Kicks: 4; Offside: 1; Fouls Committed: 16

* Note that all statistics are unofficial

Misconduct Summary:
NE – Franco Coria (caution) 34
RSL – Jean Alexandre (caution) 37
NE – Ilija Stolica (caution) 51
NE – Kevin Alston (caution) 60
NE – Shalrie Joseph (ejection) 70
RSL – Chris Schuler (caution) 74
RSL – Will Johnson (caution) 84
NE – Pat Phelan (ejection) 85
NE – Didier Domi (caution) 86
RSL – Will Johnson (caution) 87
RSL – Will Johnson (second caution/ejection) 87

Referee: Jasen Anno
Assistant Referees: Bill Ditmar, Eric Proctor
Fourth Official: Niko Bratsis
Weather: Clear, 50 degrees
Attendance: 7,970

New England: 1-1-3, 6 pts.
Real Salt Lake: 3-0-0, 9 pts.

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Preview: Real Salt Lake @ New England

Posted on 08 April 2011 by Matty Jollie

Fresh off a semi-final victory over Saprissa (Costa Rica) in the CONCACAF Champions League, Real Salt Lake comes to Foxboro on Saturday night to take on the Revolution, who are coming off two draws against each of the new expansion sides in MLS. RSL could quite possibly be the most in form team not only in MLS, but CONCACAF itself, as they have already booked a spot in the CCL Final and sit undefeated in MLS play as well. New England, while unbeaten, have done it with a bit of luck, good defense, and quick starts thus far in their MLS campaign. So, with two unbeaten sides, something may have to give on Saturday night, let’s see how it will shake down.

GOALKEEPER – Nick Rimando sits between the sticks for RSL, and possesses quite possibly the safest pair of hands in the league. Rimando is a great backbone to an already stout defense, and provides the Salt Lake side with a great last line of defense. New England is a bit of a question mark in goal, with Matt Reis still struggling with an abductor strain (Reis didn’t make the trip to Vancouver) which means it will most likely be Bobby Shuttleworth in net for the Revs, who has shown he can come up big when needed. ADVANTAGE: Real Salt Lake. Rimando is healthy, and in-form.

DEFENSE – Philadelphia Union color-commentator, and former Revs standout, Taylor Twellman posed a great question via Twitter during the CCL Semi-Final the other night, asking who the best CB tandem in the league was, and most answered with Olave and Borchers. These two strong, physical players are firing on all cylinders and have made this Salt Lake defense very difficult to score against. New England has been a pleasant surprise thus far this season, with an infusion of youth into their back line. First-round pick A.J. Soares (unavailable due to red card) has been a solid addition, as has Franco Coria. However, through injury and suspension, look for familiar face Darrius Barnes to get some minutes, paired with veteran Ryan Cochrane. ADVANTAGE: Real Salt Lake, but it’s closer than you think.

MIDFIELD – The Revolution have found a midfield tandem they are comfortable with, but it still remains a work in progress. Pat Phelan has done a nice job patrolling the defensive midfield with rookie Stephen McCarthy, and Zak Boggs and Sainey Nyassi have injected energy down the flanks. However, the Revs midfielder is all about captain Shalrie Joseph, whose play has ignited the Revs midfield, including his two goals early in the season. If the Revs are going to have a chance against Real Salt Lake, the possession control MUST be better. The Revs have struggled maintaining possession of late, and it’s an area of much needed improvement, which when improved, will also increase the quality of service to the forwards up top. Real Salt Lake has two standout players in the midfield, with Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales. Beckerman is the team’s midfield general, providing the team with energy and physical play, while Morales is more of the talisman of the RSL midfield, creating chances through set pieces and the run of play. There is certainly a strong quality coming from the RSL midfield, and if the Revs are to come away from this match with some points, it’s going to have to come through containing Morales and winning possession. ADVANTAGE: Real Salt Lake, but again, it’s closer than you think.

FORWARDS – Second year forward Zack Schilawski has done a really nice job as the lone striker in Nicol’s 4-5-1 formation, holding up play well and winning possession, however, the question marks lie in the service Schilawski is provided with. Schilawski (and Stolica, for that matter) aren’t the type of dynamic striker that can create their own opportunities, and need proper service from the flanks and midfield if they are to be successful, and thus far, it’s been lacking. For the Revs to be successful, the service needs to be of better quality. Real Salt Lake has a nice mixture of youth and experience up top, with veterans Andy Williams and Alvaro Saborio pairing with Arturo Alvarez and Fabian Espindola. Saborio is certainly the centerpiece here, and if he’s provided with good support, he can be extremely dangerous. The Real Salt Lake forwards aren’t overly physical, so it’s going to be a matter of containing the speed and skill of their dynamic strikers for the Revs’ defense. ADVANTAGE: Real Salt Lake. The service absolutely has to improve if the Revolution want to score goals.

COACHING – Jason Kreis may be young, but it is extremely difficult to argue with the results he’s put up so far in MLS, and now, even in the CONCACAF Champions’ League. He’s the general of the hottest team in the region, and it seems like every move he has made has turned to gold. Steve Nicol, while still getting results, is impressive in another manner. There’s no question the Revs are nowhere near healthy, but Nicol continues to find ways to get points and move up the table. ADVANTAGE: Push. But if you had to choose, how could Kreis’ achievement as youngest MLS Cup winning coach not sway your decision?

PREDICTION – It is almost impossible to see the Revs even stealing a point here at home. If you watched the Vancouver match, you know the Revolution put up a horrible display up two men for almost 30 minutes, and with another cross-country trip to get back home and play again in 3 days, it doesn’t look good for the home side on Saturday night. SCORE: Real Salt Lake 3 – New England 1.

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Reds hope to snap slump in Utah

Posted on 28 July 2008 by Scott Ferguson

Toronto FC will travel to Salt Lake on Monday night, hoping to steal three points from the same ground they took their first ever away win last season.

Winless in nine matches (including friendlies and Canadian Championship results), Toronto are in danger of seeing the wheels come off their playoff dreams. Last year, a 2-1 win at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Independence Day was enough to give hope to the Reds, but poor away form through the rest of the campaign doomed the Canadian club to last place in the league.

Dismal road form has been a thorn in the side of John Carver’s men in 2008 once again, having claimed just one win from seven trips. That performance, a 3-2 victory over Los Angeles in April, gave rise to hopes that Toronto may have turned around their away jinx, but recent results have shown that a huge gap remains between the club’s away performances and their play with BMO Field’s notoriously loyal fans behind them.

Real Salt Lake are flying high in just their fourth season, sitting atop the Western Conference, although the split table can be deceiving given the relative poor play of the sides from the West this season. RSL sit just two points up from Toronto in the overall standings with two games in hand, but the Reds are mired in fourth in the East and hovering around the playoff zone.

Carver will miss Maurice Edu and Marvell Wynne, both a part of the United States’ Olympic team (along with RSL’s Chris Seitz) in China. Rumours persist that American striker Chad Barrett will join the club from Chicago as part of the deal that sees Toronto give up their right to acquire veteran hitman Brian McBride, but the forward is unlikely to join up with the squad until after the RSL trip.

Todd Dunivant has been placed on the season-ending injury list in a move that will free up salary cap space for Barrett. Fan favourite Danny Dichio is still out with a concussion; while Kevin Harmse, one of Wynne’s natural replacements at right back, may be unable to reach fitness with a knee problem. Youngster Nana-Attakora Gyan or centerback Marco Vélez may fill in on the right side of defense.

Olivier Tébily is listed as questionable for tonight’s game with an ankle injury, but rumours on fan sites persist that the French defender has returned to Europe, citing an inability to settle in Toronto. Whether he appears on the bench with the Reds in Salt Lake may be telling.

Countryman Laurent Robert, a friend of Tébily who helped him to adjust to life in Canada, is likely to start in Utah but will have to be wary of his discipline. One more yellow card will see the left winger miss TFC’s next match.

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Twelfth man helps TFC to home win

Posted on 21 April 2008 by Scott Ferguson

Six days after a win in Los Angeles, their highest-scoring away trip yet, Toronto FC made it two in a row with a 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

Both sides were on a high going into the match, with Salt Lake having hammered D.C. United 4-0 last week for an historic victory of their own. With confidence running high going into the BMO Field encounter, Salt Lake boss Jason Kreis had warned of the intense atmosphere at the Toronto stadium. He was proved right as the sold-out crowd got firmly behind the home side in their 2008 stadium opener.

Six months of pent-up emotion was in evidence from the 20 219 in attendance, and the crowd inspired their side to take the game to Salt Lake early on. John Carver fielded a 4-5-1 similar to the lineup he used at LA last week with Rohan Ricketts coming into the side on the right wing.

Along with Laurent Robert and Amado Guevara, Ricketts was threatening the Salt Lake defense, but Danny Dichio was largely isolated up front without an out-and-out striker beside him. Central midfield was the scene of a battle between Kyle Beckerman and the Toronto duo of Carl Robinson and Maurice Edu.

Toronto’s pressure was drawing a series of fouls from their visitors, and referee Silviu Petrescu called a free kick just outside Salt Lake’s goal when Matias Mantilla hauled down Guevara on the half hour mark. Guevara and Robert stood over the free kick while Robinson tried to disrupt the wall, and with Robert expected to blast one, the French winger took a low strike that took a deflection on its way through the throng of players and trickled past Rimando.

The goal, Robert’s first in a TFC shirt, came right in front of the south end, and the Ultras groups led the celebrations that echoed through the ground. With their first home goal of the season behind them, Toronto kept creating chances, but Marvell Wynne’s left-shooted shot was palmed away by Rimando just minutes after Robert’s goal.

Salt Lake started stronger in the second half with Toronto’s confidence starting to seep as they tried to defend their lead. It was unfamiliar ground for the Canadian club, who were on the losing end throughout much of last season.

The visitors had three corners just after half time but were kept at bay throughout the second half. TFC goalkeeper Greg Sutton and centerback pairing Tyrone Marshall and Marco Vélez did their part in shutting out Salt Lake, with Vélez particularly vindicated for a slow start to the season.

Toronto sit at .500 for the first time in the club’s history and will look to push past that mark this Saturday. Kansas City visit BMO Field in the second of a five game home stand, and if the rumour mill is to be believed, Olivier Tébily may be available for Toronto FC by that time. The French defender is widely expected to sign for the Reds in the coming days.Other new arrivals may include youth director Chris Cummins and former MLS defender Tim Regan, who is expected to take up a head scout position with Toronto. Early reports indicated that Regan would take up a technical director role with the club, but it is believed that such a job title — increasingly popular in MLS — would conflict with Director of Soccer Mo Johnston’s duties.

While Cummins had worked with TFC coach John Carver at Luton, Regan was an old college of Johnston, who coached the American defender at New York three years ago. Johnston drafted Regan in Toronto’s expansion campaign, but before a ball was kicked in 2007 Regan was back at New York for a second spell. He played just three times last year and was waived by NYRB, going on to attend graduate studies in North Carolina.

Regan is likely to head up a revamped scouting network in Toronto with a focus on American and Latin American players as the club seeks to establish itself both on and off the pitch in their sophomore season. In the stands, things are as healthy as ever, and the players and support staff alike will be looking to reward that support with maximum points through the present run of home matches.

Game Capsule

Real Salt Lake (1-2-1) vs. Toronto FC (2-2-0)
April 19, 2008 — BMO Field

Scoring Summary:
TOR — Laurent Robert 1 (unassisted) 31

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Ian Joy (Andy Williams 62), Matias Mantilla, Chris Wingert, Nat Borchers, Kyle Beckerman, Dema Kovalenko (Yura Movsisyan 79), Nathan Sturgis (Carey Talley 27), Javier Morales, Kenny Deuchar, Robbie Findley.

Substitutes Not Used: Tony Beltran, Fabian Espindola, Jamison Olave, Chris Seitz

Toronto FC — Greg Sutton, Marvell Wynne, Tyrone Marshall, Marco Velez, Jim Brennan, Rohan Ricketts (Jarrod Smith 84), Maurice Edu, Carl Robinson, Laurent Robert (Todd Dunivant 81), Amado Guevara, Danny Dichio (Jeff Cunningham 90).

Substitutes Not Used: Brian Edwards, Kevin Harmse, Julius James, Andrea Lombardo

Misconduct Summary:
TOR — Marco Velez (caution; Pushing, Holding) 73
RSL — Chris Wingert (caution; Reckless Foul) 78

Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Referee’s Assistants: Amato DeLuca; Kermit Quisenberry
4th official: Paul Ward
time of game: 1:50
attendance: 20,219
weather: Clear -and- 75 degrees

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Home opener looms, roster taking shape

Posted on 15 April 2008 by Scott Ferguson

Toronto FC waived defender Andrew Boyens on Tuesday, freeing up an international roster spot on transfer deadline day. Unattached French defender Olivier Tébily is still rumored to be on TFC’s radar, as the ex-Birmingham stopper would bolster a central defensive unit consisting of Marco Vélez, Tyrone Marshall and draft picks Julius James and Pat Phelan.

The back line has hardly inspired confidence in their first three Major League Soccer matches as a unit, conceding eight goals including a clumsy penalty against LA Galaxy on Sunday. The side’s offensive output in California was enough to steal three points, however, and the crowd at BMO Field will welcome the side home as returning heroes after their 3-2 win in Los Angeles.

While Director of Soccer Mo Johnston and head coach John Carver were slow to bring in new faces over the offseason, they’ve come thick and fast in recent weeks, with the team’s poor performance in Columbus seemingly enough to spur on the signings of midfielders Laurent Robert, Amado Guevara and Rohan Ricketts. Both Robert, who had one game under his belt already, and Guevara were impressive in the LA win. Guevara set up Danny Dichio for the opening goal and Robert notched two assists in the course of the match, including a pinpoint pass for Jeff Cunningham to win the ball and finish past Steve Cronin late on.

Strikers Dichio, Cunningham and Jarrod Smith were all on the mark on Sunday, but fans are still hoping to see a young striker recruited in time for next week’s home game against Kansas City Wizards. Simon Lynch, the Scottish forward who was born in Montreal, has spent time with the Queensland Roar in Australia and would not count as an international on the Toronto roster. He has been rumoured to be a target for TFC.

As long as Dichio and Cunningham stay healthy, the front line has ample backup in Smith and Andrea Lombardo, but the starting duo could only garner 33 appearances between them in an injury-plagued 2007. Accordingly, ex-Newcastle United physio Paul Winsper has been brought in as a strength and conditioning coach, and his expertise appeared to show as Toronto stayed the sharper side in the California sun against Los Angeles.

Lombardo, the Canadian under-23 international, showed promise last season but may have been forced into extended first-team action too soon by the raft of injuries that faced Toronto. The Atalanta youth product has had success with Canada’s under-20 team but was largely restricted toto substitute appearances for Canada’s Olympic side in Beijing 2008 qualifying earlier this year.

With Toronto’s midfield finally set, the last pieces of the puzzle might consist in a starting centerback and more depth in the forward line, but it remains unlikely that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the club’s owners, will use their Designated Player spot in 2008. With five straight home games on the horizon and just three points under their belt thus far, TFC’s notorious home advantage will have to serve them well in the coming weeks. The Reds wrap up their home stand on May 21st with a chance to exact revenge on D.C. United for the 4-1 drubbing they suffered at RFK Stadium last weekend.

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