SANDY, Utah – Alvaro Saborio scored his team-leading sixth and seventh goals of the season while Fabian Espindola, Jamison Olave and Robbie Findley all added solo strikes to lead Real Salt Lake to a convincing 5-0 win over the New England Revolution on Friday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The five-goal margin of victory matched the second-worst regular-season loss in Revolution history, only surpassed by New England’s 6-0 loss to RSL on its last visit to Rio Tinto Stadium in April of last year. Combined, the Revs have been outscored by a margin of 11-0 in two visits to Real Salt Lake’s home in Sandy, Utah.
With the win, RSL (8-3-3, 27 pts.) extended its club-record unbeaten streak to nine games and is now undefeated in its last 18 regular-season home games dating back to last season. Meanwhile, the Revs (3-9-2, 11 pts.) have dropped three straight and haven’t scored a goal since a 3-2 win over the New York Red Bulls in late May.
Espindola scored what proved to be the game-winner in the 27th minute, while Olave provided the dagger when he made it 2-0 in first-half stoppage time. The floodgates opened in the second half, when Saborio scored twice in a five-minute span (52nd and 57th minutes) before Findley – in his first appearance since returning from World Cup duty with the U.S. National Team – rounded out the scoring in the 85th minute.
With rookie midfielder Zak Boggs unavailable after sustaining a concussion, head coach Steve Nicol made a few changes from the lineup which suffered a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Fire last Sunday. Chris Tierneymoved up from left back into Boggs’ spot in left midfield, while Seth Sinovic took Tierney’s place on the backline. Meanwhile, Jason Griffiths – who made his MLS debut with a substitute appearance against the Fire after signing with the Revs last week – made his first career start alongside Shalrie Joseph in central midfield.
The Revolution started on the front foot and briefly controlled possession in the opening stages, but it was Real Salt Lake which had the game’s first quality scoring chance in the eighth minute. Emmanuel Osei’s handball set up a free kick in a dangerous area 25 yards from goal, which Javier Morales stepped up to take. Morales’ free kick got up and over the wall, but New England goalkeeper Matt Reis dove full stretch to his right to push the ball around the post.
The opportunity seemed to spark life into the hosts and they increased their command of the game as the first half wore on. Kevin Alston came to the Revolution’s rescue twice in the 20th minute, first clearing a header off the line before repeating the feat on Robbie Russell’s follow-up attempt.
Alston could do nothing to prevent RSL from taking the lead in the 27th minute, however, as the defending champions finally made their pressure pay off with the opening goal. A long, searching ball from Russell near midfield sprung Espindola, who controlled the ball with his chest and eluded Osei before placing a left-footed shot across Reis’ body and inside the far post.
Salt Lake came inches from doubling its lead when Espindola turned provider for Will Johnson in the 39th minute, but Johnson poked his shot wide of the right post at the end of an odd-man break.
The Revs were provided no such luck in first-half stoppage time, however, as Olave got on the end of a Morales free kick to give RSL a deserved 2-0 lead going into the break. Morales’ curling service came from the edge of the box on the right wing, and Olave peeled off his man before expertly placing his header from six yards out.
It was more of the same to start the second half as Saborio scored his first goal of the game to give the hosts a 3-0 lead in the 53rd minute. The play was set up by Russell’s whipped right-wing cross, leaving Saborio with the task of eluding his marker and poking a shot into the upper right corner from six yards out.
Saborio benefited from some more clever service to notch his second of the game – and team-leading seventh of the season – in the 57th minute. Morales was given acres of space to maneuver down the right wing and he used the time to blast a low cross into the box. The pass was a bit behind Saborio, but he did well to cleverly back-heel the ball past the surprised Reis and put the game well out of reach.
Griffiths responded with the Revolution’s best chance of the game in the 59th minute, but his 20-yard blast was comfortably saved by RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando as he dove to his right.
RSL had numerous chances to get its fifth and finally did so in the 85th minute, when Findley cut inside from the left wing, moved across the box and finished with an accurate shot just inside the right post.
Next up for the Revolution is a meeting with 2010 FIFA World Cup hero Landon Donovan and the league-leading LA Galaxy on Saturday, July 10. Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
New England Revolution (3-9-2, 11pts.) at. Real Salt Lake (8-3-3, 27 pts.)
July 2, 2010 – Rio Tinto Stadium (Sandy, Utah)
RSL – Fabian Espindola (Robbie Russell) 27
RSL – Jamison Olave (Javier Morales) 47+
RSL – Alvaro Saborio (Robbie Russell, Will Johnson) 52
RSL – Alvaro Saborio (Javier Morales) 57
RSL – Robbie Findley (Unassisted) 85
New England Revolution: Matt Reis (GK), Seth Sinovic, Cory Gibbs, Emmanuel Osei, Kevin Alston, Chris Tierney, Jason Griffiths, Shalrie Joseph © (Joseph Niouky 56), Sainey Nyassi (Kheli Dube 61), Marko Perovi? (Kenny Mansally 57), Zack Schilawski
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Michael Videira, Nico Colaluca, Pat Phelan
STATS: Shots: 10; Shots on Goal: 4; Saves: 5; Corner Kicks: 2; Offside: 0; Fouls Committed: 10
Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando (GK) ©, Chris Wingert, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Robbie Russell, Will Johnson (Jean Alexandre 61), Javier Morales (Collen Warner 72), Ned Grabavoy, Andy Williams, Alvaro Saborio, Fabian Espindola (Robbie Findley 46)
Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish, Tony Beltran, Rauwshan McKenzie, Pablo Campos,
STATS: Shots: 24;Shots on Goal: 12; Saves: 4; Corner Kicks: 11; Offside: 5; Fouls Committed: 9
RSL – Fabian Espindola (caution) 21
RSL - Chris Wingert (caution) 47
Referee: Kevin Stott ?
Referee’s Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry (SAR), Peter Balciunas (JAR)?
Fourth Official: Tyler Ploeger?
Weather: Clear, 91 degrees
- The New England loss knots up the all-time series between the two clubs at 4-4-3 in 11 meetings … the Revs are now 2-3-1 when playing at Real Salt Lake and 0-2-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium since the facility opened last year.
- The Revs have still not beaten a Western Conference team on the road this year … the club is now 0-4-0 when playing at .a Western Conference team in 2010 … dating back to last season, New England is now 0-6-1 on the road against Western Conference clubs since late 2009, with its last win coming in the form of a 1-0 win at Seattle on Aug. 20, 2009.
- Jason Griffiths made his first career MLS start at midfield and played the full 90 minutes.
- Joseph Niouky did not start for the first game this season that he was available for … Niouky has missed two games (May 5 vs. Chivas USA and June 27 vs. Chicago) because of a straight red card against Colorado (May 1) and the Chicago match with an accumulation of five bookings … Niouky did come on as a substitute in the second half for Shalrie Joseph in the 56th minute.
- Cory Gibbs took over as captain in the second half when Shalrie Joseph was subbed for … it was the ninth time this season that Gibbs wore the captain’s armband.
- The Revolution conceded the first goal of the match for the ninth time in 14 games this season … New England is now 1-8-0 when surrendering the initial goal in a game … the only time in 2010 the Revs came from behind to win was in the home opener, a 4-1 win over Toronto FC on April 10.
- New England conceded two or more first half goals for the fourth game this season.
- Pat Phelan did not make an appearance for the first time in 14 games this season.
- The Revs have been outscored 11-0 in two games at Rio Tinto Stadium.
- New England was shut out for the eighth time this season, the fifth of its last six games and for the third straight … the Revs have not scored a goal in 280 minutes of play.