FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Defender Chris Schuler scored the first goal of his MLS career and Paulo Jr. added an insurance tally early in the second half as Real Salt Lake claimed a 2-0 win over the New England Revolution on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
It was the first loss of the season for the Revs (1-1-3, 6 pts.), who had started the 2011 campaign unbeaten through four games. Real Salt Lake (3-0-0, 9 pts.), meanwhile, remains perfect and the victory vaulted them to the top of the Western Conference standings.
Schuler scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 27th minute, getting on the end of Collen Warner’s corner kick and directing a header inside the far post. Paulo Jr. doubled RSL’s lead just two minutes into the second half when he finished off another Warner feed.
Both teams finished shorthanded as three red cards were handed out for the second straight game involving the Revolution. Shalrie Joseph and Pat Phelan were ejected for the Revs, while RSL’s Will Johnson was also given his marching orders.
Franco Coria and Marko Perovic both returned to the Revolution’s starting lineup after missing time with left hamstring strains, while Kenny Mansally earned his first start of the season to complete the changes. Coria replaced the suspended A.J. Soares in central defense, while Perovic and Mansally took over for Sainey Nyassi and Zak Boggs on the wings.
Bobby Shuttleworth earned his second straight start between the pipes for the Revs, filling in for the injured Matt Reis (R adductor strain).
Real Salt Lake opened the scoring in the 27th minute, capitalizing on a set piece after a relatively quiet opening. Ned Grabavoy came inches from breaking through when his curling 25-yard drive kicked off the inside of the right post, but Ryan Cochrane was on hand to play the rebound over the end line. RSL took advantage of the ensuing corner kick, however, with Schuler rising above Shuttleworth to flick home Warner’s service.
Phelan had the Revolution’s best chance to equalize before the halftime break, but his glancing header from Kevin Alston’s right-wing cross flashed wide of the left post in the 42nd minute.[inline_node:436556]
After struggling to generate much of an attack in the opening 45 minutes, the Revs made two changes at halftime and switched to a 4-4-2 formation. Nyassi and Ilija Stolica entered, replacing Zack Schilawski and Stephen McCarthy, respectively.
Despite the changes, it was RSL which began the second half brightly and the visitors doubled their advantage in the 47th minute. Warner was the setup man once again, springing Paulo Jr. down the right wing with a perfectly weighted through ball. The Brazilian raced uncontested into the box and finished expertly inside the near post.
Trailing by two goals, the Revs began to press and almost cut the deficit in half in the 59th minute. Perovic wriggled free 25 yards from goal and unleashed a blistering drive, but his effort flew just wide of the left post. The Serb threatened again in the 68th minute from a similar position, but this time his shot was straight at Salt Lake goalkeeper Kyle Reynish.
The Revolution’s task became infinitely more difficult in the 70th minute, however, when Joseph was issued a straight red card following an altercation with Kyle Beckerman. Two more red cards were issued as the game entered its final stages, with Phelan shown straight red for a challenge on Robbie Russell and Johnson handed a second yellow card for his part in the ensuing scrum.
The Revs will return to the road next weekend when they pay a visit to the Houston Dynamo on Sunday, April 17. Kickoff from Robertson Stadium is set for 7 p.m. ET.
New England Revolution vs. Real Salt Lake
April 9, 2011 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
Real Salt Lake 2, New England Revolution 0
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
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
New England: 1-1-3, 6 pts.
Real Salt Lake: 3-0-0, 9 pts.
- With the loss, the Revs snapped their four-game undefeated streak to start the season … this is the second latest game in a season in which the team suffered its first loss … in only one other season – 2005, when the team started with an 11-game undefeated streak – did the team lose its first game deeper into the season
- With the loss, the Revs dropped their third straight to Real Salt Lake and moved to 4-6-3 all-time against RSL … at home, New England is now 2-3-2 against RSL
- Marko Perovic made his first start since the season opener at LA on March 20, when he played just 22 minutes before coming off with a left hamstring strain … he had missed three games with the injury
- Franco Coria returned to the lineup after missing the last two games with a left hamstring strain … after starting the season opener, he played 48 minutes in the home opener against DC before leaving with the injury
- Rookie defender A.J. Soares missed the game while serving a one-game red-card suspension after being ejected in the Revs’ last game at Vancouver on Wednesday night
- Bobby Shuttleworth earned his second-straight start in goal after his one-save, one-goal effort at Vancouver on Wednesday … the Revs’ usual starting goalkeeper, Matt Reis, is still out with a right adductor strain
- Kevin Alston played his first game with a plastic fitted mask on his face after breaking his nose on Wednesday night in a collision with Vancouver’s Eric Hassli
- Kenny Mansally made his first start of the 2011 season after coming on as a substitute in three previous games
- Ryan Cochrane left the game in the 53rd minute with a hip pain
- RSL was the Revs’ fourth Western Conference opponent in five games so far this season
- Tonight was the first game of the 2011 season in which the Revs surrendered more than one goal
- With Shalrie Joseph’s ejection in the 70th minute, he will be unavailable for next Sunday’s game at Houston … it is his fifth career ejection, and his first since Sept. 5, 2009 in a home match against Kansas City
- After Shalrie Joseph’s red card, Franco Coria moved into the center of midfield next to Pat Phelan
- Pat Phelan’s ejection in the 85th minute was the first red card in his four-year MLS career, and he will also miss the Revs’ game on Sunday in Houston
- This is the first game in which the Revs saw two players red carded since May 1, 2010, when Kheli Dube and Joseph Niouky were both shown red
- Tonight’s game marked the first time in the 2011 season that the Revs were shut out by their opponent
- This week marked the first of seven weeks this season in which the team will two games in one competition week