Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis knew that his reserve players were good, but did he know they were this good?
Starting a line up of primarily reserve players worked out very well on Saturday night when Real Salt Lake met the New England Revolution at Gillette stadium. The result was a dominating 2-0 victory for the visiting team.
Following an emotional win in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal on Tuesday night, and with another MLS game coming up Wednesday, it was the perfect time to give the reserve players some game experience.
Real Salt Lake did well to keep possession and limit opportunities for the Revolution. The game was scoreless until the 27th minute when Ned Grabavoy fired a strike that beat the goalkeeper, but not the near post. A Revolution defender cleared the ball out of bounds and Real Salt Lake lined up for a corner kick.
Collen Warner sent a good ball just in front of the net that found the head of defender Chris Schuler, who got just enough of the ball to put it in the back of the net for 1-0 lead.
After the game, Schuler discussed his goal with the KUTV broadcast team and said, “I don’t know how I got free, but I just saw where Collen was looking and I tried to go where I thought he was going to play the ball...he did, and I got the goal.”
The second half started much like the first ended. Real Salt Lake continued to play well and added their second goal in the 47th minute when speedy Brazilian forward Paulo Araujo, Jr. got in front of the defense and slipped a one on one goal just past the goalkeeper for his second of the season.
In the minutes that followed the second goal, a clearly frustrated Revolution team began falling apart emotionally with unnecessary challenges and play that resulted in two of their players being sent off.
Shalrie Joseph was sent off for touching and pushing the face of Kyle Beckerman in frustration, and Pat Phelan left for a two footed sliding challenge that was a reckless play. In the chaos that ensued, Real Salt Lake midfielder Will Johnson was also sent off for getting his second yellow card of the match.
This game marked the third time in as many years that Real Salt Lake has embarrassed the Revolution. Two years ago in Utah, the home team won by a score of 6-0. Last year's game ended 5-0, and tonight they got shut out by the second team.
Next up for Real Salt Lake is a Wednesday night home match against the defending champion Colorado Rapids. Thanks to the second team, they should be prepared and well rested.