One would think that a team that boasts players such as Thierry Henry, Rafael Marquez and U.S. National Team players Tim Ream and Juan Agudelo would be a difficult midweek matchup for a visiting team, and they would put together a dominating performance.
Instead, it took all of 21 minutes in the first half for Real Salt Lake to score three times en route to a 3-1 victory over the struggling Red Bulls.
Playing without League MVP candidate Kyle Beckerman who was out due to yellow card accumulation, Real Salt Lake scored early and often to take a dominating lead into the second half.
Forward Alvaro Saborio opened the scoring in the seventh minute by getting around and in front of a defender to get to a corner kick service that glanced off his head, kissed off the near post and found the back of the net.
A stunned Red Bull team tried to counter, but Real Salt Lake struck twice more in the next few minutes.
The second goal came on what looked like a youth league mistake by Tim Ream who had a very unlucky touch that was pushed just far enough in front of his own goal for Real Salt Lake forward Fabian Espindola to gather, move around the goalkeeper and score the goal.
Espindola was able to knock in his second of the game when he found himself one-on-one with the keeper after running onto a well-timed through ball in the middle.
New York did make the game a bit more interesting in the 69th minute when Joel Lindpere put the Red Bulls on the board with a spectacular goal coming from a set piece from the corner.
The team did have a few more good chances but were repeatedly turned away, and in the end, it was not enough to overcome the deficit.
For Real Salt Lake, it was their fifth straight win and 15th point earned in the last few weeks. It helped them to tie the Seattle Sounders for second place in the Western Conference with 51 points each. Both teams trail the Los Angeles Galaxy by just seven points.
The loss for the Red Bulls was especially difficult as it pushes them closer to missing the playoffs. They host the Portland Timbers on Saturday in what is now a must-win match if they want to stay alive for the post season.