Friday night, the New England Revolution extended its losing streak to four in a row by dropping 2-1 to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah for a crowd of 20,513. New England's Darrius Barnes spoiled the shut-out by heading in Chris Tierney’s free kick.
Referee Allen Chapman awarded two penalty kicks to Salt Lake, which were converted by Javier Morales and Joao Plata. The Revolution has now had five penalties called against them this season.
With the result, New England (7-7-2, 23 pts.) remains third in the Eastern Conference and seventh in the MLS table. Real Salt Lake (7-3-7, 28 pts.) stands second in the Western Conference and only below Seattle Sounders across the league.
"I don't think that we played well in the first half - didn't play well enough to win the first half. But I thought throughout the game we were pretty good and did a little bit better job, but a little bit cynical from the referee to give two penalties," said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “I'm not going to talk about the referee over than the fact that from start to finish it was a little bit cynical.
[Real Salt Lake] is a good team. You've to credit Salt Lake. I don't think that they need two penalty kicks to beat you, but tonight I think that's what they needed."
In the Revolution's starting line-up, Bobby Shuttleworth made his first appearance since June 8, replacing Brad Knighton, who played the last three MLS and Open Cup games. For the first time, Andrew Farrell and Jose Goncalves paired together as central defense partners, with limited success. A.J. Soares played deep central midfielder, replacing Andy Dorman, who was suspended for yellow card accumulation. Kelyn Rowe made his fourth start of the season, replacing Teal Bunbury, who had started the team’s first 15 matches at right wing.
Morales converted the first penalty in the 35th minute after the referee called Barnes for undercutting Chris Schuler on a corner kick, but Barnes equalized two minutes later for his only second goal of his long career with New England. Tierney’s assist on Barnes’ goal was his third of the season (and 24th of his career) to advance him into a tie for the team's assist leader. In the 64th minute, Tierney drew a yellow for a foul in the box that resulted in a penalty to RSL, converted by Plata for the final 2-1 score.
The Revolution next travel to face the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, July 8. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Revolution next see MLS action when the team hosts the Chicago Fire at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, July 12. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet. Tickets start at $25 and are available through Ticketmaster outlets and the Revolution Box Office at 877-438-7387.
RSL – Javier Morales (penalty kick) 35
NE – Darrius Barnes (Chris Tierney) 37
RSL – Joao Plata (penalty kick) 65
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Chris Tierney, Jose Goncalves, Andrew Farrell, Darrius Barnes (Steve Neumann 81), Diego Fagundez (Teal Bunbury 63), Daigo Kobayashi, A.J. Soares, Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe, Patrick Mullins (Saer Sene 79)
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Scott Caldwell, Stephen McCarthy, Kevin Alston
STATS: Shots 9, Shots on target 1, Saves 3, Corner kicks 5, Offsides 0, Fouls 14, Possession 39.2%, Passes 281 (73.3%)
Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Chris Schuler, Chris Wingert, Luis Gil (Ned Grabavoy 76), Kyle Beckerman ©, Javier Morales, John Stertzer (Cole Grossman 69), Joao Plata (Abdoulie Mansally 87), Devon Sandoval
Substitutes Not Used: Jeff Attinella, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Aaron Maund, Olmes Garcia
STATS: Shots 14, Shots on target 5, Saves 0, Corner kicks 6, Offsides 3, Fouls 13, Possession 60.8%, Passes 480 (81.4%)
RSL – Chris Wingert (caution) 19
NE – Lee Nguyen (caution) 32
RSL – Javier Morales (caution) 36
NE – Chris Tierney (caution) 64
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell (AR1), Alejandro Mariscal (AR2)
Fourth Official: Tyler Ploeger