for this game

Last-minute goal earns FC Dallas tie with Real Salt Lake

Apr 8, 2007 - 3:17 AM SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- A new year didn't erase old issues for Real Salt Lake.

With under 30 seconds remaining in stoppage time, Carlos Ruiz scored to give FC Dallas a stunning 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake in the season opener for both teams.

Jeff Cunningham scored a pair of goals for Real Salt Lake, which finished last in the Western Conference a year ago, due in part to a disturbing habit of yielding late goals.

"First game, I can't get too fired up about it." Real Salt Lake coach John Ellinger said. "There's 29 plus to go, but we have to close the game out. Here we go again. We missed the playoffs last year by two points and we just gave two points away, that's how I look at it."

This one could not have hurt more. Goaltender Nick Rimando, acquired in the trade that brought 17-year-old Freddy Adu to Utah, made a horrendous decision to cost his team three points.

Off a long direct kick from the sideline, Rimando wandered well out of the net but couldn't gain control of the ball, which appeared to carom off a Real Salt Lake defender and Ruiz before bouncing into a wide-open net to score the equalizer.

Rimando, though, defended his decision to go for the ball.

The ball came into the box, I came out and yelled 'keeper,' " Rimando said. "Jack (Stewart) heads the ball past me and they get a goal. It's tough to swallow right now because we deserved three points."

Ruiz had an assist on the game's opening goal, setting up Kenny Cooper from in close for a 1-0 lead.

"It was good to get a tie as visitors, but I don't think we played as good as we can," Ruiz said.

Cunningham, who led MLS with four multi-goal games last season, tied it at 10 minutes later, punching a shot inside the right post after a defender fell down, leaving goaltender Shaka Hislop out of position.

Real Salt Lake went ahead when Cunningham added an unassisted goal in the 50th minute, corralling a rebound of Jason Kreis' shot and sliding a shot inside the left post.

"I guess it's just our Real luck. Teams just find away to keep points away from us," Cunningham said. "In the first half (our play) was beautiful. We played good football. If we could play like that for 90 minutes then we might have a chance to win a few games this year.

"I was extremely happy the way we played in the first half. Dallas did well, they kept coming at us and they stole a point."

The stunning ending overshadowed the debut of Adu with Real Salt Lake. The teenager drew some raucous cheers from the home crowd.

"We kept possession of the ball pretty well and that's one aspect for the game that this team has gotten much, much better at and I think we proved it out there," Adu said. "FC Dallas is one of the best teams in the league, like I said we just didn't finish the game out.

"At least it wasn't a loss, we just put it past us and concentrate on next week."








  • MLS UPDATE
    FC DALLAS 2
    REAL SALT LAKE 2 FINAL

    GOAL SCORING:
    FC DALLAS - Kenny Cooper in the 19th minute
    - Carlos Ruiz in the 89th minute
    REAL SALT LAKE - Jeff Cunningham in the 29th minute
    - Jeff Cunningham in the 51st minute

    CAUTIONS:
    FC DALLAS - Clarence Goodson in the 28th minute
    - Drew Moor in the 82nd minute
    REAL SALT LAKE - J

    Apr 7 8:32 PM
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  • MLS UPDATE
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    REAL SALT LAKE 2
    FC DALLAS GOAL: Carlos Ruiz in the 89th minute

    FC Dallas vs. Real Salt LakeApr 7 7:58 PM
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    FC DALLAS GOAL: Kenny Cooper in the 19th minute

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