for this game

Revolution edge Real Salt Lake on penalty kick

Jul 29, 2007 - 4:58 AM By Chris Bellamy PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) - Things got a little rough between the New England Revolution and Real Salt Lake Saturday night, and once again in a series full of disappointments, Salt Lake took the brunt of the suffering in a 2-1 defeat.

Just 10 minutes after scoring the game-tying goal by way of a penalty kick, RSL midfielder Carey Talley got called for a foul of his own that ended up costing his team yet another win.

On the ensuing free kick, Revolution midfielder Jeff Larentowicz broke the stalemate, drilling the game-winner just inside the left goalpost as New England escaped Rice-Eccles Stadium with the victory.

"Jeff has always had the ability to hit the ball like that," Revolution coach Steve Nicol said. "We've tried to encourage him to take more shots, to step up and to be fair to the goalkeeper, he didn't have a chance."

Real Salt Lake was without teen standout Freddy Adu, who reportedly is on the verge of signing a contract to play in Portugal.

After the Revolution took a 1-0 advantage into the half, things got decidedly more physical in the second half.

Salt Lake midfielder Andy Williams was given a red card in the 67th minute after slide-tackling Andy Dorman, who laid on the field for several moments before being helped up.

"It hurt us a lot. Obviously when you are down a goal and down a man, it is a difficult, difficult prospect," RSL coach Jason Kreis said of losing Williams. "Andy, I think, was really starting to come into the game. It took him long enough, but he was starting to come into it.

"I really felt like the team was really playing well in the second half, and the momentum was really running our way. We sure would have loved to had seen that not happen."

Nonetheless, just five minutes later, RSL capitalized on a similar play. In the 72nd minute, New England defender Jay Heaps took out Kyle Beckerman's legs, giving Salt Lake a penalty kick.

Talley took full advantage, rolling the equalizer just past goalkeeper Matt Reis.

"I wanted it," Talley said of the PK chance. "I've wanted it every time we've gotten a penalty this year. I want to help lead this team."

But the officials continued to call the game close, and eventually the right opportunity presented itself in the form of Talley's foul.

"About the call at the end, I would rather not get fined so I'll leave it at that," Talley said. "You have to be a good defender and hold 'em up at the top of the box. ... It would be better off if the men on the field, who are playing in the uniforms, decided who wins the game."

Larentowicz's game-winner was his second goal of the season. While New England (8-3-6) increased its lead in the Eastern Conference standings, RSL (1-9-6) dropped further out of the playoff hunt and now may be a man down for the rest of the season.

"I think it would be an easy thing to sit up here and criticize the referees," Kreis said. "That is easy; maybe too easy. What we need to do is focus on not putting ourselves in a position to be like that at the end of a game at home."

Adu, acquired by the club from D.C. United this offseason, was absent from Saturday's game, as the team gave him permission to negotiation with Portuguese team Benefica.

It is likely that Adu who has a goal and two assists on the season has played his last game with Real Salt Lake.

"It really doesn't matter," Talley said. "If he's here, he's here; if he's not, he's not. We'd like to have him, but ... that's just the way it goes in soccer sometimes."

As recently as Friday, Adu was expected to be play before his sudden departure. His teammates couldn't be sure how much of an effect his absence actually had.

"Yesterday he was in the starting lineup. We found out today that he wasn't, and he's a dangerous player," RSL midfielder Kyle Beckerman said. "But we still felt like we could win the game. We won't use that as an excuse."