I think up until their red card, we dominated this game. If we would've stayed 11 players I don't think it would've just ended 1-0. —Yura Movsisyan
SANDY — Real Salt Lake got the goal, but not the points.
Down a man the entire second half after a needless Kyle Beckerman red card, RSL conceded twice to the L.A. Galaxy five minutes apart in the second half in a discouraging 2-1 loss in front of 20,348 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium.
RSL came out flying in the first half, including scoring its first goal of 2017, but the momentum vanished in the 44th minute when Beckerman picked up his second yellow card — a sequence it couldn't overcome as it remained winless on the season.
“I think up until their red card, we dominated this game. If we would’ve stayed 11 players I don’t think it would’ve just ended 1-0. That’s soccer, that’s the way sometimes you get calls that are questionable,” said Yura Movsisyan. “You don’t know why. You have to deal with it, you have to learn, you have to be sharper, it’s just a learning experience. I’d rather see these types of games early on in the season so we learn from it and deal with it better when it’s crunch time.”
Despite the learning experience, RSL now finds itself with just one point through three matches as it heads out for two straight road matches.
Not only will Beckerman miss next Saturday’s match at the New York Red Bulls, but so will Nick Rimando and Albert Rusnak as they’re away on international duty.
After Beckerman’s red card on Saturday, the Galaxy obviously had more of the ball in the second half, but the home side did well to maintain its lead until the 70th minute.
That’s when unmarked defender David Romney latched onto a Romain Alessandrini corner kick, burying it for the equalizer at 1-1.
“Our marks were set, everyone know who they had and he broke away from our player,” said coach Jeff Cassar.
Five minutes later Real Salt Lake got a little cute with a clearance attempt in the box, which led to a simple cross and finish from Alessandrini to notorious RSL assassin Emmanuel Boateng for the 2-1 lead.
“We had four players that could’ve taken care of it, and sometimes when you have so many people around the ball you think somebody else is going to do the job,” said Cassar.
In between the Galaxy goals, Real Salt Lake substitute Chad Barrett missed a glorious opportunity when he pushed a Brooks Lennon cross inches left of the post with an open net in front of him. That 71st minute miss was the last quality chance of the night as the Galaxy did well to kill the game off.
Early on, however, RSL appeared in great shape, scoring its first goal of 2017 in the 19th minute with a connection fans hope to see a lot more of this season. Rusnak spotted Movsisyan sitting between two defenders about 12 yards from goal and quickly whipped a dangerous cross into the box. Movsisyan redirected his header just past the outstretched arms of Galaxy keeper Clement Diop for the 1-0 lead.
“Tonight I thought we looked good, enjoyable football, exciting, just fun to be out there,” said Luke Mulholland. “The red card just really killed us.”
The game changed in the 44th minute when Beckerman picked up his second yellow card of the match on a tackle from behind against Joao Pedro. Ten minutes earlier he picked up a dissent yellow card for his reaction to the ref after being fouled by Galaxy midfielder Jermaine Jones.
Mulholland also picked up a yellow card for shoving Jones after the foul.
“The fact that we both come out with a yellow card each and no yellow card for Jones is the icing on the cake,” said Mulholland.
Despite the loss, the performance of RSL homegrown players Brooks Lennon and Sebastian Saucedo was very encouraging as they made their 2017 debuts starting in place of injured Joao Plata and Jordan Allen.
Their impact on the game waned after Beckerman’s red card, but in the first half their creativity and athleticism on the wings added a big spark to RSL’s attack.
The youngsters — just 19 and 20 — nearly connected just three minutes into the match when Saucedo sent a ball from the wings toward the top of the 6-yard box, with Lennon’s half-volley sailing just wide of the left post.