PARK CITY For the second straight weekend Real Salt Lake's reserves found themselves in the midst of a goal-scoring fest Sunday morning at Quinn's Junction.
This time, however, it was RSL's defense that did most of the breaking down. Leading by a goal at the break, Real's reserves surrendered three goals in the second half in falling to FC Dallas' reserves 5-3.
The loss came on the heels of a 5-2 win over the Galaxy reserves the previous weekend.
"That's what's hard about these games. Live and learn," said Real Salt Lake assistant coach Brian Johnson. "It's another valuable lesson learned. Winning at half doesn't mean you're going to win the game, you've got to continue to play for 90 minutes."
Had RSL put away a few of its quality scoring opportunities in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, Johnson said the game would've probably been over. Those missed opportunities, two by Yura Movsisyan, came back to haunt RSL.
The visitors equalizer at 3-3 in the 69th minute on a close-range shot by Chase Wileman, and followed it up with a 78th-minute goal by Aaron Pitchkolan and a stoppage-time breakaway from Dominic Oduro.
"We actually started out the second half pretty darn well, had a few chances with the goalie 1-on-1, and we just didn't convert them," said Johnson. "If you continue to leave teams in the game and hanging around, there's a chance."
With the loss, RSL's record in the Reserve Division standings sits at 1-1-1, putting itself in a log jam in the middle of the Western Conference pack. The 2008 reserve schedule consists of RSL playing a home and away match against every West team.
A year ago the reserves enjoyed tremendous success early on as the senior squad failed to win a game until June. Johnson admits that losing on Sunday isn't ideal, but it's a little easier to deal with after a more important win on Saturday night.
In the opening half, Salt Lake twice overcame a one-goal deficit to take a 3-2 halftime lead. In the 23rd minute Bobby Rhine put Dallas in front 1-0 on an assist from Eric Avila, but three minutes later Robbie Findley equalized for RSL, finishing a breakaway opportunity set up on a through ball from Kevin Reiman.
FC Dallas again pulled ahead in the 30th minute as RSL keeper Chris Seitz's diving save deflected off teammate Nikolas Besagno and into the back of the net.Trailing 2-1, Real scored twice in the final five minutes of the first half to pull ahead 3-2. The first goal came courtesy of a Matias Cordoba penalty kick, followed by a Movsisyan hammered shot from just inside the penalty area.