EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Kyle Beckerman has all too often seen the two faces of Real Salt Lake. At Rice-Eccles Stadium, RSL is a dangerous, confident and mature team, the only one in Major League Soccer without a home loss.
But outside of Salt Lake City, it's entirely a different story. RSL is prone to costly mistakes and looks every bit the young team that they are, winning just once in 12 road matches.
Saturday night at Giants Stadium, the New York Red Bulls capitalized on a pair of mistakes, rallying from a first-half deficit to defeat Real Salt Lake, 2-1.
RSL is clinging to second place in the Western Conference, one point in front of Chivas USA, which lost to New England, 4-0, Thursday night. But for a second straight game, Real Salt Lake gave away critical points, and the pressure now is on to take points at home against Chivas next Saturday.
"We're running out of games," Beckerman said. "We can't slip up at home now. This is two weeks in a row where some little mistakes have cost us three points. ... The two goals we kind of just gave it to them."
Goals by Juan Pablo Angel and Dave van den Bergh in the second half negated Yura Movsisyan's third goal in the last five games that gave RSL a deserved 1-0 lead at the half.
"It's hugely difficult for us to swallow because I think we were the better team for the majority of that game," RSL coach Jason Kreis said. "From where I was sitting, I thought we controlled the flow of the game and created a lot more chances than they did."
Movsisyan was freed on goal when Robbie Findley flicked on Chris Wingert's service and the third-year forward tapped the ball with the outside of his right foot past Red Bulls goalkeeper Jon Conway in the 38th minute.
Movsisyan was unfortunate not to have a second goal when he took a pass from Javier Morales and rounded Conway. But Movsisyan's shot at the open net sailed over the crossbar in the waning moments of the first half.
The Red Bulls equalized four minutes into the second half when Angel received a long ball over the top of the RSL defense by Kevin Goldthwaite. The Red Bulls captain grabbed Jamison Olave on the shoulder, and the Colombian defender went down.
Referee Kevin Stott didn't call a foul, and Angel raced in on Nick Rimando, scoring his ninth goal of the year.
"As a defender you're kind of taught that when you're facing your own goal and the attacker is all over you that you go down for the foul," Kreis said. "That's the first time I've seen it not called."
Was it a foul? That's an unnecessary debate according to Rimando if only Olave heeded his advice to clear the ball into the stands.
"I said 'away,' and he wanted to shield it," Rimando said. "It was just two different opinions, and you see what happens when there's two different opinions out there."
Van den Bergh scored the winner on a fluke play in the 64th minute. After Gabriel Cichero whiffed on a shot and Dane Richards missed his attempt, the ball found van den Bergh on the right. Expecting van den Bergh to be offside on the play, some RSL players appeared to stop, and the veteran from Holland capitalized, beating Rimando inside the far post.
"I think everybody thought there was an offside, but regardless that's another mistake we made not picking up, not stepping up," Rimando said. "We paid for it."