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From The Press Box: Revs v RSL

Sitting here in the press box at Gillette Stadium awaiting the start of tonight’s New England Revolution v Real Salt Lake Major League Soccer game.

Usually I watch the Revs games with the NE fans in “The Fort” but tonight I am lucky enough to be sitting high above Gillette in the press box.

Pre Match Notes
The Revolution enter tonights game undefeated through the team’s first four matches. This is just the second time in team history that the Revs have been undefeated after the first four games. They have to be disappointed though to have only picked up 2 points in their last two games against the MLS’s two new franchises: Portland and Vancouver.

In a scheduling quirk, Real Salt Lake arrived in the Boston area on Wednesday following Tuesday night’s CONCACAF Champions League win at Costa Rica power, and trained at Gillette Stadium on Thursday and Friday. The Revs on the other hand played in Vancouver on Wednesday night, and flew home all day Thursday.

Line Ups
Line ups are in and a lot of RSL squad players in the starting line-up
NE: Shuttleworth – Domi, Coria, Cochrane, Alston – McCarthy, Joseph, Phelan – Perovic, Schilawski, Mansally
RSL: Reynish – Russell, McKenzie, Beltran, Schuler – Grabavoy, Warner, Alexandre, Johnson (c), Alvarez, Paulo Jr.

Teams are out on the pitch. Have to say I am a little disappointed in the size of the crowd tonight considering the weather and opponent.

Pretty uneventful opening 16 minutes here at Gillette. Very little goalmouth action.

Goal Real Salt Lake: Chris Schuler from a corner. Bobby Shuttleworth in the NE goal came for the corner and got nowhere near the ball. Real Salt Lake 1 New England 0 after 27 minutes.

Half Time
Half time here at Gillette and it is still 1-0 RSL.Real Salt Lake in control of this one although New England came into the game as the half progressed.

First half stats show RSL dominance. They lead 6-4 on shots, 4-1 on shots on goal and 3-0 on corners. Steve Nicol needs to change things up at half-time if NE are going to keep their unbeaten streak intact.

Second Half
Goal Real Salt Lake. New England had started the second half brightly but RSL hit them with a classic counter-attack as Paulo Araujo Jr. ran through on goal and calmly slotted the ball past Shuttleworth.

Cannot see the Revs coming back here against the MLS’s best defense.

Game getting a little chippy here as first Kevin Alston sent a RSL player into the boards surrounding the pitch. A check worthy of the NHL. Alston gets a yellow card.

NE’s captain Shalrie Joseph given a straight red card for touching a RSL in the face, Terrible decision. Was a yellow card at most.

Could get nasty here with 15 minutes to go as tempers are rising.

As expected more red cards. Pat Phelan of NE given a straight red for a bad tackle and then Will Johnson of RSL was given a second yellow in the aftermath.

That is the second straight game that the Revolution have had two players sent off.

Final Score: New England 0 Real Salt Lake 2

Very convincing win for RSL tonight. They were a class above New England and they won easily without getting out of second gear.

Poor performance by NE, who will be shorthanded again against Houston next week due to two more red cards.