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Real Salt Lake: Turnabout is fair play: D.C. United crushes RSL

April 27, 2008

By David Driver
For the Deseret News, Used with permission

WASHINGTON Carey Talley hobbled through the Real Salt Lake dressing room with an ice pack on his right knee, thanks in part to a collision early in Saturday's game with a D.C. United player.

But the pain was more severe in his words and expression following a 4-1 loss to United before 23,269 fans. Two weeks ago, Real beat United 4-0 in Utah. But Saturday they fell to 1-3-1 while United improved to 2-3-0.

"We had some opportunities," said the soft-spoken Talley, a starting midfielder for Real and a former United player. "We need a win. It's plain and simple."

United's Jaime Moreno, who had two assists, scored the first two goals on penalty kicks, and the home team got goals from Santino Quaranta and Marcelo Gallardo. Talley scored the only Real goal, but that came in the 77th minute with his team losing 3-0.

"You give up a penalty kick and it changes the game," said Real captain and midfielder Kyle Beckerman, who grew up in nearby Maryland. "You give up a second and it changes it even more. Then two great finishes from two great players (Quaranta and Gallardo). End of story."

Beckerman had two goals in the first meeting between the teams this season but was held in check Saturday.

And the annual homecoming to Washington for several Real players turned into a nightmare. The visitors are now 0-3-1 at RFK Stadium in their four years in the league. And several of those Real players with local ties were involved in key plays.

Moreno's first score was set up when Real midfielder Dema Kovalenko, a former United player, was called for a handball on a crossing pass by Marc Burch of United. Burch had entered the game just nine minutes earlier for Fred, a United midfielder who collided with Talley about four minutes into the game.

Moreno chipped a shot directly to the middle of the goal as keeper Nick Rimando drove to his right in the 31st minute.

The second Moreno goal came when Real was called for a foul on United's Luciano Emilio inside the box. Television replays appeared to show Real defender Chris Wingert grabbing Emilio's shirt as Emilio dribbled outside the box, then Talley came in for a steal try inside the box.

Moreno blasted the penalty kick into the upper left corner to beat Rimando in the 52nd minute.

"I think he has 203 goals (in his career) on penalty kicks," joked Rimando.

Quaranta's goal came in the 67th minute to make it 3-0. Gallardo scored in the 80th minute to make it 4-1.

"Tonight, for us it starts with the first penalty kick," Real coach Jason Kreis said. "Some referees call that every time, some don't. With the second penalty kick, again a decision some referees would call and some wouldn't."

United outshot Real 16-13 and had 11 shots on goal while Real had just four.

"How many shots did they have? Sixteen? That is too many for sure," Kreis said. "There were quite a few guys that didn't have a good night for us. Maybe just a few of them can have an off night" and Real can win.

Real is now 6-34-10 all-time on the road.

Despite the performance by Moreno, Kreis did not seem impressed.

"Two penalty kicks. Congratulations. What else did he do?" Kreis said.

Reminded by a reporter Moreno (115 career goals) had assists on the other United goals, Kreis said he doubted Moreno would consider Saturday one of his all-time best games.

"It's a struggle. Those two penalties definitely altered the momentum of the game," Talley said.

NOTES: Defender Jamison Olave started and played in his first game this season for RSL. Real defender Matias Mantilla, who started the first four games, did not play Saturday ... RSL was without midfielder/defender Nathan Sturgis, who was out with a left hamstring strain ... Real hosts San Jose on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in an Open Cup contest.