The drought continues: RSL suffers another shutout

On a great night for soccer, a depleted Real Salt Lake couldn’t hold onto the momentum created by the U.S. Men’s National Team, as the team fell to FC Dallas 2-0.

With Eddie Pope, Tiger Fitzpatrick, Marlon Rojas and Dipsy Selolwane all on various national team assignments, Real had a tough time on both ends of the field. RSL (3-6-2) fell for the second straight time at home, and has yet to win this season on natural grass.

While Dallas (7-1-3) was also missing some key components, FC succeeded in getting through RSL’s leaky defense.

In the 22nd minute, Ronnie O’Brien got free and connected off a rebound for his fifth goal of the season. It was an impressive strike for the midfielder, who was sick all week with a stomach virus.

“I was just happy to be on the field,” O’Brien said.

RSL would get a chance right away to strike back.

Following a diving save, Dallas goalkeeper Scott Garlick was left on the ground away from the goal, when RSL’s Seth Trembly got the rebound. Trembly chipped the ball over Garlick in what looked like a sure score, but was denied at the last instant by a sure-footed Dallas defender.

Dallas added an insurance goal in the second half when Abe Thompson took advantage of another rebound in the 58th minute, zipping the ball past a frustrated DJ Countess.

Given his depleted corps, RSL coach John Ellinger took advantage of his opportunity to play some of his younger players. This youth movement included the MLS debut of 16-year-old rookie Nikolas Besagno, who became the second-youngest player in MLS history.

Not only did the youngster get his first taste of pro soccer action, he also received a bit of discipline, drawing a yellow card in the 35th minute for a reckless foul.

RSL has now gone three straight games without scoring. They will have to regroup in a hurry, as they head to Los Angeles on Saturday for a showdown with the 6-2-2 Galaxy.

Los Angeles drubbed RSL 3-1 early in the season at the Home Depot Center, but RSL returned the favor last month in a 2-1 upset of Landon Donovan’s squad at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

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