United lose lead, game to Real Salt Lake

SANDY, Utah -- One thing is becoming quickly obvious only a few weeks into the season: The home field advantage Real Salt Lake enjoyed throughout last season might be even stronger in 2009.RSL claimed a second consecutive victory at Rio Tinto Stadium in dominating fashion on Saturday afternoon, beating D.C. United 2-1. Javier Morales scored the game-winner in the 80th minute after United's Luciano Emilio and Jamison Olave netted two minutes apart in the first half, as the Utah side held United to a mere two shots on goal while producing eight of its own.RSL put the United defense to work right away by forcing the attack and creating a couple of nice scoring chances. Clint Mathis got a good look at the net in the third minute. He put himself in scoring position after Javier Morales tried to cross to Will Johnson around the middle of the area and the ball squirted upfield. Mathis collected it and rocketed a shot right back at D.C. 'keeper Louis Crayton, who quickly covered it up.Johnson tried to dial it in from long distance in the ninth minute. Working off a free kick about 40 yards out, he blasted it right at Crayton. His shot had plenty of power but proved to be off-target and sailed high over the crossbar.RSL again came close to finally scoring in the 21st minute. Morales tracked down a ball and fed it to Robbie Findley deep in the area. Findley got his head under the ball and knocked it forward. His shot was perfectly on frame, but Crayton dashed hopes of a goal when he made a big catch at the far post.D.C. and Real took turns trying to set up scoring plays off of set pieces over the next few minutes. Neither met with success.RSL looked to get on the board in the 23rd minute when Morales swung a corner kick into Olave and he headed it high up in the air. Olave's shot looked like it might drop down behind Crayton, but the D.C. 'keeper was able to safely pluck it out of the air before it had a chance to reach the ground.United had their chance in the 24th minute when Christian Gomez got a good look at the net on a direct free kick. Gomez tried to bend it past Nick Rimando, but the RSL 'keeper corralled his shot at the post.D.C. had another good chance in the 34th minute when Fred crossed into Luciano Emilio. It set up a header for Emilio, but Olave blocked the shot to keep the United off the board.In the 38th minute, D.C. finally broke through when Fred fed a pass to Chris Pontius and Pontius sent a one-touch cross toward Emilio. It set up another header for Emilio and this time he put it home to give the United a 1-0 lead.RSL found an equalizer almost immediately in the 40th minute. Johnson crossed down to Olave from the left flank and the Colombian center back smacked in an off-balance header that rolled off Crayton's fingertips to make it 1-1.Ultimately, Real dominated the first half on both sides of the ball. They created six shots on goal while giving up one to D.C. They also had twice as many corner kicks and three times as many total shots.RSL came out strong in the second half too. Kyle Beckerman nearly came up with a go-ahead goal in the 50th minute. Yura Movsisyan penetrated the box only to have a trio of defenders collapse in on him. Movsisyan dribbled through traffic and flicked the ball nicely to Beckerman.With a good angle to work from, Beckerman unleashed a rocket. His shot careened off the top corner of the near post and dropped out of play.RSL nearly set up another goal in the 63rd minute when Nat Borchers boomed a long kick downfield to a streaking Findley. A pair of D.C. defenders kept perfectly in stride with Findley on the play and one managed to trip him up to prevent a one-on-one with Crayton and give the United defense a chance to gather and regroup.D.C. had opportunities to create its own scoring chances on corner kicks from Gomez in the 49th minute and again in the 61st minute. Each time however, Gomez swung the kick right at an RSL defender and that defender cleared the ball safely out of the area.Meanwhile, Real kept producing one chance after another, only to see them fall short at the last minute.The most painful missed opportunity was in the 73rd minute when Chris Wingert tracked down a pass from Mathis and crossed into Movsisyan, who headed the ball forward. His shot was perfectly on target, but Crayton punched it away at the last second to steal away a go-ahead goal.RSL finally broke the ice in the 80th minute. Beckerman rifled the ball down to Findley at the top of the box. With a defender collapsing in on him, Findley turned slightly and flicked the ball back up to Morales who was trailing him. Morales sliced a shot right past Crayton to give Real its first lead of the game at 2-1 and the home side held out from there.D.C. United (1-1-2) vs. Real Salt Lake (2-1-0) April 11, 2009 -- Rio Tinto Stadium Scoring Summary: DC -- Luciano Emilio 3 (Chris Pontius 1, Fred 1) 38RSL -- Jamison Olave 1 (Will Johnson 1, Robbie Findley 1) 40RSL -- Javier Morales 1 (Robbie Findley 2, Kyle Beckerman 1) 80D.C. United -- Louis Crayton, Bryan Namoff, Dejan Jakovic, Marc Burch, Fred (Devon McTavish 69), Christian Gomez (Francis Doe 76), Andrew Jacobson, Clyde Simms, Rodney Wallace (Santino Quaranta 82), Chris Pontius, Luciano Emilio.Substitutes Not Used: Brandon Barklage, Milos Kocic, Ange N'Silu, Anthony PetersReal Salt Lake -- Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran (Raphael Cox 59), Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert, Clint Mathis (Ned Grabavoy 74), Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Will Johnson, Robbie Findley (Andy Williams 89), Yura Movsisyan.Substitutes Not Used: Jean Alexandre, Luis Miguel Escalada, David Horst, Chris SeitzMisconduct Summary: RSL -- Javier Morales (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 15RSL -- Chris Wingert (caution; Tactical Foul) 25RSL -- Nat Borchers (caution; Tactical Foul) 35DC -- Christian Gomez (caution; Dissent) 39DC -- Marc Burch (caution; Tactical Foul) 75DC -- Devon McTavish (caution; Reckless Foul) 91+Referee: Kevin StottReferee's Assistants: Philippe Briere; Peter Balciunas4th official: Tyler PloegerTime of game: 1:49Attendance: 11,793Weather: Cloudy -and- 53 degrees