Real Salt Lake defeated the New England Revolution 2-1 on Friday night in a clash of sides that were both looking to start anew after recent losing streaks, delighting the sellout crowd of 20,913 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium.
RSL got a major boost in the return of Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando to the starting lineup. Jeff Cassar surprised many by putting both back in immediately after their return from the World Cup earlier this week, sending Cole Grossman and Jeff Attinella back to the bench. John Stertzer came in for the suspended Luke Mulholland alongside Beckerman, Javier Morales, and Luis Gil, while Devon Sandoval got a somewhat unexpected start up front alongside Joao Plata after Robbie Findley's adductor strain kept him out of the match.
Meanwhile, Jay Heaps' Revolution starting lineup also contained a few surprises. Bobby Shuttleworth started in lieu of Brad Knighton in goal, while Heaps also altered his field lineup. Darrius Barnes started in the back, pushing AJ Soares into the midfield; in addition, Kelyn Rowe was given a starting assignment over Teal Bunbury. The change, which came after earning his first assist of the season last week, gave Rowe an opportunity to start in front of family -- one of his sisters is a collegiate gymnast at the University of Utah, and other family members traveled to Utah to watch the match.