Shuttleworth says he got crossed up early
FOXBOROUGH — Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth took the blame for the first goal in a 2-0 loss to Real Salt Lake last night, as Chris Schuler headed in a corner kick in the 27th minute.
“The first one, I’m calling for it and I’ve got to get through the guy,’’ Shuttleworth said. “So the first one is definitely on me.’’
But the Revolution’s main failing in this match was a lack of composure on the ball and a poor possession game. Paulo Junior converted the second goal in the second minute of the second half, following a turnover at the halfway line.
“The second one, he’s coming in and it’s a tough ball, he can put it either way,’’ Shuttleworth said. “I just tried to stay up as long as I could and he tucked it away pretty nice. That’s a bad break for us. Coming out after halftime, we’re ready to attack and go at them. And that happens and you’re trying to claw back two goals and it’s hard to go from there.’’
Shuttleworth was starting in place of Matt Reis (adductor), who is expected to return for the Revolution’s visit to Houston next Sunday.
The Revolution were recovering from a midweek trip to Vancouver. But Shuttleworth noted Real Salt Lake also had a difficult travel schedule, arriving late Wednesday night after eliminating C.D. Saprissa in a Champions League semifinal series in Costa Rica.
“We were ready to go,’’ Shuttleworth said. “They were traveling just as much as we were.’’
Home, sweet home Real Salt Lake defender Robbie Russell and midfielder Andy Williams have had a homecoming celebration since arriving for the game.
Russell grew up in Amherst, playing for Western United in Springfield and Charles River United in Boston before attending Duke University from 1997-2000. Williams starred at the University of Rhode Island before starting his MLS career with the Columbus Crew in 1998.
“I moved around a lot,’’ said Russell, who was born in Accra, Ghana. “But I call Amherst home. I went to high school there, I have lots of friends there. I went to visit my mom and sister there [last] week. I love to be in Massachusetts, and Amherst is a great spot.’’
Russell was selected by the Galaxy in the MLS draft, but instead went to Europe to start his professional career.
“I didn’t follow the Revolution that much growing up,’’ Russell said. “I went to a couple games but it’s tough to get to Foxborough from Western Mass.’’
Russell, who converted the clinching penalty kick as RSL beat the Galaxy in the 2009 MLS Cup final, was in the starting lineup last night. Williams, who played for the Revolution in 2001-02, was on the bench as RSL went with several reserves.
Help is on the way The Revolution will add experience for next week’s visit to Houston. Rajko Lekic will join the team this week and is expected to be a starting striker. And midfielder Ousmane Dabo (calf strain) has recovered enough to participate in training drills. If Dabo can play at full strength, the Revolution could go to a two-striker formation.
Revolution coach Steve Nicol on Dabo: “We’re hoping he’ll join in for full training this week.’’
Dabo, who played for SS Lazio in Italy’s Serie A last season, is being counted on to improve the passing game.
“They play very fast and don’t possess the ball,’’ Dabo said of the Revolution’s early performances. “There is no possession, so the game is very quick. We must improve keeping the ball and create more chances. One player can’t do anything, it’s the team, we have to work together.’’
Nicol is hoping for a Dabo-Shalrie Joseph pairing in central midfield, though it won’t come in Houston as Joseph will serve a red-card suspension.
Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.