The massive cheers that greeted the two as they returned to Rio Tinto Stadium for the first time since mid-May — and the first time since the U.S. Men's National Team was eliminated from the World Cup – were only exceeded by the cheers when Javier Morales and Joao Plata scored to give the home team its first win since May 17th.
"I contacted Jeff [Cassar] when I landed in Atlanta," said Rimando. "His first words to me was there is no pressure to play. I felt great, I let him know that, I woke up this morning and he sent us a text. He asked if we were ready to go and both of our answers were yes."
"We just wanted to come back and help the team no matter what the results were," said Beckerman, who did not play in Team USA's final match against Belgium on Tuesday. "The results are going to go up and down throughout the year. Every team is going to go through a tough time. It just so happened that it happened when we left."
RSL was 1-3-2 in MLS matches without Beckerman and Rimando.
Real scored the opening goal after Chris Schuler was fouled in the box by Darrius Barnes. Javier Morales drilled home a penalty kick for his 5th goal of the year and a 1-0 lead.
However, just two minutes later, New England tied the game when Barnes headed in a beautiful free kick by Chris Tierney to level the match at one.
The game-winner came in the 65th minute after Tierney took out Real Salt Lake's John Stertzer and referee Allen Chapman pointed to the spot. RSL forward Joao Plata stepped up and put it high and to the right for his 7th goal of the season.
“It was emotional, for sure," said Rimando. "Getting back on that field, wearing our colors is something I’ve been waiting to do since I left."
RSL is now 2-1-7 in 10 Independence Day matches, with both wins (and one of the ties) coming against New England.
With the win, RSL snapped a five-game MLS winless streak (six games overall) and improved to 7-3-7 (28 points). Next up for the Claret-and-Cobalt — a trip to Carson, Calif., for their third and final meeting with the Los Angeles Galaxy this season.
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