FRISCO, Texas — When Real Salt Lake beat FC Dallas in Salt Lake City a couple of months ago, one of the keys for RSL was its ability to shut down Dallas midfielder Ronnie O'Brien.
RSL coach John Ellinger didn't hesitate to employ a similar strategy Sunday at Pizza Hut Park.
Throughout the game, midfielder Seth Trembly shadowed the Irish midfielder and did a good job of limiting his productivity.
"All in all, Ronnie didn't end up doing a ton of things, but at the end of the day when you lose a game, you don't feel like you did your job well enough," said Trembly.
Within the first nine minutes of the game, Trembly had fouled O'Brien three times, which resulted in an early yellow card. Trembly reigned in his aggression a little bit after that but was still a pest to Dallas' MVP the rest of the way.
AILING DUNSETH: RSL defender Brian Dunseth started and played a workman-like 60 minutes Sunday, before his bout with food poisoning became too much to bear.
Dunseth, who has started every game he's been healthy for this year, was only able to practice five minutes on Saturday, and eventually wore down after an hour in Sunday's 100-degree heat.
DILUTED LINE-UPS: Not only was Real Salt Lake playing without Clint Mathis, Jason Kreis and Andy Williams Sunday, but FC Dallas was missing several stars as well.
U.S. National Team striker Eddie Johnson is out four to six weeks with a stress fracture in his foot, while Dallas all-stars Carlos Ruiz (hamstring) and Simo Valakari (concussion) were also held out of the game.
HARD-HAT AREA: Even though FC Dallas has been playing in the brand-new Pizza Hut Park for several months, the stadium is still undergoing construction. As a result, both team's locker rooms are still in trailers in the parking lot. The stadium's phone lines were also down for Sunday's game, forcing AM-1280 to cancel its radio broadcast.
ANOTHER SUSPENSION: Salt Lake midfielder Kenny Cutler will be unavailable for Wednesday's game at Colorado because of an accumulation of yellow cards.
Cutler received his fifth yellow card of the season on the 37th-minute foul against Dallas.
Cutler had started 13 straight games prior to be suspended for RSL's Sept. 3 loss against New England because of a red card.