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 Real Monarchs

Gavin Beavers Earns his First-Ever MLS Clean Sheet in Windy City

April 23, 2024 - MLS NEXT Pro (MLS NEXT Pro)
Real Monarchs News Release

Boots on the pitch in the Windy City, Real Salt Lake arrives to take on the Chicago Fire. The Claret-and-Cobalt deliver strong performances across the board, from the attackers to the defenders, Real Salt Lake set Soldier Field ablaze, keeping a clean sheet and putting four past Chicago Fire in an incendiary display.

The dangerous RSL attacking trio of Andrés Gómez, Chicho Arango and Diego Luna each found the back of the net with impressive finishes and combination play. Gómez opened the onslaught with a stunner from the top of the box, Captain Chicho providing a brace before halftime and ultimately Luna opening his 2024 account late in stoppage time.

With Justen Glad and Brayan Vera out as RSL's centerback injury epidemic continues - Marcelo Silva and Erik Holt are out long-term after suffering knocks on back-to-back training days a few weeks ago - outside backs Bode Hidalgo and Brian Oviedo stepped up in the team's time of need. Also, new signing Philip Quinton stepped on late in the game to close out the clean sheet, despite never having trained with the team.

The RSL shutout in Chicago marks back-to-back clean sheets and an active 183-minute shutout streak entering Saturday's match at Philadelphia, RSL accomplishing the feats with four different centerbacks and two different goalkeepers the last two weeks. Time will tell if and when Glad and Vera are ready to return from their temporary setbacks, as RSL prepares to rotate its deep squad amidst schedule congestion with potentially eight games in May, including MLS reg. season and its participation in the U.S. Open Cup.

Another shining star of this weekend's match is absolutely Gavin Beavers. The 18-year-old homegrown goalkeeper made five saves, aggressively controlled his area, organized the new-look defense and earned his first-ever clean sheet in MLS play. Directing the back line and always being in the right place to snuff out the Fire's attacks, Beavers' positioning was impeccable and his distribution sharp and clean.

The young goalkeeper - who did earn a shutout last year in U.S. Open Cup play at Colorado, in a tense 1-0 road win - found ways to extinguish the opposing attacks, providing the Claret-and-Cobalt a strong foundation for the possession-based attack under the new 2024 game model to pressure the Chicago defense.

The dominance over the Fire by Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni's side also marked the Club's first MLS reg. season win away from home by a margin of four or more goals since a 6-0 road win at Colorado against the Rapids on August 25, 2018. RSL's three-goal first half explosion away from home has happened just twice before in 309 all-time RSL road games, first at Houston in May 2014 in a 5-2 win, and then in May 2023 at Colorado in an eventual 3-2 victory.

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