Real Salt Lake Earns 1-1 Draw at Minnesota
Jefferson Savarino's Second Goal in as Many Games Enough to Give RSL the Road Point; RSL Unbeaten in 10 of Last 12 Since April 8, Back at Home for 3 of Next 4 Starting Wednesday v. LA Galaxy; Tickets Available at www.RSL.com/tickets
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Real Salt Lake (4-6-4, 16 points, West 11) closed out a three-game / eight-day unbeaten road stretch with a 1-1 draw at Minnesota United Saturday night thanks to a first-half goal from Venezuelan international Jefferson Savarino. RSL now welcomes LA Galaxy to Utah on Wednesday, unbeaten in 10 of its last 12 games across both MLS and U.S. Open Cup play, with six wins and four draws against just two losses since April 8.
In its third match of the last eight days, Real Salt Lake looked to secure a Club-record third consecutive road victory in a single week against Minnesota United. The two sides battled back-and-forth for much of the first half hour, but it was the Claret-and-Cobalt who took the lead in the 28th minute when Savarino sprinted on to a magical mid-air heel flick from forward Danny Musovski near the center circle. Savarino stormed towards goal before launching a low shot between the legs of Minnesota goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair to give RSL the advantage.
The lead, however, would be short-lived as Minnesota responded in the 31st minute, when Bongokuhle Hlongwane's shot bounced off the post, ricocheting off the leg of an unknowing Justen Glad and into the back of the net to level up the match at 1-1. It seemed as if RSL had retaken the lead in the 44th minute, when Musovski found himself one-on-one with the 'keeper, but the goal was nullified due to a foul in the buildup and the first half ended deadlocked at 1-1.
Coming out of the halftime break, Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni was forced to make a concussion substitution out of an abundance of caution, inserting 18-year-old Homegrown Gavin Beavers for Zac MacMath who was cleared by the independent medical officer late in the first half following a collision in the box. Savarino nearly found his second of the match in the 54th minute when he volleyed a shot over the goalkeeper, but the ball rolled across the face of goal, missing the back of the net by mere inches. Just a minute later on the other end of the field, Andrew Brody and Marcelo Silva paired up to make back-to-back massive blocks in front of goal to prevent Minnesota from taking the lead.
Second-half substitute Pablo Ruiz smacked a curling left-footed free kick off the right post in the 68th minute, missing the chance to take the lead, again by inches. As the match neared its close, Minnesota began to establish offensive dominance, pestering RSL's backline with wave upon wave of pressure, but the rearguard held strong, blocking, clearing and saving the Loons' last-ditch efforts to take the late-game lead. Despite several chances in the waning moments, Real Salt Lake were able to secure the 1-1 road draw, returning to Utah with four MLS points and Open Cup advancement after the three-game undefeated road stretch.
UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake now finally returns home to America First Field for three of its next four contests, beginning Wednesday with LA Galaxy (2-8-4, 10 pts, West 14) this Wednesday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m. MT. The team travels next Saturday to Austin FC before the U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal on Wed., June 7 at 7:30p in Sandy, closing out its sixth consecutive three-game week on Sat., June 10 against New York City FC at America First Field. Tickets for each of the three games are available at www.RSL.com/tickets.
GOAL SCORING SUMMARY:
RSL: Jefferson Savarino (Danny Musovski, Braian Ojeda) 28th minute: Ojeda found Musovski upfield who redirected the pass forward with a mid-air heel flick to Savarino, who dribbled towards goal before placing his shot in between the legs Minnesota's goalkeeper.
MIN: Justen Glad (OG) 31st minute: A shot from Bongokuhle Hlongwane took an unfortunate hit off the right post, bouncing directly off the leg of Glad and into the back of the net.
After receiving a yellow card in the first half, defender Justen Glad - who has played all but 53 minutes of this 14-game MLS campaign - will now miss RSL's next match on Wednesday against LA Galaxy due to yellow card accumulation.
Coming on as a halftime substitute, RSL Homegrown goalkeeper Gavin Beavers made his second appearance in Major League Soccer play, totalling 135 minutes, along with his fifth appearance for RSL across all competitions in 2023.
RSL regulars Anderson Julio (hamstring), Bryan Oviedo (groin), Brayan Vera (fatigue) were each rested tonight, but should be available for selection Wednesday against LA Galaxy and/or Saturday at Austin.
RSL boss Pablo Mastroeni has used 25 players in the current 10-game/30-day period.
Real Salt Lake (4-4-2): Zac MacMath (Gavin Beavers 46'); Bode Hidalgo (Emeka Eneli 58'), Justen Glad, Marcelo Silva, Andrew Brody; Jefferson Savarino, Braian Ojeda, Jasper Löffelsend (Pablo Ruiz 58'), Rubio Rubin (Maikel Chang 73'); Danny Musovski (Andrés Goméz 82'), Damir Kreilach (Bertin Jacquesson 73')
Subs not used: Brayan Vera, Scott Caldwell, Delentz Pierre
Minnesota United (4-2-3-1): Dayne St. Clair; Miguel Topias, Michael Boxall, Kemar Lawrence (Sang Bin Jeong 69'), Franco Fragapane (Mender Garcia 85'); Joseph Rosales, Wil Trapp, DJ Taylor, Hassani Dotson; Luis Amarilla; Bongokuhle Hlongwane
Subs not used: Clint Irwin, Zarek Valentin, Eric Dick, Brent Kallman, Cameron Dunbar, Kervin Arriaga
Stats Summary: RSL / MIN
Shots: 9 / 16
Shots on Goal: 2 / 3
Saves: 2 / 1
Corner Kicks: 4 / 5
Fouls: 11 / 10
MIN: Luis Amarilla (caution) 4'
RSL: Justen Glad (caution) 45+7'
RSL: Braian Ojeda (caution) 59'
RSL: Rubio Rubin (caution) 71'
MIN: DJ Taylor (caution) 73'
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