Real Salt Lake Weekly Update
HERRIMAN, Utah - Real Salt Lake opened the home portion of its 2018 regular season against LAFC on Saturday. Utah Royals FC travelled to Southern California for a five-day preseason venture while the Monarchs returned to Utah after a 10-day preseason trip to Davis, California. The Real Salt Lake Academy sides participated in a bye week for the weekend of March 10. Here's what you need to know at the club this week:
Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake (0-1-1, 1 point) tasted defeat in a home opener for the first time in club history, falling 5-1 to LAFC in the first ever meeting between the two clubs.
FW Joao Plata scored his second goal of the season, but LAFC (2-0-0, 6 points) responded with five unanswered goals to put the match away in RSL's most lopsided home defeat in club history.
Real Salt Lake was the more dangerous team in the first half, but two goals in quick succession from LAFC sent RSL into halftime trailing 2-1. In the 19th minute, Plata drew a penalty when he was taken down in the box on an attack up the left side. After some consternation, Plata took the strike and while Tyler Miller made the initial save, Plata hit the rebound home with a first-time shot for his second goal of the season and a 1-0 lead. However, goals from Diego Rossi and Latif Blessing in the 30th and 33rd minutes pushed LAFC into the lead before the break.
The visitors added to the lead coming out of the break as Benny Feilhaber scored his first of the season in the 47th minute to make it 3-1. While RSL pressed for a comeback, LAFC found two more goals on the counter attack through Rossi in the 81st minute and Carlos Vela in the 86th minute as LA raced to a 5-1 victory.
RSL will look to bounce back at home against the New York Red Bulls on March 17 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. MT.
Utah Royals FC
Utah Royals FC travelled to Los Angeles, California on Monday to begin its 5-day preseason trip to the Golden State where it will play its final preseason match against UCLA on March 16 at 10:00 a.m. MT.
Last Saturday URFC unveiled its "Victory Gold" home jersey through National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) equipment supplier Nike, ahead of the club's inaugural season. Boasting the largest jersey-front sponsor deal in domestic women's soccer history - Conservice, "The Utility ExpertsTM" - dons the front and back of the jersey. The Utah-based company will display its corporate branding on the Utah NWSL jerseys starting in March and run through at least the 2020 season.
The jersey also boasts gradients of Cobalt Blue to compliment the Victory Gold base color. An on-sale date for the inaugural Victory Gold home jersey has yet to be announced.
Real Monarchs SLC
Real Monarchs returned from a 10-day stint in Davis, California where it played three matches during that time frame as it topped Sacramento State University 4-0 on March 3 before falling to Reno 1868 FC 1-0 and Fresno FC 3-2 on March 7 and March 10 respectively.
In the match against Reno last Wednesday, fell to the hosts 1-0 courtesy of a late penalty kick from 1868 FC midfielder Tommy Thompson. The Monarchs fielded two different lineups on either side of halftime, with the majority of players playing 45 minutes in front of 2,114 in attendance at Greater Nevada Field.
On Saturday, the Monarchs finished its preseason trip to California on Saturday afternoon, falling 3-2 to United Soccer League newcomer Fresno FC. MF Josh Heard and FW Chandler Hoffman both earned goals in the loss.
The club will now prepare for its final preseason test of 2018 against Utah Valley University on Friday at 4:00 p.m. at the Zions Bank Training Center in Herriman before its regular-season opener on March 24 at Tulsa Roughnecks FC.
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