Real Salt Lake Weekly Update
SANDY/HERRIMAN, Utah - Real Salt Lake prepares for the season's first installment of the Rocky Mountain Cup while Utah Royals FC had its inaugural home opener. Real Monarchs SLC gets set for an inter-conference battle with Tampa Bay and the RSL Academy played host to Seattle Sounders at the Zions Bank Real Academy. Here's what you need to know at the club this week:
Real Salt Lake
Last Wednesday, Real Salt Lake (2-3-1, 7 points) fell behind early and couldn't mount a comeback, losing to New York City FC for the first time in four meetings between the two clubs by a 4-0 tally on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
RSL had the first opportunity of the match when FW Luis Silva was on the doorstep, but his close-range shot was blocked by NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson. The home side capitalized on an early opportunity when a clearance was stopped at the edge of the box and Ismael Tajouri scored his fourth goal of the season in the 12th minute. New York City doubled its lead from the penalty spot in the 30th minute through Maxi Moralez, then in the 41st minute Jo Inge Berget got in behind the defense to make it 3-0 before the halftime whistle.
The second half saw the game open up for both sides, but New York City still held a 15-7 shots advantage in the half. The fourth goal came through a great sequence that finished with Ebenezer Ofori scoring his first goal of the season and though RSL had some chances, Johnson finished the match with four saves to earn the shutout.
Real Salt Lake now returns home and opens the 2018 Rocky Mountain Cup against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, April 21 (7 p.m. MT).
Utah Royals FC
On Saturday, Utah Royals FC (0-1-2, 2 points) celebrated the club's first ever home match in an all-day event in front of a standing room only crowd of 19,203 at Rio Tinto Stadium. The festive day included pregame and postgame concerts, players from Real Salt Lake and Real Monarchs in attendance and a commemoration with Women In Sports and Events, as the National Women's Soccer League's newest club opened the 2018 home schedule with a 1-0 defeat to the Chicago Red Stars.
Utah outshot Chicago 13-10, but forced only one save out of Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher as the newly-founded club seeks its first win. FW Amy Rodriguez made her Utah Royals FC debut when she came on as a late substitute, returning to action 363 days after tearing her ACL in the 2017 NWSL opener for FC Kansas City.
In a balanced first half that saw both teams attempt five shots, the only shot on goal found the back of the net for the Chicago Red Stars. After a ball was crossed in from the right side, DF Rachel Corsie's headed clearance fell to Danielle Colaprico just outside the box. She hit a wondrous volley that found the top corner of the net to make it 1-0 in the 27th minute.
In the second half, Utah went on the offensive while Chicago clung to the lead, but Royals FC wasn't able to threaten the Red Stars goal and the match ended with the 1-0 final score.
Royals FC returns to the road for the third time in the club's first four matches, taking on the North Carolina Courage on Saturday, April 21 at Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.
Real Monarchs SLC
Last Wednesday, Real Monarchs SLC (4-0-0, 12 points, West 1) toppled Seattle Sounders FC 2 at Cheney Stadium, 3-1 courtesy of two goals from MF Masta Kacher with FW Chandler Hoffman adding a third goal.
The Monarchs opened the scoring just four minutes into the match when Kacher rifled a curling effort into the top corner of the Sounders net for the early 1-0 lead. Sounders 2 answered back with a goal of its own in the 19th minute when forward David Estrada slammed home a second attempt chance from a corner kick to even the match. The remainder of the first stanza would see the teams trade possession around midfield, with each team unable to find the go-ahead goal to solidify the 1-1 halftime score.
The second half started physically with both teams trading fouls in the early going. The Monarchs found the go-ahead goal in the 65th minute when FW Ricky Lopez-Espin found the feet of Kacher inside the penalty area who's curling effort found the back post for his second goal of the match.
Second half substitute FW Chandler Hoffman notched the game's third goal and his second of the season when his shot from ten yards found the underside of the crossbar before hitting the back of the net to finalize the scoreline.
The Monarchs will travel to Tampa Bay, Florida for an April 21 bout against Eastern Conference heavyweight Tampa Bay Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium. Kickoff for the match against the Rowdies is set for 5:30 p.m. MT.
Real Salt Lake Academy
The Real Salt Lake Academy spent the weekend in Herriman where it played host to Seattle Sounders in U.S. Soccer Development Academy action at the Zions Bank Training Center.
In the first match of the afternoon, the U-17s topped Seattle 2-1 with goals coming from MF Bode Davis and FW Ben Ortiz.
In the second match on Saturday, U-19s topped the Sounders 3-0 courtesy of goals from FW Sebastian Soto and MFs Richard Ledezma and Diran Bebekian. GK Jacob Jackson started and played the full 90 minutes in goal for RSL, earning the shutout in the win.
RSL will now travel to California for a two-match weekend beginning with an April 21 matchup against Silicon Valley Soccer Club before facing the San Jose Earthquakes on April 22. On Saturday the U-17s will open the day at 1:00 p.m. MT followed by the U-19s at 3:00 p.m. MT at Woodside High School in Woodside, California.
On Sunday against the Earthquakes, the U-17s will again play first at 9:30 a.m. MT followed by the U-19s at 11:45 a.m. at Evergreen Community College in San Jose, California.
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