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 Utah Royals FC

RSL Forced to Settle for 0-0 Home Draw Against Defending MLS Cup Champion Columbus

April 14, 2024 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL)
Utah Royals FC News Release


SANDY, Utah - Real Salt Lake (3-2-3, 12 points, 4th West) extended its unbeaten run to four consecutive games, despite a litany of missed chances in front of goal haunting the team into accepting a 0-0 home draw against Columbus at America First Field on Saturday, April 13, 2024.

Watch / Listen to RSL Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni and Justen Glad's Post-Game Comments following 0-0 draw to Columbus Crew on Sat., April 13, 2024

Following road matches the next two weekends at Chicago and Philadelphia, RSL returns home on Saturday, May 4th, 2024 for a crucial showdown with long-time rival Sporting Kansas City. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. MT, with tickets available at www.RSL.com/tickets.

In a game the Claret-and-Cobalt mostly dominated, the team struggled to make its superiority count when it mattered most, failing to take its chances, forced to settle for merely a point.

Following a 1-1 draw at Minnesota last week, and a 3-1 comeback victory in its last home outing, buoyed by a sellout crowd of 20,033 and vibrant home support, RSL began the game in the ascendancy and managed to maintain a firm stranglehold on the game for the entirety of the contest.

In a combative and competitive match, chances were at a premium for the visitors, with a solid and organized defensive structure proving extremely difficult to break down. RSL, on the other hand, seemed to create chances at will and failed to secure maximum points from this encounter. Spurred on by its adoring fanbase, the hosts managed to create a barrage of clear-cut chances in a pulsating and entertaining match, but a lack of finishing meant the team failed to convert.

RSL's best chance of the first half, and arguably the entire game, came in the 18th minute through a brilliant counter-pressing attacking sequence. Having won the ball back from the furthest Columbus defender back, attacker Andres Gomez found himself with loads of space and bearing down on goal with teammate Chicho Arango alongside, with only the goalkeeper to beat. Gómez' squared ball lacked pace but found Chicho atop the six, but goalkeeper, Evan Bush recovered just in time to parry Chicho's effort and deny the RSL captain the chance to open the scoring.

The Crew's fortunes seemingly went from bad to worse in the first half when first-choice goalkeeper Evan Bush was forced to be substitued in the 35th minute after picking up an apparent head/neck injury.

RSL continued to pile on the pressure, with the visitors visibly unable to contain their opponent's swashbuckling tracking flair, and could have taken the lead again with an opportunity late in the first half. Matt Crooks, played through by Chicho Arango, delivered a sublime low cross into the middle of the box to Andres Gomez for what looked like another easy tap in, but the Colombian failed to connect with the ball and mistimed his effort, sending it wide.

In a game certainly not devoid of drama, RSL initially got awarded a penalty late on after Anderson Julio went down in the penalty area, but the decision was eventually overturned in favor of Columbus Crew. The second half also saw the introductions of 18-year-old exciting young talent Fidel Barajas, alongside veteran supersub Anderson Julio, as RSL pushed forward in its relentless search for an all-important go ahead goal. However, a combination of poor finishing and superb goalkeeping kept the Claret-and-Cobalt at bay, condemning the Utah-based outfit to a second successive draw.

Tonight's draw brings the early 2024 RSL season record to 3-2-3 and 12 points, the fourth-best in a crowded West table. Next up for RSL is a trip to Chicago, Illinois to take on the Fire next weekend on Saturday, April 20th at historic Soldier Field. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. MT, with tickets available at www.RSL.com/tickets.

RSL 0 : 0 CLB

GOAL-SCORING SUMMARY:

NO GOALS SCORED

RSL v CLB NOTES:

RSL homegrown DF Justen Glad surpassed Club legend Javier Morales for fifth place amongst all-time minutes leaders in the 60th minute tonight, at 19,256. Glad now trails Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman, Chris Wingert and Tony Beltran.

Mastroeni made no personnel or positional changes from last week's 1-1 road draw at Minnesota, as Fidel Barajas and Anderson Julio returned to the bench, while teenage Homegrown Academy player Zavier Gozo - an Eagle Mountain, Utah native - was also part of the 19-man selection.

For the first time since March 9, RSL Captain Chicho Arango was kept off the scoresheet, his streak of six straight goal contributions snapped ... The RSL Captain had registered either a goal or an assist since that March 9 loss, his League-leading six goals entering the weekend pairing with four assists this season.

LINEUPS:

Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Zac MacMath; Andrew Brody (B. Hidalgo, 90'+2'); Justen Glad; Brayan Vera; Alex Katranis; Emeka Eneli; Braian Ojeda; Andres Gómez; Diego Luna (F. Barajas, 71'); Matt Crooks (A. Julio, 71'); Chicho Arango ©

Subs not used: Bryan Oviedo, Nelson Palacio, Maikel Chang, Gavin Beavers, Zavier Gozo

Columbus Crew (3-4-2-1): E. Bush (N. Hagen, 35'); P. Quinton; Rudy Camacho; Malte Amundsen; M. Arfsten (M. Farsi, 69'); S. Zawadzki (D. Jones, 82'); Aidan Morris; W. Sands; T. Habroune (M. Hinestroza, 69'); A. Matan (D. Rossi, 70'); J. Russell-Rowe

Subs not used: Yaw Yeboah, Y. Cheberko, Cole Mrowka, Steven Moreira

Stats Summary: RSL / CLB

Shots: 17 / 12

Shots on Goal: 8 / 5

Saves: 5 / 8

Corner Kicks: 6 / 3

Fouls: 22 / 10

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY:

RSL: Matt Crooks (Yellow, 13'), B. Ojeda (Yellow, 45'+3'), Emeka Eneli (Yellow, 46'), Brayan Vera (Yellow, 57'), Chicho Arango (Yellow, 65'), Alex Katranis (Yellow, 90'+1'), 22 Fouls

CLB: P. Quinton (Yellow, 22'), Max Arfsten (Yellow, 46'+6'), T. Habroune (Yellow, 59'), 10 Fouls

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