SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake traveled to Minnesota United over Independence weekend where they lost 3-2 in a chaotic game at Allianz Field.
“In the first half we found no time on the ball, then in the second half we found a way to win a lot of second balls,” Mastroeni said in his post-match interview.
Manager Pablo Mastroeni was forced to start Johan Kappelhof after Justen Glad modified his hamstrings before the game. Scott Caldwell also returned to the starting XI and replaced Jasper Löffelsend who was on the bench.
Difficult RSL start
The opening hour was dismal for Real Salt Lake trying to regain momentum after a lackluster performance at home a week ago against the Columbus Crew.
“We didn’t start the game well, we struggled to get a sense of the game, we struggled to know each other and that put us in a bad hole. We didn’t play together so we conceded too many goals early in the game. Luckily, the last 30 minutes were promising, but the game was far away from us at that time,” caretaker captain Marcelo Silva said immediately after the game.
The Loons played the game only in their attacking half and Real Salt Lake couldn’t find time on the ball. They were under immense pressure and had no response to pressure from Minnesota.
The first goal came in the 9th minute when Emmanuel Reynoso rounded Andrew Brody and Justin Meram before unleashing a left-footed strike past Zac MacMath and into the net.
Then, in the first half stoppage time, Reynoso received the ball in the box in which Aaron Herrera went to the ground trying to steal the ball but made no contact with the ball and instead slid his legs of Reynoso who obtained a penalty. MacMath saved the penalty but Reynoso calmly pounced on the loose ball and tapped it into the back of the net for the game’s second goal.
Second half hope
Mastroeni went to his bench in the 55th minute when he took off Rubio Rubin and brought on Anderson Julio who last scored a brace in the final game at Allianz Field. Julio’s speed opened the game and Real Salt Lake started to look dangerous in their attacking half.
“Julio had his best week before this game and performed very well when he arrived…I think he did a lot to put him in the conversation to start next week,” Mastroeni said.
Jefferson Savarino found the breakthrough for Real Salt Lake in the 71st minute when he found himself on the end of a Maikel Chang cross. Five minutes later Anderson Julio sent a header into the far post to reduce the score.
In the dying minutes, Erik Holt was lucky not to see red when he elbowed the back of his Minnesota counterpart’s net while battling for a ball in the air.
Unfortunately, Real Salt Lake ran out of time, losing 3-2 to Minnesota.
The result marks the first time this entire season that Real Salt Lake has failed to achieve a road result in consecutive games.
Real Salt Lake will return home for a Rocky Mountain matchup against Colorado Rapids on Saturday, July 9 with a scheduled kickoff at 8 p.m.