SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake fell to FC Dallas 1-0 to end an 11-game unbeaten streak at home to Rio Tinto Stadium.
“There was a 10-minute patch in the first half where we were careless with the ball,” manager Pablo Mastroeni said when asked what his message to the team was after the loss. “We put ourselves in really uncomfortable transition times and we didn’t handle that well and we just didn’t adapt to the decisions we were making,” he added.
Manager Pablo Mastroeni went with an unchanged roster since demolishing Sporting Kansas City 3-0 a week ago. Still, he added Scott Caldwell to the bench after recently clearing the league’s health and safety protocol.
The first five minutes were filled with mistakes and reckless turnovers for both teams.
Real Salt Lake created the first chance of the night in the 8th minute when Maikel Chang found Sergio Córdova’s forehead but the shot went straight into the throat of FC Dallas goalkeeper Maarten Paes.
Minutes later, FC Dallas found the game’s first goal when Justin Meram uncharacteristically turned the ball into his own defensive third, leading to a fairly straightforward touch from Jesus Ferreira.
Waste in front of goal
The rest of the match was filled with good build-up play by Real Salt Lake with nothing to show for it. The ball was fumbled, scuffed, missed and mishandled by the RSL forwards.
“We were sloppy, sloppy in the first half and they took advantage of it and we could never get it back,” Justen Glad said after the game.
In the 30th minute, RSL came as close as they would all evening when Chang linked up with Aaron Herrera who whipped a ball across the face of goal which Jefferson Savarino failed to convert with his header on the goal line. The ball bounced once before going over the crossbar for a corner, after being last touched by an FC Dallas defender.
In the 40th minute, Paes made another goal-line save when Andrew Brody’s back-post header was stopped inches from the near post on the goal-line.
The frustration continued to mount as the minutes went by, Real Salt Lake started shooting from range but was never able to test Paes who seemed to see the ball very clearly no matter what Real Salt Lake was trying to muster.
Tempers flared in the 85th minute when Jasper Löffelsend collided with an FC Dallas player and players from both teams were caught pushing and pulling kits.
Justin Meram came within inches of stealing a point in the 94th minute when his long-range effort went past Paes’ outstretched arms and past the right post.
RSL finished with 23 shots against FC Dallas’ 7. However, only 5 of RSL’s 22 shots were on target, FC Dallas finished with 2 shots on target. Real Salt Lake dominated 70% of ball possession, generated 7 corners and completed 306 passes more than their opponent.
Next game of Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake will travel to San Jose on July 30 with a scheduled kickoff at 8 p.m.
The match will be available to stream for free via KSL Sports and KSL 5 TV Apps or on KSL Sports dot com.