Andrew Putna Shines As Real Salt Lake Picks Up Valuable Point In Minnesota
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake have picked up their first point in the club’s history on the road against Minnesota United. The 0-0 draw did not come easily, however, as RSL was on the back foot for the majority of the match.
“We wanted to win. We thought that we could come in here and be a little more aggressive attacking wise,” Freddy Juarez said during his post-game press conference.
Yet again RSL was the victim of the VAR as a handball in the first half went unlooked.
RSL manager Freddy Juarez opted for a lineup in which we have not seen this year. Marcelo Silva, Nedum Onuoha and Justen Glad all started with Glad playing the left-back position with Donny Toia resting.
“I had (Justin) Meram ahead of me and Nedum (Onuoha) to my right so I had a lot of good help around me,” Glad said.
RSL entered the evening looking for their second consecutive win and fourth win in nine matches following the conclusion of the MLS Is Back tournament. Minnesota, on the other hand, was trying to pick up their first victory in three matches.
Methodical First Half
The first half was slow as both teams were tentatively pushing the ball back and forth petrified of making an early mistake.
Although, RSL were unfortunate to not have VAR look at a potential handball in the box. Rusnak was dribbling, dancing his way in and around Minnesota defenders when the ball caught the heel and ricocheted off the hand of Minnesota’s center back. However, for an unknown reason, the head referee did not see any reason to have any further look at the no-call.
Second Half Scrambling
The second half was a mere shadow of the first half. The passing from both teams was clean, fast and crisp.
Minnesota’s multi-million dollar signing, Reynoso, burst into action and looked destined to score the games opening goal, however, multiple big saves from Putna denied the Argentine his first MLS goal.
One the other end, Douglas Martinez Jr. had his opportunities to score but was unable to put the finishing touches on what was otherwise very impressive build-up play.
Minutes later, Martinez Jr.’s night came to an end as Juarez decided to give Sam Johnson a run. Johnson has been stuck on the bench for the majority of this season.
Then, with roughly five minutes left in the game, Reynoso whipped a ball into the area from a corner kick that would find the head of his center-back Dibassy. Dibassy’s header would hit the far post and RSL breathed, yet another, sigh of relief. RSL dodged another bullet.
The match would end all square and although Minnesota had the majority of the attacking chances, RSL will get on the plane home feeling as though they picked up a win.
Man Of The Match
RSL’s goalkeeper Andrew Putna played his best game in an RSL jersey. Putna came up big, specifically in the second half making a number of saves to keep the scores level. All three of his big saves came against Reynoso, the Loons marquee signing who is still yet to score a goal in MLS.
“It is no secret that playing the ball with my feet is not my strongest asset so I have to be great in other areas and tonight I felt as though my shot-stopping was okay,” Putna said during his post-game press conference.
RSL will return home next weekend against Los Angeles Football Club.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 4th.
The match can be viewed on KSLSports.com or on the KSL TV app.