Real Salt Lake Surrenders Another Late Goal In 2-1 Loss To Sounders
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake suffered their second defeat of the season and first road loss following a 2-1 loss at the hands of Seattle Sounders. Seattle has remained unbeaten through the first 10 games of their 2021 campaign.
“I thought first half we defended a lot,” Juarez said in his post-game press conference. “I thought we started moving the ball a little bit and when we made some switches the game started to fall our way,” he added.
Manager Freddy Juarez opted to start Nick Besler and Everton Luiz over Pablo Ruiz and Justin Meram got the nod over Anderson Julio. But the much anticipated Bobby Wood saw his first action of the year as he started on the bench.
Seattle was without Stefan Frei and Nicolás Lodeiro due to injury. But that didn’t stop them from asserting dominance throughout the first half, in particular.
First Half Chaos
RSL was lucky to go into the halftime break deadlocked at 0-0. Seattle dominated the chances created in the first half but was unable to capitalize.
The best opportunity from the first half came when Raúl Ruidíaz found himself beating David Ochoa off his line and only Marcelo Silva defending the net. A miraculous play made by Andrew Brody to toe poke the ball away was remarkable and one of the reasons RSL was able to enter halftime at 0-0.
The final 15 minutes consisted of more possession for RSL, which was greatly needed for the visitors and gave momentum entering the main interval.
Second Half Heartache, Again
The start of the second half began much like the first half ended, on RSL’s terms. The visitors were having success via both flanks as Justin Meram, Aaron Herrera, Albert Rusnak and Andrew Brody were flying up and down their respective wings.
As the possession count went upward for RSL, the confidence grew as well as they found themselves methodically moving the ball up the pitch with less and less resistance from Seattle.
Then, Juarez went to his bench and gave Bobby Wood his debut for the club when he appeared for Nick Besler in the 74th minute. He was joined by Pablo Ruiz who swapped for Everton Luiz. Kreilach dropped into a more midfield role and Wood joined Rubin up top to create a two-striker attack for the first time in seasons for RSL.
“He has a strong body,” Juarez said on the 25 minutes he saw from Seattle. “Big body who clattered into the center backs with ease and he is not afraid to position himself in the box which is very important for strikers.”
RSL was shortly rewarded for their effort when Donny Toia, who entered the game for a cramping Andrew Brody minutes earlier, played a superb ball into Pablo Ruiz who touched the ball seconds before Seattle goalkeeper clicked Rubin. RSL had a penalty and a chance to level the score up.
Captain Albert Rusnak stepped up and convincingly buried the penalty to tie the game at a goal a-piece.
“I wanted to make sure that I gave my teammate more confidence,” Rubin said when asked why he didn’t take the penalty.
Sadly, RSL gave up yet another late goal in the form of a penalty after Anderson Julio accidentally made contact with the ball with his left hand. Despite a review conducted by VAR, there was no substantial evidence to overturn the call of the pitch.
Ruidíaz added to his goal tally on the season by calmly chipping the ball into the net from the spot. He sent David Ochoa diving to his right only to watch the ball fly into the back of the net.
“A lapse in concentration gave the penalty away, it seems,” Juarez said while admitting that he hadn’t yet seen the replay.
It was the eighth time this season that RSL has conceded a goal in the final 15 minutes of a game. They have only conceded a total of 10 goals through nine games.
RSL will return to Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, June 26 to host the Houston Dynamo with kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m.
The Dynamo is currently sitting in 6th place in the Western Conference. They last played on Wednesday, June 23 when they drew 2-2 with the Portland Timbers.
The match will be available to stream for free via the KSL Sports & KSL 5 TV apps and KSL Sports dot come.