REAL SALT LAKE

Real Salt Lake Dismantled In Biggest Regular Season Game Of Season

Nov 3, 2021, 10:34 PM | Updated: 10:55 pm

Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake...

Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake suffered an agonizing 3-1 defeat at Rio Tinto Stadium to the Portland Timbers, the loss casts serious doubt on any playoff appearance.

“If you lose the ball in bad spots you put yourself in bad positions and they [Portland] are ruthless on the counter, we knew that.” interim manager Pablo Mastroeni said following the conclusion of the game.

Interim manager Pablo Mastroeni began the fixture staying strong to his 3-5-2 formation. No big moves were made pre-game by Mastroeni, the only substantial difference from the 4-3 loss against San Jose was that Everton Luiz took the place of Nick Besler in the heart of the park.

The club celebrated former captain Kyle Beckerman by renaming section five in the southeast corner of the stadium “Beckerman’s Block.” Beckerman signed autographs and took photos with fans prior to the game before addressing the crowd at midfield minutes before the opening whistle.

“From the bottom of my heart I say thank you, thank you, thank you,” Beckerman professed to the 18,405 in attendance.

Dismal Display

The opening 15 minutes were played on Real Salt Lake’s terms as they dominated time of possession and offensive chances. However, as has often been the case this season, Real Salt Lake struggled to put any of their opportunities away.

Following a solid opening quarter of an hour, the game took a turn for the worst when Aaron Herrera turned the ball over in an uncharacteristic fashion to concede a corner kick. On the ensuing corner, Portland scored when Sebastián Blanco headered the ball home on the back post. Maikel Chang was responsible for Blanco but seemed to have fallen asleep.

Real Salt Lake was never able to respond from conceding the opening goal of the game. The attacking opportunities dried up and then it went from bad to worse.

In the 38th minute, Blanco was streaking down the right-flank while Justen Glad was defending him. Two cuts and Blanco has opened enough space to whip in a ball across the face of the goal. Sadly, Herrera was the first to make contact with the ball and his attempted clearance ended up in the back of the net.

Another mistake cost Real Salt Lake in the stroke of halftime when Pablo Ruiz turned the ball over just inside his own half. A group of Timbers players pounced on the opportunity to counter-attack and that they did. Real Salt Lake found themselves down 3-0 in the first half when Blanco scored his brace in clinical fashion.

Real Salt Lake Dismantles

The second half offered very little.

Portland dropped deeper and deeper and forced Real Salt Lake to play around them and they could not muster much.

Real Salt Lake made mistakes that they had not made this season. Almost every player on the pitch found it difficult to control and possess the football. It was ugly. Literally, players were receiving a simple pass and found it difficult to control the ball.

Mastroeni went to his bench and brought on Bobby Wood, Jonathan Menéndez, Justin Meram, and Anderson Julio. But the moves had very little impact on the outcome.

The game was over at halftime.

In the 85th minute Meram put in a delivery that found the head of Bobby Wood, but his shot ricocheted off a Portland defender and Real Salt Lake was rewarded a penalty.

“It is frustrating. I feel like a broken record but it is the same thing over and over again,” Rusnák said following the loss.

Rusnák stepped up and buried it off the woodwork and into the back of the net.

Real Salt Lake had life, but very little of it.

It was one of the most deplorable performances from a team that entered the fixture with everything to play for. Regular season games come no bigger than this evening. If Real Salt Lake had won they would have qualified for the playoffs. With the loss, they must now pick up three points at Sporting Kansas City and rely on other results to go their way.

Their chances are slim.

  • Real Salt Lake Leaders

  • Real Salt Lake Standings

Real Salt Lake

Andres Gomez Real Salt Lake RSL...

Chandler Holt

Real Salt Lake Sets Franchise Record In 4-3 Win Over Sporting KC

Real Salt Lake set a franchise record with the 4-3 win over Sporting KC at Children's Mercy Park on Wednesday.

2 hours ago

Matt Crooks Real Salt Lake RSL...

Chandler Holt

Matt Crooks Scores First MLS Goal To Put RSL Up Two Late

Matt Crooks scored his first MLS goal at a very opportune time as he gave Real Salt Lake a late 4-2 lead over Kansas City on the road.

2 hours ago

Andres Gomez Real Salt Lake RSL...

Chandler Holt

Andres Gomez Makes It A Brace After Halftime To Extend RSL Lead

Andres Gomez opened scoring for Real Salt Lake very early and added another goal after half to give his club a 3-1 lead in Kansas City.

3 hours ago

Anderson Julio Real Salt Lake RSL...

Chandler Holt

Anderson Julio Responds To Kansas City Equalizer With Chip Goal

After an equalizer took some wind out of Real Salt Lake's sails, Anderson Julio stepped up to give the road club another first-half lead.

3 hours ago

Andres Gomez Real Salt Lake RSL...

Chandler Holt

Andres Gomez Gives Real Salt Lake Early Lead Against Sporting KC

Despite starting without Chicho Arango, Real Salt Lake and Andres Gomez had no problems getting on the board against Sporting KC.

4 hours ago

Chicho-Arango-Real-Salt-Lake-Sporting-KC...

Kyle Ireland

Real Salt Lake Looks To Set New Franchise Mark Against Sporting KC

Real Salt Lake hopes to set a new franchise record by defeating or drawing against Sporting Kansas City in a midweek battle.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!

Hans & Scotty's Day of Adoption...

Hans & Scotty’s Day Of Adoption

Join the KSL Sports Zone for Hans & Scotty's Day of Adoption, in partnership with the Humane Society of Utah, on June 25th, 2024!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Real Salt Lake Dismantled In Biggest Regular Season Game Of Season