Real Salt Lake Picks Up Another Result On The Road In 2022 With Point Against Rapids
SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake managed to pick up a valuable point on the road against Colorado as Pablo Mastroeni continues to guide impressive road performances at the helm of Real Salt Lake.
With Real Salt Lake struggling in the injury department, Mastroeni was forced to play a young lineup against arch-rivals Colorado. 17-year-old Jaziel Orozco got his first start in Major League Soccer playing alongside Marcelo Silva at the center back position. Scott Caldwell, Everton Luiz, and Pablo Ruiz operated in the middle of the park while Justin Meram returned from international duty and got the start despite traveling some 15,000 miles from the middle east earlier this week.
“My body is taking a toll right now. My sleep is nonexistent. 3 am…5 am, I’m finding myself awake. Can’t get back to sleep. I’m still gonna need some time to adjust,” Meram told reporters post game.
— Real Salt Lake (@realsaltlake) April 3, 2022
Early Rapids Onslaught
As expected, Real Salt Lake suffered throughout the opening quarter of an hour as Colorado pressed for an opening goal on the road. But Zac MacMath and the Real Salt Lake defense were able to withstand all offensive progression from Colorado to keep the game level.
After enduring early pressure, Real Salt Lake slowly found the tempo and speed of the game and was able to generate some offensive threats of their own. Sergio Córdova had the best chance of the game when the ball fell to his feet just above the six-yard line, he took one touch beyond Rapids goalkeeper William Yarbrough who swiped at his legs but referee Ted Unkel controversially kept the whistle out of his mouth as no penalty was awarded.
Justin Meram, Pablo Ruiz Draws First Blow
Then, as the final minutes of the first half dwindled, Meram went on a run of his own and was tripped by Rapids right-midfielder Keegan Rosenberry and on this occasion, the penalty was rightfully rewarded.
Ruiz stepped up to the spot and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner of the net sending Yarbrough in the other direction.
Scoring here is our favorite thing lol pic.twitter.com/AjeNfn40Ht
— Real Salt Lake (@realsaltlake) April 3, 2022
Ruiz’s goal was the first goal that the Rapids had conceded at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in 2022. They had previously played two games at home.
Ruiz celebrated in front of the Rapids supporter’s stand and was met with objects being thrown onto the pitch. Regardless, Real Salt Lake entered the main interval with the goal advantage.
The rapids flew out of the halftime tunnel and pounced on Real Salt Lake early in the second half.
Finally, the offensive onslaught paid off for the Rapids when center back Lalas Abubakar found himself in the right place at the right time and poked the ball past the outreached arms of MacMath from just inside the six-yard box. The assist came from Michael Barrios, his third of the season. The goal was preventable for Real Salt Lake as Maikel Chang and Everton Luiz got lost in communication granting Barrios plenty of time on the ball to put a ball into the area.
— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) April 3, 2022
Damir Kreilach then joined the contest in the 63rd minute when he entered for Meram who was dealing with tired legs following a long week of travel.
Seconds after Kreilach’s arrival, Cordova found space down the right flank and played a low cross into the area in which Kreilach was inches from getting a shot on target from close range. Rosenberry made an excellent step to cut off the cross and deny Kreilach of any goal-scoring opportunity.
Cordova was again involved in another great goal-scoring opportunity when Bode Davis, who entered the match for Everton Luiz, played a ball onto the right foot of Cordova whose shot from just inside the area was saved with two hands by Yarbrough.
The final chance for the home team came when striker Rubio let a wide-open header go wide of the left post in the 90th minute.
Real Salt Lake now sits two points behind LAFC in the second position in the Western Conference following the draw against Colorado.
RMC To Be Decided In Utah
The second match between Real Salt Lake and Colorado is set for July 9th at Rio Tinto Stadium. The fixture in Utah in July will determine the Rocky Mountain Cup winner for the 2022 season.
Real Salt Lake will return home next weekend to host Toronto F.C. on Saturday, April 9th, with kickoff expected for 6 p.m.
The match will be available to stream for free via the KSL Sports and KSL 5 TV apps or on KSL Sports dot com.
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