Real Salt Lake To Showcase Youth While Returning Injured Stars Against Northern Colorado
SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake will look to bounce back from the worst defeat of its existence midweek when it takes on Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup.
Fortunately, the midweek encounter comes at a good time considering the manner of defeat last weekend against New York City. The fixture provides the club with a short turnaround to wipe clean the pain and agony that last weekend caused.
Furthermore, Real Salt Lake is expected to return players who have spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list. Most notably, David Ochoa and Justen Glad are expected to see minutes. Ochoa is yet to play in 2022 following a quad injury and a finger concern while Justen Glad has not seen any playing time since tweaking his hamstring in the 2-1 win against Nashville on March 19.
“I think that there is going to be an acclimation phase,” Mastroeni said regarding the return of Ochoa and Glad. “This will not only be their first game but it will really be their first action. We have had a couple of training sessions but it has not been a lot so having these two guys and Jasper [Löffelsend] back is really good for the group.”
Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC conducts its business in the USL League 1 and has beaten Colorado Springs Switchbacks, marking the first game in the club’s history, of the USL Championship to improve to the third round of America’s oldest soccer tournament.
Currently, the Hailstorm sits in 8th position in the USL League 1 having played two league matches that resulted in a draw and a loss. The club was founded only 15 months ago and is led by Éamon Zayed, a former striker for Indy Eleven, Charlotte Independence, and Chattanooga Red Wolves, among other clubs.
Real Salt Lake is hopeful to better its 2013 U.S. Open Cup performance that concluded with a disappointing loss to a then 3-win D.C. United team in the tournament final.
Real Salt Lake has a promising record against lower-division teams in the tournament having managed 6 victories, 1 loss, and 1 draw against such clubs. Over a 15-year, 28-game span, Real Salt Lake has won 11 U.S. Open Cup games, 14 losses, and 3 draws.
Mastroeni also shared information regarding how he and the club are approaching this game in particular during his Tuesday press conference.
“It is all about perspective, you can look at these games however you want, but for us, I think it is a good opportunity for certain players that have not had a lot of minutes. Players like Justen [Glad], Ochoa, and Jasper [Löffelsend] get minutes that they haven’t had because of injury. But also we will be able to see Chris Garcia, Bode Davis, Pierre Reedy, Bobby Pierre, guys that have been training with us for quite some time but have not been getting a lot of first-team minutes, for them to go out and display their skillsets in a real game.
Real Salt Lake will return home to play Northern Colorado Hailstorm in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup this upcoming Wednesday evening.
The kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 on April 20th. KSL Sports will not provide broadcast coverage via the KSL Sports app, the broadcast will only be available via ESPN+.
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