Real Salt Lake Concludes Horror Week With Scoreless Draw On The Road Against Portland
SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake settled for a scoreless draw on the road against Portland as it concluded a horrific week that included the worst loss in club history and a defeat to USL League One side Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC.
The point on the road at Providence Park is a positive result for Real Salt Lake regardless of the recent losses. Last year, Real Salt Lake lost to the Timbers in four consecutive fixtures.
With the draw, Real Salt Lake remained in the sixth position in the Western Conference, one point behind the LA Galaxy and Minnesota who will play tomorrow.
Manager Pablo Mastroeni utilized a strong starting XI as Aaron Herrera, who has been battling an injury of late, returned to the starting lineup. He was joined by the likes of Justen Glad, Andrew Brody, Everton Luiz, Pablo Ruiz, Justin Meram, Sergio Córdova, Bobby Wood, and Maikel Chang. Marcelo Silva wore the captain’s armband and Zac MacMath returned to his goalkeeping duties despite the start from David Ochoa midweek in the U.S. Open Cup.
Most notably, captain Damir Kreilach was not listed in the 18-player gameday roster. He was listed as questionable with a back issue days prior to the fixture.
Clean Sheet at Halftime
The first half included a lot of nothing from both teams. The highlight of the opening 45 minutes came when Paraguyuan international Cristhian Paredes hit a shot from 30 yards out that required MacMath to push the ball over the crossbar.
Outside of the long-distance attempt, both teams failed to test the opposing goalkeeper. Real Salt Lake only managed one shot throughout the first half, while Portland managed six with three of them being on target.
Second Half Track Meet
The start of the second half brought a completely different speed to the game. From the whistle, the ball was being flicked from the touchline to the touchline and the players from both teams were working tirelessly to create goalscoring opportunities.
Real Salt Lake, in particular, looked much sharper in the second half in comparison to the first. However, it was the home team who had the first real opportunity to find the back of the net. If it were not for Aaron Herrera and Marcelo Silva’s instinctive nature, Yimmi Chará would have walked into a one-on-one chance with MacMath.
Then, Ruiz hit the woodwork from six yards out following a tremendous cross from Córdova onto the chest of Wood who laid the ball off to Ruiz on the penalty spot. If any player was deserving of a goal this week, it would be Ruiz who tragically lost his father earlier in the week.
The final big chance came when Ruiz played a perfectly waited through ball onto the right foot of Chang who hit the shot on the volley from the six-yard box only to find the waiting hands of Timbers goalkeeper Aljaž Ivačič.
Real Salt Lake returns home to host the LA Galaxy on Saturday, April 30, with kickoff scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
The match will be available to watch via the KSL Sports and KSL 5 TV app or on KSL Sports dot com.
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