Real Salt Lake Returns To Form As Savarino Continues To Flourish, Brody Impresses

Jul 18, 2022, 2:35 PM

Andrew Brody - versus- SKC...

Andrew Brody on the ball against SKC on July 17, 2022 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Photo courtesy: Laura Dearden of Real Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake returned to form following a dominant performance against Sporting Kansas City (SKC) on Sunday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. The victory snapped a four game winless streak.

Savarino Enjoying New Real Salt Lake Role

Jefferson Savarino returned from injury and was joined by Justen Glad who had spent the previous three games sidelines with a hamstring issue. Savarino played up top alongside fellow Venezualan Sergio Córdova in a new role under manager Pablo Mastroeni.

“When he [Savarino] got here we were playing him out right and he was not getting enough touches on the ball,” Mastroeni told the media following the victory against SKC. “Whether we were too slow or the game wasn’t finding him, but when we went to a 3 (across the backline) before Minnesota I talked to him before the game about possibly coming inside and he was comfortable with that and I think in that game he really showed his ability to receive the ball in tight areas, make plays, and score goals and so I think for us it is a new revelation to have him in that position,” Mastroeni added.

Against SKC, Savarino found plenty of the ball. His ability to link up with his teammates in the attacking third, and run at defenders with speed and skill was too much for the SKC defense to handle.

Savarino scored in the 71st minute with a beautiful glancing header and was credited with the assist on Pablo Ruiz’s goal in the 64th minute after he delicately laid the ball onto the preferred left foot of Ruiz at the top of the box.

Savarino was the center piece to the attacking prowess against SKC. He made runs in and behind the backline, and he also came into the midfield and started the attacks with his willingness to dash and find open teammates.

Following Savarino’s performance on Sunday against SKC, it seems likely that he will continue to play up top alongside Córdova for the foreseeable future. Especially during the absence of Bobby Wood who remains sidelined following surgery on his injured abductor.

Andrew Brody Deserves More Credit

Another key contributor against SKC was left-back Andrew Brody. During the opening five minutes of the game, SKC was forcing Real Salt Lake to defend deep in their own half.

However, Real Salt Lake quickly began to find space of their own down the left side. Brody was the key catalyst to the advancement of Real Salt Lake’s possession during the opening quarter of an hour.

His first big moment came when he made a wonderful run, cutting onto his right foot on the edge of the box before sliding a beautifully weighted through ball onto the left foot of Córdova, whose shot was saved by the outstretched legs of SKC goalkeeper John Pulskamp.

Minutes later, Brody played another wonderful through ball with the outside of his right foot that put Justin Meram in on goal. Meram’s shot was blocked by the chest of Pulskamp.

Those two plays were the start to a very dominant performance by Real Salt Lake and it all began with Brody at the left-back position.

“He has been amazing for the group, what is even more amazing is that he is doing that Monday through Friday,” Mastroeni said. “His decision making from that position has improved exponentially, I think him and Meram have really formed a good partnership on that side. It is a tough ask for a young man who as of last year had not even played as an outside back and this year has converted to a left sided player being right footed, not easy to do.”

As the game progressed, Brody continued to dominant with and without the ball. All three of Real Salt Lake’s goals came from the left side of the formation.

Furthermore, Brody was tasked with defending one of the best wingers in the league; Johnny Russell.

Russell had no impact on the outcome of the game. His best chance came when he cut onto his left foot but proceeded to spray his shot well wide of the right post. Russell’s inability to have any impact was largely due to the productivity of Brody.

Next Real Salt Lake Match

Real Salt Lake will stay in Utah and prepare for a clash with FC Dallas next Saturday evening. Kick-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium.

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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Real Salt Lake Returns To Form As Savarino Continues To Flourish, Brody Impresses