REAL SALT LAKE

Real Salt Lake Loses Heartbreaker To Austin FC In Home Opener

Mar 11, 2023, 9:40 PM | Updated: Mar 14, 2023, 2:50 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake lost in the home opener to Austin FC, 2-1. Justen Glad scored RSL’s one goal.

Despite leading in some key areas, Real Salt Lake found themselves trailing 2-1 at the half. RSL had four more shots and 5 total corner kicks in the first 45′.

They finished with 17 shots (6 on goal), 8 corner kicks, three saves, and 5 fouls.

Reaction To The Loss

Real Salt Lake Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni didn’t like the result but thought the team played well overall.

“I think the response in the second half was great,” Mastroeni said. “It’s a long season. The most important thing is that we get one game better. I think if we tidy up those things, really on both sides of the ball, we’ll find ourselves in a different spot.”

Looking only at the stats, you would have thought RSL pulled out a win. Mastroeni made it clear that the focus has already shifted to the next match and how the team can improve.

“Goals change games,” Mastroeni said. “The frustrating part was the amount of space we left in the middle of the field. We worked on a couple of different schemes. We have to go back and look at the way we set up.”

Justen Glad, defender and only goal scorer for RSL on Saturday, said he felt that the team played well despite the loss.

“It felt like we were right there for a lot of the game,” Glad said. “That’s the game of soccer. There was a lot of good stuff to build on. I’m sure there will be some games we deserve to lose and we win. There’ll be some games we deserve to win and lose. That’s just how it goes.”

Real Salt Lake Can’t Overcome Two Austin Goals

Rubio Rubin got a breakaway in the 5th minute after taking the ball near the midfield stripe. Two defenders caught up to him and quickly erased the scoring opportunity.

Austin made their way down the field just minutes later and defender Jon Gallagher scored the first goal of the game for either side. The strike gave Gallagher his second goal of the season.

Goalkeeper Zac MacMath had an impressive save on a shot by Emiliano Rigoni to prevent an early 2-0 lead for Austin.

Real Salt Lake had a second corner kick in the 16th minute but couldn’t score despite an excellent look from inside the 18-yard box.

In the 21st minute, defender Justen Glad scored the first home goal of the season for RSL. His shot from inside the 6-yard box came off of a header assist from Damir Kreilach.

Real Salt Lake had twice as many shots taken in the first 35 minutes. But, Austin had more shots on goal. Owen Wolff scored the second goal of the night for Austin to regain the lead.

The goal was Wolff’s first ever as a member of Austin FC.

Kreilach got a red card after a collision with Dani Pereira in the 41st minute. The call was reviewed shortly after and it was decided that the foul was not deserving of a red card.

A few minutes removed from halftime, Carlos Gómez took a shot for the tie that was blocked by Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver.

MacMath laid out to prevent a goal in the 52nd minute that would have given Austin a 2-score advantage.

RELATED: RSL President Says Team ‘Will Absolutely Be Active’ During Transfer Window

In the 65th minute, RSL set up for their seventh corner kick of the game. Defender Jon Gallagher conceded the opportunity.

Real Salt Lake’s first substitution came in the 68th minute when Rubín subbed out for forward Anderson Julio.

A highlight score by Kreilach was taken back due to an offsides call in the 74th minute. Diego Luna subbed in for Jasper Löffelsend after the call.

After an apparent leg injury, Justen Glad subbed out for defender Erik Holt.

In the post-game press conference, Mastroeni explained that Glad’s substitution was mainly precautionary. Glad had been dealing with hamstring soreness in the week prior and the team didn’t want to risk reaggravating the injury.

RSL got the ball into the 18-yard box late in the match but couldn’t get a quality shot off in two attempts.

Holt was called for a foul just before it was announced there would be 5 minutes of extra time.

After stealing the Stuver pass, Real Salt Lake got a free-kick opportunity but couldn’t convert. Savarino missed a shot in the 95th minute that would have tied the game.

RELATED: How To Watch, Stream, Listen To Real Salt Lake In 2023 Season

Second Home Match Upcoming

On Saturday, March 25, Real Salt Lake will play its second consecutive home game against the St. Louis City SC. The newest expansion team in the MLS started the season with two wins over Charlotte and Austin FC.

All Major League Soccer games are broadcasted on Apple TV with MLS Season Pass.

All Real Salt Lake English-language radio coverage for the 2023 season and beyond will be carried on various KSL radio signals. KSL Sports Zone (97.5 FM/1280 AM) and KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM / 1160 AM) are both stations under the Bonneville International umbrella.

Chandler Holt is a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter at @ChandlerHoltKSL.

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Real Salt Lake Loses Heartbreaker To Austin FC In Home Opener