Real Salt Lake Remains Scoreless Again In LAFC Defeat

May 13, 2023, 9:37 PM | Updated: 9:42 pm

Pablo Mastroeni - Real Salt Lake...

Real Salt Lake manager Pablo Mastroeni watches from the sidelines at Rio Tinto Stadium on August 6. (Photo by Laura Dearden of Real Salt Lake)

(Photo by Laura Dearden of Real Salt Lake)

SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake has suffered a 3-0 defeat at home against LAFC despite creating more attacking opportunities and impressing.

It was the third consecutive MLS fixture in which Real Salt Lake failed to score a goal. It was also the seventh consecutive victory against Real Salt Lake in MLS play.

As mentioned, the loss came despite Real Salt Lake dominating large portions of the contest. The class from LAFC rose when it mattered most, something Real Salt Lake has failed to do throughout the 2023 season.

Frustration swept across the faces of those wearing the Real Salt Lake kit—another game filled with more wasted opportunities in front of the goal. Real Salt Lake has a lot of key pieces to contend in 2023, but as the 11 games this season has shown, the club desperately needs a striker.

Manager Pablo Mastroeni returned to a 4-4-2 formation where Zac Macmath started in goal, and Andrew Brody, Justen Glad, Bryan Vera, and Bryan Oviedo occupied the backline. Pablo Ruiz, Braian Ojeda, Jefferson Savarino, and Andres Gomez across the midfield with Rubio Rubio and former LAFC player-turned-RSL frontman Danny Musovski at the point of the attack.

The first half consisted of LAFC attempting to play long, and direct passes over the backline of RSL which resulted in the opening goal of the game when Kwadwo Opoku calmly chested the ball down onto his boot and send the shot over the outstretched arms of MacMath in the eighth minute.

Rubin should have found the equalizer but failed to control the bounce of the cross and never mustered a shot from inside the six-yard box.

Dennis Bounga then doubled the visitor’s lead when he struck a left-footed strike from 25 yards out that flew into the top right corner of the net.

Despite the scoreline, Real Salt Lake continued to battle and enjoyed large portions of the game where they were in control.

Mastroeni went to his bench in the 59th minute when Anderson Julio returned from a hamstring injury and replaced Gomez. It was evident that Gomez disapproved of the manager’s move as he shook his head while he slowly made his way from the pitch.

Immediately following Julio’s inclusion he nearly scored his side’s opening goal but failed to hit the target and test the LAFC goalkeeper.

The final nail in the coffin came in the 87th minute when Mateusz Bogusz scored from the penalty spot. The penalty came when Vera pushed Bounga in the back as he dribbled toward MacMath in the penalty box.

Former Real Salt Lake defender and beloved MLS media member Brian Dunseth called the decision “soft” but admitted that once the penalty was awarded there was nothing VAR could do to overturn the original call.

Up Next

Real Salt Lake will next host the Portland Timbers in a midweek affair. Kickoff is slated for Wednesday, May 17, and 7:30 p.m.

The fixture will be broadcast via Apple TV and will be heard via The RSL Network on The KSL Sports Zone (97.5 FM & 1280 AM).

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Real Salt Lake Remains Scoreless Again In LAFC Defeat