Late Game Heroics From Real Salt Lake Not Enough To Overcome Deficit

Oct 7, 2023, 9:46 PM


RSL forward Jefferson Savarino takes a kick.

SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake lost to Sporting KC, 3-2, in the 2023 season’s home finale despite leading a late comeback.

In both 2021 and 2022, RSL was playing for a playoff berth until the final day of the season. This year, they secured a spot in the postseason with three games left.

However, the club can still rise up the West to end the season.

Real Salt Lake Drops To Sporting KC At Home

First Half

It didn’t take long for some controversy to set in for RSL.

Just a minute into the game, Justen Glad was shown a red card for denying a goal-scoring opportunity.

Kansas City midfielder Erik Thommy scored on the ensuing free kick.

Real Salt Lake got a good look off of a corner in the 10th minute but the shot from Braian Ojeda went over the goal.

Sporting KC ran on the break in the 16th minute and made it all the way into the box before Zac MacMath dove on an attempted cross.

In the 18th minute, Thommy looked to double the SKC lead with a shot from outside the box. MacMath was able to make his first save.

Chicho Arango went down in the center of the pitch and was tended to by the training staff. He walked off by himself, leaving RSL at a two-player disadvantage until the next substitution window.

Rubio Rubín checked in for Arango in the 27th minute.

Just after the substitution, some great passing from Kansas City led to a goal off the foot of Johnny Russell.

Injuries and penalties put Real Salt Lake in a hole in the first half.

Sporting KC looked much more comfortable passing and moving down the pitch in the first half.

They dominated the time of possession (67%), had six more shot attempts, and had four more shots on goal.

Real Salt Lake trailed Kansas City at halftime, 2-0.

Second Half

Kansas City continued to push the tempo after the break, forcing RSL to play on their heels.

Johnny Russell and Jake Davis both took shots in the first five minutes of the half.

Russell’s shot was saved and Davis missed to the right.

Real Salt Lake looked like they were on the verge of creating a scoring opportunity on multiple occasions.

Whether it was putting too much on a pass or slipping before getting to the ball, RSL couldn’t get out of their own way.

In the 60th minute, Andres Gomez got the best look of the night for RSL.

He got the ball on the break and sent a strike toward the net but SKC goalkeeper Tim Melia batted it away.

In the 70th minute, America First Field exploded as Anderson Julio jumped in front of the pack and snuck a ball past the SKC goalie.

Unfortunately, he was ruled offside.

After Marcelo Silva committed a foul in the penalty area, SKC was granted a penalty kick.

MacMath blocked the first attempt but Alan Pulido came in to put his miss in the back of the net.

Shortly after SKC’s third goal, Brayan Vera was able to put RSL on the board with a highlight goal from outside the box.

The score was his third of the season.

RSL wasn’t done there.

Just before the end of regulation, Jefferson Savarino snuck a shot past Melia to make it a one-score game.

America First Field went crazy with a comeback on the horizon.

RELATED: Brayan Vera, Jefferson Savarino Lead Late RSL Comeback Attempt

Unfortunately, despite the momentum being fully on the home club’s side, the comeback fell short.

Real Salt Lake created some looks but ultimately couldn’t score an equalizer.

RSL drops to Kansas City in the home finale, 3-2.

How To Watch Real Salt Lake

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.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Late Game Heroics From Real Salt Lake Not Enough To Overcome Deficit