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.

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports

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.

Take us with you, wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

  • Real Salt Lake Leaders

  • Real Salt Lake Standings

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake signs winger Benji Michel...

Chandler Holt

Real Salt Lake Bolsters Attack, Brings In Forward Benji Michel From Orlando City

Real Salt Lake chose to be proactive instead of reactive by bringing in forward Benji Michel with a few big games coming up on the schedule.

1 hour ago

Matt Crooks Real Salt Lake RSL...

Brian Preece

Real Salt Lake Escapes With Draw Against West Leading LAFC

It wasn't without some intense moments, but Real Salt Lake stole a road point from LAFC in the 1-1 draw at BMO Stadium. 

2 days ago

Brayan Vera RSL...

Brian Preece

Brayan Vera Scores Real Salt Lake Equalizer Late In First Half

A free kick and an LAFC deflection allowed Brayan Vera to score Real Salt Lake's first goal of the match, knotting things at one in the 33rd minute.

2 days ago


Chandler Holt

Real Salt Lake Star Chicho Arango To Serve Four-Game Suspension

RSL forward Chicho Arango will serve a four-game suspension for violating the MLS Anti-Harassment Policy, the club announced on Monday.

4 days ago

Chicho Arango Real Salt Lake RSL LA Galaxy...

Chandler Holt

Real Salt Lake Faces Two Crucial MLS Matchups Prior To Leagues Cup

The 2024 Leagues Cup is around the corner but Real Salt Lake has to keep its focus on the MLS season with two big matchups on tap.

5 days ago

Andres Gomez Real Salt Lake RSL Seattle Sounders FC...

Chandler Holt

Real Salt Lake Road Unbeaten Streak Comes To An End In Portland

Real Salt Lake had its road unbeaten streak snapped in Providence Park as they fell to the Portland Timbers FC, 3-0.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

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