Real Salt Lake Falls To Inter Miami CF On Road In MLS Season Opener

Feb 21, 2024, 8:12 PM | Updated: Feb 22, 2024, 12:28 pm

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Real Salt Lake opened its 2024 season with a 2-0 loss to Inter Miami CF on Wednesday.

Miami dominated time of possession in the season opener. They had the ball for over 55% of the game and had six more shots on goal than RSL.

Real’s road trip will continue this week as they head to CityPark to take on the St. Louis City SC on Saturday, February 24.

First Half

Inter Miami dominated possession early in the game. They held the ball for seven of the first 10 minutes.

In the 13th minute, an excellent outlet pass led to the first quality scoring look for RSL.

The opportunity was quickly conceded and Inter Miami took it the other way.

Pablo Ruiz was shown a yellow card for a foul in the 15th minute.

Lionel Messi took his first attempt of the game from outside the box in the 17th minute. Justen Glad rose up and sent it out of bounds.

Real Salt Lake’s defense held strong and denied three more Miami scoring attempts in the next five minutes.

In the 28th minute, Nelson Palacio took a shot from far outside the box and had it blocked.

On Real’s next attack, Chicho Arango took a shot that sailed just high.

In the 39th minute, Inter Miami got on the board with a heater off the foot of Robert Taylor. Messi assisted on the opening goal for Miami.

RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath got his hands on the shot but it trickled past him into the bottom left corner.

RSL had its back against the wall for much of the first half. Inter Miami had possession for over 60% of the half and took nine shots to just four from RSL.

In the 44th minute, RSL defender Andrew Brody went down with an injury and had to come off the pitch after a short delay.

Arango attempted another shot at the end of stoppage time but it missed high aga

Inter Miami went into the break leading 1-0.

Second Half

Real Salt Lake came out of the break swinging.

Andrés Gómez and Arango both got a shot off in the first five minutes of the half but neither found the mark.

Arango and Ruiz combined for three shots in two minutes shortly after but Miami blocked two of them and the third missed wide right.

In the 66th minute, Fidel Barajas subbed in for Nelson Palacio.

RELATED: Real Salt Lake To Sign Top USL Prospect Fidel Barajas

Brayan Vera attempted two shots in the 72nd minute. The first was saved and the second missed to the left.

Inter Miami made a group substitution in the 77th minute.

In the 83rd, a Miami passing play ended in a goal for Diego Gómez. Luis Suárez was credited with the assist.

With momentum on their side, Miami got two more shots off in the 86th and 89th minutes. MacMath was able to save both.

Four minutes of stoppage time was added.

RSL was unable to get on the board in the season opener as they fell to Inter Miami CF, 2-0.

Real Salt Lake, Inter Miami CF In 2023

Prior to Messi’s arrival midway through the 2023 season, Inter Miami sat at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a record of 5-14-3.

When the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner threw on the pink jersey, Miami went 4-4-4 and won the Leagues Cup with Messi playing limited minutes.

The early season struggles were too much to come back from and Inter Miami failed to qualify for the playoffs.

Real Salt Lake made the MLS Cup Playoffs as the fifth seed in the West with a record of 14-12-8.

Despite getting bounced in the first round by Houston, there was a lot of hope for RSL’s future as young pieces and new additions get more time on the pitch.

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 2024 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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Real Salt Lake Falls To Inter Miami CF On Road In MLS Season Opener