Real Salt Lake Unfazed By Miami Loss, Eyes Set On St. Louis City SC

Feb 22, 2024, 3:41 PM

Real Salt Lake Inter Miami CF...

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 21: Lionel Messi #10 of Inter Miami dribbles against Diego Luna #8 and Braian Ojeda #6 of Real Salt Lake during the first half at Chase Stadium on February 21, 2024 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – After the loss to Inter Miami CF on Wednesday, members of Real Salt Lake spoke on the season opener and what to expect from the club moving forward.

Head coach Pablo Mastroeni and defender Justen Glad felt that RSL played well overall and shouldn’t be concerned by the game-one loss.

Mastroeni Speaks On Inter Miami Loss

Mastroeni said that the players may have been nervous early on and that led to a slow first half.

“Once we settled down late in the first half, I thought we did a good job of creating opportunities,” Mastroeni said. “I think it took a little while to get over the nerves. Overall, I thought it was a really good effort.”

RSL took four shots in the first half to nine from Inter Miami. None of Real’s first-half attempts were on goal.

Real Salt Lake came out much more aggressive in the second half but was unable to score an equalizer before going down but two goals.

RSL doesn’t have much time to dwell on the loss as they head to St. Louis for a match on Saturday.

“It starts with recovery,” Mastroeni said. “We’ll probably make a couple of changes to the group so we can get some fresh legs. We’ll look at some film and really think about areas that we need to improve on in the way we attack.”

One of the biggest storylines for RSL was the debut of 17-year-old midfielder Fidel Barajas.

The 2023 USL Championship Young Player of the Year subbed in during the second half and didn’t record any stats in his 24 minutes on the pitch.

Some fans were shocked to see Barajas see action in the season opener but Mastroeni said that Barajas had earned his minutes in the preseason.

“(Fidel Barajas) showed really well in the preseason,” Mastroeni said. “He contributed to two or three goals in preseason. He’s brave. I don’t think the moment is too big for him. Obviously, it was a big game to come into. I thought he had some really good moments.”

Justen Glad, RSL Looking Forward To St. Louis

Despite the shutout loss, defender Justen Glad shared Mastroeni’s thoughts that RSL played well overall.

Glad said that the club is taking the season one game at a time and they already have their sights on St. Louis.

“I thought we played pretty well,” Glad said. “One or two mistakes and they capitalized. I think there’s a lot to take from the game. It’s good progress for us and we’ll take everything from this game and move on to St. Louis.”

Messi took four shots and recorded one assist in the season opener.

Glad prevented Messi’s first goal of the season as he rose up to deny a free kick that appeared to be headed for the top right corner.

“They have quality players but I actually thought we handled it pretty well,” Glad said. “You’ve got to always be aware of where Messi is. He’s capable of slotting those passes or taking you on the dribble. I thought we contained them pretty well for the most part.”

RSL Falls To Inter Miami In Season Opener

Real Salt Lake kicked off its 2024 season against Inter Miami CF in Chase Stadium on Wednesday.

Robert Taylor and Diego Gómez both found the back of the net for Miami while RSL was held scoreless.

In the first half, Miami controlled the ball for over 60% of the 45 minutes and took nine shots on goal to Real’s four.

RSL came out of the break motivated and started sending some missiles towards Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender. RSL finished with 17 shot attempts.

Just two of RSL’s 17 attempts were on goal. Chicho Arango attempted five shots and assisted on two other attempts.

How To Watch Real Salt Lake

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

AllReal 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 Unfazed By Miami Loss, Eyes Set On St. Louis City SC