Real Salt Lake fell to FC Dallas 1-0 on Saturday, July 23rd thanks to a goal from Jesus Ferreira in the 14th minute, and then were able to hang on for the win from there. It sort of feels like a tough luck loss for RSL with how many chances they had, but they just couldn't find the back of the net. RSL has now picked up just four points through five matches in July so far.
Ferreira's goal came after a turnover from RSL. Paul Arriola took the ball away and played it in towards the box. Ferreira then feigned a touch to allow the ball through to Paxton Pomykal. Pomykal then played a through ball into Ferreira who was able to control the ball and then put shot past Zac MacMath in goal for RSL.
Jefferson Savarino had a great chance for RSL early in the sixth minute. Justin Meram played the ball to Andrew Brody who sent a cross in to Savarino who was in front of the net, but his shot went wide right.
Then another chance came shortly after in the seventh minute. Maikel Chang played a cross into Sergio Cordova, but his header went right to Dallas' keeper (Maarten Paes).
FC Dallas beat Real Salt Lake 1-0
Arguably RSL's best chance came in the 31st minute when Savarino barely missed a goal. Chang played the ball to Aaron Herrera who sent a cross in to a crowded group in front of the net. Savarino came sprinting in and dove for a header. He made contact and the ball bounced straight into the ground and then bounced high up and just a few inches over the crossbar. The play had the biggest expected goal output of any play in the match (included Ferreira's goal for FC Dallas).
RSL had one final really good chance to find an equalizer in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time. Meram made a nice cutback to open up a shot from outside the box. He pulled a shot from about 25 yards out, but his shot went just wide right.
Statistically, RSL led the possession battle handily (69.3%-30.7%). Along with that, RSL completed a whopping 88.9% of their passes (compared to Dallas' 73.9%), however it was not enough to break through for a goal.
Salt Lake outshot Dallas 25-7, while holding the edge in shots on goal 5-2. Again, that gives the picture of how many chances RSL had, but they just couldn't break through. RSL also won twice as many duels as Dallas. Dallas however led in the area of clearances 30-3 as they were able to thwart off danger enough to pick up the win.
To give you an idea of how how many chances RSL had that they couldn't capitalize on, RSL held the advantage in expected goals 2.1 to 0.7.
Andrew Brody had a really good match for RSL. He completed 90.1% of his passes, made five key passes (which led the team), was efficient in winning his duels, drew two fouls, and made the aforementioned cross into Savarino that almost led to an RSL goal.
Justin Meram also had another quality match. He completed 90% of his passes, made two key passes, made two successful tackles, led RSL in duels won, and drew five fouls.
Aaron Herrera led RSL in expected assists with 0.73. He also completed 90% of his passes and made two key passes.
Savarino led the way in XG+A (expected goals plus assists) with 1.12. He also completed 80% of his passes, made two key passes, and was among the tops on the team in duels won.
RSL now sits fourth in the Western Conference table (but are just one point out of third). Their lead is shrinking though on the teams behind them. They have just a three point lead on eighth place. Next up, RSL will take on San Jose on Saturday, July 30th. That's a match that RSL could use a result in, if not the full three points.