Real Salt Lake fell on Sunday, July 3rd to Minnesota United 3-2 on the road. RSL attempted a late comeback after falling behind 3-0 in the 61st minute, but came up a goal short. Jefferson Savarino and Anderson Julio scored the two Real Salt Lake goals five minutes apart in the 2nd half, but the rally fell short.
RSL’s first goal came in the 71st minute from Savarino. Sergio Cordova made a nice switch to Maikel Chang who played the ball into the box for Savarino who put it home.
The second goal came on a corner in the 76th minute. Savarino took the corner and then Julio cut into the front post, beat his man in the air, and then perfectly placed the ball back across the net for the goal.
Overall, it wasn't RSL's best performance, but the extremely strong stretch of play from the 70th minute-76th minute where Salt Lake almost scored three goals to equalize showed how strong this team is capable of playing. While the final 20 minutes was exciting, this was a match that RSL will definitely want to move on from pretty quickly (which with the talent this team has, they can do) and improve from.
Salt Lake is still in strong position in the table, even with the loss. RSL currently sits 3rd in the West with 29 points through 18 matches. They’re currently two points ahead of the LA Galaxy, FC Dallas, and Nashville who are in a three-way tie for fourth.
Minnesota struck first in the match in the ninth minute off the foot of Emanuel Reynoso. Reynoso also scored the second goal off a rebound from a penalty kick in first half stoppage time. The final Minnesota goal to put them up 3-0 came from Luis Amarilla In the 61st minute as he got past the RSL backline and then chipped the ball over RSL keeper Zac MacMath for the goal.
Real Salt Lake held the edge in possession for the match 54.3%-45.7%. Minnesota held the edge in shots and shots on target however. Real Salt Lake was outshot 18-12 and was outdone 7-4 in shots on target. Minnesota held the edge in expected goals 2.7-1.5.
RSL completed 83.6% of their passes, while Minnesota completed 80.9%. It was an efficient day passing, but the passes and possession were only threatening in spurts for RSL.
One of RSL’s best chances that didn’t result in a goal was in the 74th minute when Cordova had a chance after getting past the Minnesota backline, but his shot was saved impressively by the Minnesota keeper. Pablo Ruiz also had an early chance for RSL as he shot from well outside the box, but it was stopped with a diving save.
In net for RSL, MacMath made a big save early in the 6th minute as he was able to stop a blistering shot from Bongokuhle Hlongwane. He also made a stop in the 68th minute as he stopped another streaking run by stepping up and getting big with his body.
Savarino was arguably RSL's best player in the match. He had the goal and the assist, but he also had a very impressive six key passes.
Cordova had a strong match as well as he completed 81.8% of his passes, had a key pass, drew a foul, and had the switch that led up to one of RSL's goals.
Ruiz also had an efficient match passing-wise as he completed 93.8% of his passes and had a key pass.
RSL will be back in action on Saturday, July 9th when they host Colorado. RSL's next 3 matches (and 4 of their next 5) are all against teams currently below the playoff line in their respective conferences. So this month will be a big opportunity for RSL to pick up points in their race to at least make the playoffs and to get as high of a seed as possible. It might seem early for playoff thinking, but RSL is now over halfway through their season and in great position in the table.