Real Salt Lake 0 vs. Chicago Fire 1
October 23, 2021; Solider Field, Chicago, Illinois
Real Salt Lake (12-12-6, 42 points); Chicago Fire (9-16-7, 34 points)
Man of the Match: Goalkeeper David Ochoa was tasked with withstanding the offensive pressure from Chicago from the onset of the match. The Fire pestered goal, launching 26 shots, including 10 on target. Ochoa was able to make 8 saves in an attempt to keep RSL in the game, matching his previous single-game career high.
Telling Stat: Visiting the Eastern Conference for the first and only time this season, Real Salt Lake were held scoreless for the first time since August 4 against LAFC and for only the fifth time this year in 30 matches. Seventeen-year old goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina came up big between the pipes for Chicago, making five saves against an RSL side that has scored the third-most goals (48) in the Western Conference.
What You Missed: Interim Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni rolled out the same starting XI that defeated Colorado Rapids 3-1 last Saturday to lift the Rocky Mountain Cup, but against an unfamiliar Eastern Conference side were unable to find the same fortune. Additionally, forward Bobby Wood returned to the pitch for the first time since August 18, missing a string of matches due to a hamstring strain. Wood replaced Pablo Ruiz as a second-half substitute in the 85th minute.
What’s Next: Four games remain in the 2021 MLS regular season, RSL closing out the schedule in just 12 days. RSL will first will head to FC Dallas this Wednesday, October 27, before returning to Rio Tinto Stadium to host San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, October 30. The final two matches will take place the following week against Portland Timbers on Wednesday, November 3 at home and then at Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, November 7 in Major League Soccer’s “Decision Day” to finish out this campaign.