Real Salt Lake 1 vs Columbus Crew SC 1
February 20, 2016; Kino Sports Complex
Man of the Match: Jordan Allen is still learning to play the No. 10 position, but his performance on Saturday evening was encouraging. He found players in positions to get into the attack and his goal was a thing of beauty as RSL sprung into attack with precision.
Telling Stat: Real Salt Lake’s starting 11 combined for 20 career MLS goals. Last season, Columbus’ starting striker Kei Kamara scored 22 goals himself. Kamara (74 career goals) and Conor Casey (71 career goals), who played the second half for Columbus, represent the only MLS tandem with at least 70 goals apiece. That RSL’s group was able to hang with the Crew is a positive side for the mostly young side.
What You Missed: Homegrown midfielder Danilo Acosta had a positive showing in his most extended time against an MLS opponent on Saturday. The defensive midfielder played alongside John Stertzer and was fearless in his decisions and aggressive without crossing any lines. Getting that sort of confidence in an 18-year-old playing against the defending MLS Cup champions was a telling start.
So What: At times, RSL’s second unit lacked the poise and patience that was so prevalent in the experienced Crew side on the other side of the ball. However, finishing with a 1-1 result was a good sign for a mostly young group that is learning their way through MLS.