COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Wednesday, May 24, 2023) – Real Salt Lake (4-6-3, 15 points, West 11) clinched its spot in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals with a 1-0 victory over Rocky Mountain Rivals behind a goal from Jefferson Savarino and a clean sheet from 18-year-old Homegrown goalkeeper Gavin Beavers.
On the heels of a 3-2 victory over the Rapids just four days prior, Real Salt Lake rolled out a lineup that saw nine changes between the two matches. The changes saw RSL struggle to find cohesion in the opening minutes of the match, with Colorado maintaining a majority of the possession. However, neither side was able to truly pressure goal until the 22nd minute when Sam Nicholson rocketed off a shot, but RSL Homegrown Beavers was able to stretch and push the ball up into the crossbar, keeping the ball out of the back of the net.
It was Real Salt Lake who broke through first in the 30th minute, as Anderson Julio provided Savarino with a moment of individual brilliance, the Venezuelan receiving the ball near the midfield line before driving towards goal and ripping a shot from 25 yards out past Rapids’ goalkeeper Marko Illic to take the 1-0 lead. Savarino nearly doubled the lead just before the halftime break, but the ball was deflected by a Colorado defender and the first half ended 1-0 in favor of Real Salt Lake.
Coming out of the halftime break, winger Maikel Chang was mere inches away from finding the back of the net, but his header bounced off the right post, preventing what seemed to be a sure goal. The Rapids continued to push for the equalizer as the second half wore on, but the Claret-and-Cobalt was able to withstand the waves of pressure, limiting any quality chances for the home team. For the remainder of the half, Real Salt Lake was able to easily shut down all of Colorado's attempts to equalize, securing the 1-0 road victory and a berth in the Quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Real Salt Lake will now host LA Galaxy at America First Field in the June 6/7 window.
UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake are set to travel to Minnesota United on Saturday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m. MT before returning to America First Field to host LA Galaxy on Wednesday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m. MT.
GOAL SCORING SUMMARY:
RSL: Jefferson Savarino (Anderson Julio) 30th minute: Julio chipped a short pass to an oncoming Savarino near the midfield circle. Savarino drove up the field towards goal before ripping a shot from deep outside the 18-yard-box into the upper right corner of goal.
- Forward Anderson Julio, winger Jefferson Savarino and defender Brayan Vera all made their Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup debuts, with Julio and Savarino recording their first assists and goals in the competition, respectively.
- Jefferson Savarino’s goal in the 30th minute made him the 30th all-time Real Salt Lake player to score in a U.S. Open Cup competition and the fifth on the current active roster, joining Maikel Chang, Andrés Goméz, Damir Kreilach and Danny Musovski.
- Second-half substitute Marcelo Silva made his return to the pitch for the first time since April 29, missing time due to a back injury.
- RSL Homegrown goalkeeper Gavin Beavers earned his first shutout for Real Salt Lake across all competitions. Meanwhile, the clean sheet marked RSL’s first in the U.S. Open Cup since June 14, 2015 in the Quarterfinals against LA Galaxy at America First Field and only the Club’s sixth shutout all-time in 32 USOC matches.
- With the win, Real Salt Lake advances to the Quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup for just the third time in Club history (2013, 2015).
Real Salt Lake (4-4-2): Gavin Beavers; Emeka Eneli, Justen Glad, Brayan Vera (Marcelo Silva 63’), Andrew Brody; Andrés Goméz (Damir Kreilach 85’), Braian Ojeda (Jasper Löffelsend 63’), Pablo Ruiz, Maikel Chang (Rubio Rubin 76’); Jefferson Savarino, Anderson Julio (Danny Musovski 46’)
Subs not used: Tomas Gomez, Delentz Pierre
Colorado Rapids (3-4-3): Marko Illic; Lalas Abubakar, Andres Maxso (Danny Wilson 73’), Moise Bombito (Anthony Markanich 73’); Braian Galvan (Connor Ronan 61’), Sam Nicholson, Bryan Acosta, Keegan Rosenberry; Danny Leyva, Kevin Cabral (Calvin Harris 78’), Michael Barrios (Jonathan Lewis 46’)
Subs not used: William Yarbrough, Steven Beitashour, Ralph Priso
Stats Summary: RSL / COL
Shots: 11 / 10
Shots on Goal: 2 / 3
Saves: 3 / 1
Corner Kicks: 3 / 5
Fouls: 9 / 8
RSL:Andrés Goméz (caution) 12’
RSL: Braian Ojeda (caution) 37’
COL: Keegan Rosenberry (caution) 78’
RSL: Jasper Löffelsend (caution) 82’