NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Sunday, May 8, 2022) – Real Salt Lake (4-3-4, 16 points) fell 2-0 at Nashville SC in its maiden voyage to beautiful new GEODIS Park in Tennessee despite a season-high seven saves from Zac MacMath. With the loss, RSL’s record run of eight road results for 16 points in its last 11 away matches preceding today’s result is snapped, left in a deadlock with the Club’s 2010 road run.
In its first trip to Nashville, Real Salt Lake began the match hard-pressed by the home side. Nashville broke out early, pressing the Claret-and-Cobalt’s backline, but four key saves from MacMath kept the game scoreless. The center-back tandem of Justen Glad and Marcelo Silva combined with MacMath to make 11 clearances, preventing several of Nashville’s best looks at goal and preserving the 0-0 scoreline heading into the halftime break.
Real Salt Lake opened the second half with its first shot of the match, but Silva’s shot was flicked wide-left of the goal. MacMath faced back-to-back shots from Nashville’s Hany Mukhtar in the 51st and 52nd minute, but two outstretched saves kept both out of the net. Nashville, however, could not be denied, and in the 63rd minute, after a series of blocked shots, Dave Romney found the opening goal for the home side, taking the 1-0 lead. RSL looked to respond quickly, but Aaron Herrera’s bending shot in the 68th minute was saved by goalkeeper Joe Willis.
Hoping to ignite an offensive spark, Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni inserted 2021 breakout loanee Anderson Julio - who arrived Friday on a permanent transfer - in the 75th minute. It looked as if RSL made have found the equalizer, but a foul before the play negated Justin Meram’s goal. In the second minute of second-half stoppage time, Nashville veteran CJ Sapong one-touched a cross towards goal, slipping in the second of the afternoon for the home side. The match ended shortly thereafter with Nashville walking away with the 2-0 victory.
UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake returns to Rio Tinto Stadium on May 14 at 8:30 p.m. MT to host 2021 MLS Expansion side, Austin FC, beginning a stretch that sees the Claret-and-Cobalt at home for four of its next six matches.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
NSH: Dave Romney 63rd minute: MacMath’s initial saved bounced in front of Dax McCarty who crossed it to Walker Zimmerman across the face of the goal. Zimmerman’s shot was blocked courtesy of a goal-line clearance from Rubio Rubin, but Romney’s follow up shot tucked underneath the crossbar into the back of the net.
NSH: CJ Sapong (Luke Haakenson) 90+2nd minute: Haakenson crossed the ball in towards Sapong who one-touched the ball past MacMath into the bottom left corner of goal.
- Sergio Cordova (right knee), Zack Farnsworth (right ankle), Bret Halsey (ankle), Erik Holt (left foot), Johan Kappelhof (left calf), Jonathan Menendez (adductor), David Ochoa (excused absence) and Damir Kreilach (back) were unavailable due to injury.
- Forward Anderson Julio returned to the pitch after permanently signing with RSL last week, coming on as a second-half substitute in the 75th minute. His return marks his first appearance for the Claret-and-Cobalt since his debut season where he scored nine goals across all competitions.
- Midfielder Pablo Ruiz received his fifth yellow card of the season and will miss RSL’s next match against Austin FC as a result of the caution accumulation
Match: Real Salt Lake at Nashville SC
Date: May 8, 2022
Venue: GEODIS Park, Nashville, Tennessee
Weather: Sunny and 75 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 0 0
Nashville SC 0 2 2
NSH: Dave Romney 63’
NSH: CJ Sapong (Luke Haakenson) 90+2’
Real Salt Lake (4-3-3): Zac MacMath; Aaron Herrera, Justen Glad, Marcelo Silva (Nick Besler 75’), Andrew Brody (Tate Schmitt 84’); Pablo Ruiz, Everton Luiz (Scott Caldwell 84’), Maikel Chang (Jasper Löffelsend 62’); Justin Meram, Bobby Wood, Rubio Rubin (Anderson Julio 75’)
Subs not used: Tomas Gomez, Chris Garcia, Chris Kablan, Jaziel Orozco
Nashville SC (4-4-2): Joe Willis; Daniel Lovitz, Dave Romney, Jack Maher, Walker Zimmerman; Dax McCarty, Hany Mukhtar (Luke Haakenson 86’), Alex Muyl, Sean Davis (Brian Anunga 88’); Randall Leal (Ake Loba 46’), CJ Sapong (Ethan Zubak 90+3’)
Subs not used: Bryan Meredith, Handwallam, Eric Miller, Ahmed Longmire, Taylor Washington
Stats Summary: RSL / NSH
Shots: 6 / 21
Shots on Goal: 2 / 10
Saves: 7 / 2
Corner Kicks: 4 / 6
Fouls: 16 / 8
MISCONDUCT SUMMARY:RSL: Everton Luiz (caution) 20’
RSL: Pablo Ruiz (caution) 49’
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referees: CJ Morgante, Brooke Mayo
4th Official: Kevin Broadley
VAR: Daniel Radford