TUCSON, Arizona (Saturday, February 20, 2016) – Real Salt Lake wrapped up the 2016 preseason with a pair of matches on Saturday – one a 45-minute scrimmage against FC Tucson and the other a full match in the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup. In the first, RSL’s projected starters for Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal match against Tigres in Mexico got out to an early start and romped FC Tucson 4-0 in a 45-minute tune-up. Then in the evening, MF Jordan Allen scored in a 1-1 draw against MLS Cup finalist Columbus Crew SC.
The Claret-and-Cobalt will now transition in the Champions League Quarterfinal Round, facing Tigres on Wednesday in Monterrey, Mexico.
Against Columbus, RSL got on the board first in the 17th minute when Allen took a pass from FW Emery Welshman and blasted it past Steve Clark into the net for a 1-0 lead. In a back-and-forth first half, Columbus responded with a goal from Kei Kamara in the 26th minute, as Waylon Francis whipped the ball into the box and Kamara skied for a header to equalize.
A free-flowing match slowed considerably late in the first half and scoring chances came few and far between in the second half.
RSL extended most of its players 90 minutes, but also saw appearances in the second half from 2016 MLS SuperDraft selections FW Amass Amankona and DF Max Lachowecki, as well as RSL-Arizona Academy players FW Elijah Rice and MF Alec Felix.
In the morning session, RSL got three goals from FW Joao Plata and a fourth from FW Juan Manuel Martinez in a great final performance in a 45-minute scrimmage with FC Tucson.
RSL will remain in Tucson to train on Sunday and Monday before departing Monday afternoon for Monterrey, Mexico. Wednesday will mark RSL’s return to the Champions League Quarterfinals, where the club last appeared in 2011 on its way to an appearance in the tournament final, the first MLS club to do so under the tournament’s current format.
REAL SALT LAKE 1-1 COLUMBUS CREW SC
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2016
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 0 1
Columbus Crew SC 1 0 1
RSL: Jordan Allen (Emery Welshman) 17’
CLB: Kei Kamara (Waylon Francis) 26’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Jeff Attinella; Boyd Okuwonu, Phanuel Kavita, Justen Glad, Chris Wingert (Max Lachowecki, 74’); John Stertzer, Danilo Acosta (Alec Felix, 89’); Emery Welshman (Amass Amankona, 59’), Jordan Allen, Olmes Garcia (Elijah Rice, 86’); Devon Sandoval.
Columbus Crew SC (4-2-3-1): Steve Clark (Matt Pacifici, 60’); Harrison Afful (Marshall Hollingsworth, 60’), Michael Parkhurst (Amro Tamrek, 60’), Gaston Sauro (Tyson Wahl, 60’), Waylon Francis (Corey Ashe, 60’); Tony Tchani (Mohammed Saied, 60’), Wil Trapp (Saravia, 60’); Ethan Finlay (Justin Meram, 60’), Federico Higuain (Emil Larsen, 60’), Hector Jimenez (Cedrick Mabwati, 60’); Kei Kamara (Conor Casey, 60’).