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Real Salt Lake Remain Home Saturday For MLS Matchday 18 Against New York City FC


SANDY, Utah (Friday, June 9, 2023) – Real Salt Lake (5-7-4, 19 pts., 9th West) concludes a run of six consecutive three-game weeks Saturday at home against visiting New York City FC (4-7-5, 17 pts. 13th East), with Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni’s side unbeaten in 11 of its last 13 (seven wins, four draws) since April 22. Saturday marks the first NYCFC visit to Utah since August of 2019, with RSL boasting a perfect 3W-0L-0T record on Utah soil against the 2015 MLS expansion side and the MLS Cup 2021 champions. RSL fell 6-0 against NYCFC in the clubs’ last meeting on Easter Sunday, 2022, at Yankee Stadium.

RSL defeated the LA Galaxy 3-2 on Wednesday in the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal before 20,712 at America First Field, with Captain Damir Kreilach providing a first-half brace and Jefferson Savarino pushing the lead to 3-0 early in the second half, with Rubio Rubin – who scored both goals in last Saturday’s 2-1 road win at Austin – setting up all three scoring opportunities against LA Galaxy. Despite a tense finish that saw the visitors score twice in the final 10 minutes, RSL advances in the 109-year old tourney to face Houston Dynamo away at the Semifinal stage on August 23 in South Texas. 

Following Saturday’s match – which will serve as a mini-farewell for internationals Savarino (Venezuela), Rubin (Guatemala), Anderson Julio (Ecuador) and potentially Braian Ojeda (Paraguay), Pablo Ruiz (Chile) and Bryan Oviedo (Costa Rica) prior to the upcoming international window – RSL next travels to D.C. United (June 17) and St. Louis FC (June 21) before returning home on Sat., June 24 against Minnesota United. Tickets for all RSL home games, including Saturday’s vs. NYCFC, can be found at  


Real Salt Lake (5-7-4, 19 pts., 9th West) focuses on recapturing its once-legendary home form, the side struggling at America First Field this season, with a 3W-4L-2T mark across all competitions in a venue where RSL historically has earned nearly 2.00 points per game with a .700 winning percentage.

Since April 8, RSL has recorded eight wins, three losses and four draws in its last 15 games across multiple competitions, as Saturday’s match concludes a slate of schedule congestion with 14 games in 48 days across MLS and Open Cup action, during which Mastroeni and the RSL staff have used 25 different players. 

Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni’s side earned 10 road points in four road games the last two weeks.


Since Pablo Mastroeni arrived at RSL for the 2021 season, first as an assistant coach and later as interim and then permanent head coach, the historically bad road performances that dogged the Club during its first 16 years have seemed to dissipate. While there have been the periodic flameouts – an 0-5 at Portland in 2021, the 0-6 Easter massacre at Yankee Stadium last year, and the 0-4 at Columbus earlier in 2023 – RSL has simply never been more competitive or expected road points more frequently than it has in the last 27 months under Pablo’s culture-building and leadership, evident with this year’s Open Cup road run, featuring its first three away USOC wins in Club history, as well as its first two against MLS opponents. 

Since Pablo’s arrival, RSL is now 11W-21L-10T (40 points) in MLS reg. season matches away following last Saturday’s win in Austin, along with a 1W-1L-2T (5 points) in MLS Cup Playoff matches on the road. And now in 2023, RSL is 3W-0L-0L in U.S. Open Cup (9 points), giving RSL a total of 57 road points (1.17 points per game) earned in the 2021-2023 trio of campaigns. You’d have to go back to the 2012-14 seasons (62 total road points) to find a period with similar road results (1.22 points per game). RSL will play nine more MLS reg. season away matches this year, starting next Saturday at D.C. United.


Last Saturday’s unexpected 2-1 win at Austin representd yet another opportunity for RSL to improve upon its record in “bounceback” games under Mastroeni, as the Claret-and-Cobalt have earned a result in 20 of 25 matches following a loss in the “Pablo era”. Since August 2021, RSL has posted a 13W-5L-7T mark in these matches, suffering back-to-back losses just five times in the former USMNT star’s 74 games at the RSL helm. 


Each of the last three Saturdays in MLS action, as well as in three of the four Open Cup victories, RSL did something it usually has not during 2023 – score first. Only on April 22 v SJ (3-1 W), May 20 @ COL (3-2 W), May 27 @ MIN (1-1 T) and June 3 @ ATX (2-1 W) has RSL struck first, against 11 other MLS matches that were not scoreless draws. 

In recent weeks, RSL has posted eight wins, three losses and four draws in 15 games across multiple competitions. Seven of the eight wins have seen RSL score two or more goals, with only the 1-0 Open Cup win at Colorado bucking that trend. The lone shutout loss was an 0-3 home setback on May 13 against LAFC, while three of the four draws dating back to mid-April were of the 0-0 scoreless variety.


RSL FW Rubio Rubin has scored or created the Club’s last five goals in two matches against Austin / LA Galaxy. His brace at ATX snapped an 830-minute scoring drought dating back to his “Decision Day” goal against the Portland Timbers, which marked his first goal in 32 games / 27 starts / nearly 365 days, dating back to his stellar 2021 campaign with RSL. 

That the brace came at the site of last year’s playoff disappointment – a 53’ red card in just his fourth start since last July 1 – marked redemption on numerous levels. In Wednesday’s 3-2 Open Cup win, Rubin assisted on Kreilach’s opener and Savarino’s game-winner while being taken down in the box for a penalty converted for Kreilach’s brace.

In 2021, Rubin had 8 goals and 5 assists in 25 starts / 34 appearances, including 4 goals and 2 assists in his first five games with RSL.


While RSL has suffered just three losses in its last 14 matches across all competitions – posting that 7W-3L-4T mark – and has posted defensive clean sheets in three of its last eight MLS contests (and four of its last 10 overall), the first-half outburst on May 20 at Colorado snapped a 382-minute goal drought in MLS, which was the Club’s 3rd-longest in 19 years. That drought was just 5 minutes shy of a 2015 streak and 188 minutes shy of the record set during RSL’s 2005 expansion year. The trio of first-half goals that Saturday at Colorado marked the first time since Oct. 2018 that RSL scored three in the first 45 minutes, and marked just the fifth time in the last 92 games all competitions that RSL scored twice in the first 23 minutes. 

The May 24 clean sheet by 18-year-old GK Gavin Beavers at Colorado was RSL’s first Open Cup shutout since 2015, while the zero pitched by GK Zac MacMath and the RSL rearguard on May 6 at Houston was the Club’s first road shutout since last April in Portland. Much-needed defensive staunchness was needed for RSL, which has allowed the second-most goals in MLS this season (27, tied with Charlotte and one fewer than Atlanta), mostly due to a pair of 0-4 losses to St. Louis and at Columbus, along with the 0-3 home loss to LAFC on May 13.

The early LAFC goal on May 13 terminated RSL’s active MLS shutout streak at 230 minutes, following scoreless draws at home against Seattle and at Houston in the prior two weeks. Those defensive zeroes marked RSL’s first two of only three clean sheets in the first 13 matches of 2023, as with the back-to-back clean sheets RSL’s first since last June 18/25. Another 90 minutes without conceding came in the Club’s last home game – on Wed, May 17 – in a lightning-delayed 0-0 draw with Portland for clean sheet No. 3 on the MLS campaign.