SANDY, Utah (Wednesday, August 18, 2021) – Real Salt Lake (7-6-6, 27 points) secured a late 2-1 victory over Houston Dynamo FC on a windy and rainy night at Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday night.

Justin Meram scored the game’s opening goal in the sixth minute while Anderson Julio’s fourth goal of the 2021 season solidified the full three points for RSL.

RSL jumped out to an early lead when it finished off a counterattack in the sixth minute when Bobby Wood found Meram just inside the penalty area where he calmly curled a low shot into the bottom corner of the net for the 1-0 lead. From then, both teams traded chances on either end of the field that never materialized as RSL went into the halftime break up 1-0. 

The home team’s lead didn’t last long to start the second half as Fafa Picault headed home a Houston corner kick in the 51st minute to draw the match level at 1-1. Dynamo FC continued its press for the go-ahead goal but each chance was snuffed out by the RSL backline. Late in the second half, Julio entered the match and provided the heroics for the home side as his effort from just inside the penalty area proved the winner for RSL in the 88th minute, giving RSL its second consecutive win.

UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake now faces the Rocky Mountain Cup rival Colorado Rapids on Saturday, August 21 at Dicks Sporting Goods Park. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. MT. 

GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:

RSL: Justin Meram (Bobby Wood) 6th minute - Winning the ball in the attacking half, RSL sprung quickly on the counter with a 4v1 advantage. Wood carried the ball near the edge of the penalty area where he laid the ball off to Meram who placed a calm curling finish into the bottom corner of the net for the early lead. 

HOU: Fafa Picault (Darwin Ceren) 51st minute - Earning a corner from the right side, Ceren swung the ball into a dangerous spot inside the penalty area where Picault was able to get his head to the ball first to sneak it past MacMath in the RSL goal.

RSL: Anderson Julio (Rubio Rubin, Donny Toia) 88th minute - Receiving the ball near the corner of the penalty area, Toia crossed the ball into Rubin who fielded the cross with a delicate touch to Julio. Julio took a touch before coolly placing the ball into the bottom corner of the far post to secure the win.

NOTES: 

- Midfielder Damir Kreilach was named to the 28-man roster for the 2021 MLS All-Star Game. The best in MLS will face the LigaMX All-Stars on August 25 at Banc of California Stadium.

- Real Salt Lake is tied for eighth in MLS with 29 goals scored and tied for sixth with 21 goals conceded. RSL’s +8 goal differential ranks seventh in MLS.

- Defender Ashtone Morgan was unavailable due to MLS health and safety protocols.

- Goalkeeper David Ochoa was unavailable due to quad tightness.

- Forward Jeizon Ramirez (quad) and defenders Andrew Brody (toe) and Zack Farnsworth (ankle) were unavailable due to injury.

- Real Salt Lake had two RSL Academy product in the XI and two more available on the bench. Additionally, four players on the 20-man roster were previously signed to the Monarchs.

- Real Salt Lake celebrated Military Appreciation Night.

Match: Real Salt Lake vs. Houston Dynamo FC

Date: August 18, 2021

Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

Weather: Rainy and 68 degrees

Attendance: 13,570 

Scoring Summary:           1      2      F 

Real Salt Lake              1     1      2

Houston Dynamo FC            0      1      1

RSL: Justin Meram (Bobby Wood) 6’
HOU: Fafa Picault (Darwin Ceren) 51’
RSL: Anderson Julio (Rubio Rubin, Donny Toia) 88’

Lineups:

Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Zac MacMath; Aaron Herrera, Marcelo Silva, Toni Datkovic (Maikel Chang 80’), Donny Toia; Everton Luiz (Pablo Ruiz 68’), Damir Kreilach; Jonathan Menendez (Nick Besler 68’), Albert Rusnak, Justin Meram (Anderson Julio 80’); Bobby Wood (Rubio Rubin 57’)

Subs not used: Andrew Putna, Erik Holt, Noah Powder, Justen Glad

Houston Dynamo FC (4-4-2): Marko Maric; Adam Lundkvist, Tim Parker, Teenage Hadebe, Zarek Valetin; Griffin Dorsey (Maynor Figueroa 84’), Adalberto Carrasquilla, Matias Vera (Joe Corona 84’), Darwin Ceren; Fafa Picault, Ariel Lassiter (Maxi Urruti 59’)

Subs not used: Michael Nelson, Sam Junqua, Memo Rodriguez, Oscar Boniek, Mateo Bajamich

Stats Summary: RSL / HOU

Shots: 10 / 14

Shots on Goal: 4 / 1

Saves: 0 / 2

Corner Kicks: 4 / 8

Offside: 1 / 1

Fouls: 10 / 10

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY:
RSL: Damir Kreilach (caution) 29’
RSL: Albert Rusnák (caution) 90’

OFFICIALS:

Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Jose Da Silva
4th Official: Nima Saghafi
VAR: Joseph Dickerson
AVAR: Michael Kampmeinert