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RSL Opens Season with Draw at Houston Dynamo

HOUSTON, Texas (Sunday, February 27, 2022) – Real Salt Lake began its 2022 Major League Soccer season with a 0-0 road draw against Houston Dynamo FC, extending its Season-Opener unbeaten streak to 13 games for a 6-0-7 since the 2010 season opener.

Goalkeeper Zac MacMath made two saves to earn his sixth clean sheet as a member of the Claret and Cobalt.

Returning to the pitch for the Club’s 2022 Season Opener, RSL saw Houston come out as the aggressors with two clear opportunities in the first five minutes, but an outstretched leg from Marcelo Silva deflected both chances. However, the tides began to turn as RSL began to maintain more possession. In the 27th minute RSL registered the first and only shot on target in the first half when Pablo Ruiz lofted a ball into the box and onto the head of Silva, who flicked it directly to the hands of goalkeeper Steve Clark. The two sides continued to alternate possession, but neither was able to find the back of the net and the first half ended level at 0-0.

The two sides continued to battle back and forth in the second half, but once again it was Houston who had the first opportunity, forcing MacMath to make two saves in quick succession. In the 60th minute Adam Lundqvist blasted a shot directly to the hands of MacMath, whose initial save ricocheted back to the head of Lundqvist for another shot on goal, but the second save was neatly wrapped, ending the dangerous opportunity.

Real Salt Lake nearly broke the stalemate when second-half substitute Maikel Chang ripped a shot from outside the 18-yard-box in the 72nd minute, but Clark was able to stretch out wide and push the ball around the left post. Just a few minutes later Clark had to stretch out towards the right post, this time to push out a deep shot from Ruiz which was curling in towards goal. RSL almost gave up the go-ahead goal in the 81st minute when Darwin Quintero cut around several defenders to hit a left-footed shot, but the ball slammed into the crossbar and Silva was able to clear the rebound.

Four minutes into stoppage time RSL had a chance to steal all three points when Chang was awarded a free kick for a late foul, just outside the box, but Ruiz’s kick went over top the crossbar and the referee blew the whistle, ending the match square at 0-0.

UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake returns to Rio Tinto Stadium for its 2022 Home Opener against Seattle Sounders on Saturday, March 5 at at 4:00 p.m. MT.


  • Defender Aaron Herrera was unavailable due to a red card received against Portland Timbers in the 2021 Western Conference Final.
  • Midfielder Everton Luiz was unavailable for selection as his P1 visa had not yet been received.
  • Nick Besler, Zack Farnsworth, Axel Kei, David Ochoa and Rubio Rubin were unavailable due to injury.
  • Midfielder Damir Kreilach wore the captain’s armband, having been named RSL team captain by Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni.
  • The Club’s season-opener unbeaten streak remains intact, dating back to 2010 for a record of 6-0-7
  • Midfielder Scott Caldwell made his RSL debut as a starter, while Sergio Cordova and Jasper Loeffelsend made their RSL and MLS debut as substitutes.

Match: Real Salt Lake vs. Houston Dynamo

Date: February 27, 2022

Venue: PNC Stadium; Houston, Texas

Weather: Clear and 57 degrees

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F

Real Salt Lake 0 0 0

Houston Dynamo 0 0 0


Real Salt Lake (3-5-2): Zac MacMath, Erik Holt, Justen Glad, Marcelo Silva; Andrew Brody (Jonathan Menendez 77’), Pablo Ruiz, Scott Caldwell (Jasper Loeffelsend 90+3’), Justin Meram (Maikel Chang 65’), Tate Schmitt; Damir Kreilach, Bobby Wood (Sergio Cordova 65’)

Subs not used: Tomas Gomez, Bode Davis, Chris Garcia, Johan Kappelhof

Houston Dynamo (4-2-3-1): Steve Clark; Griffin Dorsey (Zarek Valentin 46’), Tim Parker, Adam Lundqvist, Daniel Steres; Matias Vera, Memo Rodriguez (Darwin Quintero 70’), Corey Baird (Thorleifur Ulfarsson 81’); Fafa Picault, Darwin Ceren (Adalberto Carrasquilla 46’), Sebastian Ferreira

Subs not used: Michael Nelson, Teenage Hadebe, Tyler Pasher, Sam Junqua

Stats Summary: HOU / RSL
Shots: 10 / 8
Shots on Goal: 2 / 2
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 9 / 8
Fouls: 13 / 9


HOU: Daniel Steres (caution) 12’
RSL: Pablo Ruiz (caution) 17’
RSL: Scott Caldwell (caution) 23’
HOU: Matias Vera (caution) 34’
HOU: Adalberto Carrasquilla (caution) 53’
RSL: Erik Holt (caution) 59’
HOU: Fafa Picault (caution) 90+4’

Referee: Ramy Touchan
Assistant Referees: Matthew Nelson, Ian McKay
4th Official: Matthew Thompson
VAR: Rosendo Mendoza