CHICAGO, Ill. (Saturday, October 23, 2021) – Real Salt Lake (12-12-6, 42 points)  struggled on the road, falling 0-1 in its first Soldier Field visit in several years before 31,308 fans. The hometown-yet-already-eliminated from postseason contention Chicago Fire FC rode a late first-half goal from Robert Beric to deny RSL the road result.

Postgame virtual press conferences from Interim Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni and Albert Rusnak.

RSL Goalkeeper David Ochoa made eight saves to keep the Claret-and-Cobalt within striking distance on a night that saw the attack wax and wane. MLS All-Star Damir Kreilach saw his Club-record five-game scoring streak snapped, RSL rarely testing 17-year old Chicago goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina.

RSL again implemented a 3-5-2 setup from Interim Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni during the last 45 days, the Club now entering its final quartet of 2021 matches outside the playoff group. The Club is currently occupying eighth place in the Western Conference, four points behind fourth place Portland in the race to secure a home postseason match, and just behind LA Galaxy, Minnesota United and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, with a trip upcoming this Wednesday at FC Dallas.

Four games remain this season for Real Salt Lake, the club posting a 5-5-0 (W-L-D) mark in 10 games under Mastroeni. RSL is 4-0-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium under Pablo’s direction, returning home next Saturday, October 30 in a “Trunk or Treat” match against San Jose Earthquakes.

UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake returns home briefly prior to Wednesday’s trip to the Toyota Stadium at the North Texas Metroplex, the Claret-and-Cobalt searching for much-needed road success and the full three points against FC Dallas.

GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:

CHI: Robert Beric (Miguel Navarro) 45th minute: Navarro brought down a long pass over the top and one-touched it to Beric, who spun around his defender and hit a right-footed shot past the goalkeeper.

NOTES:

  • Visiting the Eastern Conference for the first and only time this season, Real Salt Lake were held scoreless for the first time since August 4 against LAFC and for only the fifth time this year in 30 matches. Seventeen-year old goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina came up big between the pipes for Chicago, making five saves against an RSL side that has scored the third-most goals (48) in the Western Conference.
  • Interim Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni rolled out the same starting XI that defeated Colorado Rapids 3-1 last Saturday to lift the Rocky Mountain Cup, but against an unfamiliar Eastern Conference side were unable to find the same fortune. Additionally, forward Bobby Wood returned to the pitch for the first time since August 18, missing a string of matches due to a hamstring strain. Wood replaced Pablo Ruiz as a second-half substitute in the 85th minute.
  • Real Salt Lake had five RSL Academy products in the XI and six on the 20-man roster. Additionally, four players on the 20-man roster were previously signed to the Monarchs.
  • Next Saturday, Oct. 30, RSL will seek to extend its home unbeaten run to 10 games dating back to July 21. During that span the team has earned a 7-0-1 record at Rio Tinto Stadium, outscoring opponents 17-7.

Match: Real Salt Lake @ Chicago Fire FC

Date: October 23, 2021

Venue: Soldier Field; Chicago, Ill.

Weather: Partly Cloudy, 60 Degrees

Attendance: 31, 308

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F

Chicago Fire FC 1 0 1
Real Salt Lake 0 0 0

CHI: Robert Beric (Miguel Navarro) 45’

Lineups:

Real Salt Lake (3-5-2): David Ochoa; Aaron Herrera, Justen Glad, Erik Holt; Andrew Brody, Pablo Ruiz (Bobby Wood 85’), Everton Luiz, Mikael Chang (Justin Meram 72’), Albert Rusnák; Damir Kreilach, Rubio Rubin (Anderson Julio 72’)

Subs not used: Zac MacMath, Ashtone Morgan, Donny Toia, Nick Besler, Justin Portillo, Jonathan Menendez

Chicago Fire FC (3-4-3): Gabriel Slonina; Mauricio Pineda, Boris Sekulic (Jhon Espinoza 84’), Jonathan Bornstein, Miguel Navarro; Federico Navarro, Alvaro Medran (Wyatt Omsberg 95’), Gaston Jiménez (Luka Stojanovic 84’); Fabian Herbers (Brian Gutierrez 73’), Ignacio Aliseda, Robert Beris (Nnamdi Chinos Offor 73’)

Subs not used: Alex Monis, Johan Kappelhof, Bobby Shuttleworth, Elliot Collier

Stats Summary: CHI / RSL

Shots: 25 / 16

Shots on Goal: 10 / 5

Saves: 5 / 8

Corner Kicks: 3 / 5

Fouls: 12 / 11

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY:

CHI: Fabian Herbers (caution) 29’

CHI: Mauricio Pineda (caution) 67’

CHI: Gaston Gimenez (caution) 74’

CHI: Brian Gutierrez (caution) 86’

OFFICIALS:

Referee: Rosendo Mendoza

Assistant Referees: Gianni Facchini, Gjovalin Bori

4th Official: Mark Allatin

VAR: Sorin Stoica

AVAR: Peter Balciunas