Real Salt Lake 1 vs. 1 Minnesota United
_May 20, 2023; Allianz Field; St. Paul, Minnesota_Real Salt Lake (4-6-4, 16 points); Minnesota United (5-5-4, 19 points)
Man of the Match: The left side of Real Salt Lake’s rearguard composed of Marcelo Silva and Andrew Brody prevented Minnesota United from claiming victory. Silva, who captained a large portion of the match, made multiple stops including two tackles and seven clearances, preventing a strong Loons attack from gaining any clear looks at goal. Brody also made two defensive stops ridding Minnesota of possession in crucial areas of the pitch, while also adding four clearances and successfully contributing to the attack in the wide areas and half-space. Late into the second half both Brody and Silva each blocked two Minnesota United shots that were destined for goal allowing Real Salt Lake to claim a point at Allianz field.
Telling Stats: Both Real Salt Lake and Minnesota United have never claimed consecutive victories against one another as the match came to a close even at a goal each. This match marks the first draw between the two sides at Allianz Field as Real Salt Lake collects a 1W-2L-1D record at the Loons’ home stadium. Tonight’s draw marks the first time since the 2017 campaign that RSL has gone unbeaten in three consecutive road matches, across all competitions, as the Club improves to 6W-2L-1D in their last eleven matches, a vast improvement to a season that started with the team posting a 3W-5L-2D record in their first ten games.
What You Missed: Even after playing their tenth game in thirty days Real Salt Lake looked to control the pace of the match early, maintaining the majority of possession while not allowing a clean look at goal in the opening moments. RSL looked to pressure Minnesota’s back half within the first 30 minutes and found success in the 28th when Danny Musovski used his studs to flick a pass to Jefferson Savarino who sprinted into the penalty area and fired a shot between the legs of ‘keeper Dayne St. Clair into the back of the net. RSL’s 1-0 lead was short lived as the Loons responded in the 31st minute when Bongokuhle Hlongwane fired a missile that ricocheted off the post into the leg of Justen Glad who tapped the ball into goal. Both sides continued to search for their second goal but neither team was able to capitalize as the first half ended 1-1. The Claret-and-Cobalt continued to knock on the door in the second half and created a myriad of chances. In the 54th Savarino almost found a second goal but his shot rolled past the front of goal, then in the 68th Pablo Ruiz fired a direct freekick off the post missing by inches. Despite being outshot by 7 in the final third, Real Salt Lake once again flashed their defensive prowess as they escaped with a point from Allianz at the conclusion of a 1-1 draw.
What’s Next?: Real Salt Lake returns home to the Beehive State to face LA Galaxy this coming Wednesday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m. MT in Major League Soccer competition which will preview RSL’s coming quarterfinal match against the Galaxy in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on June 7. After their quick visit to America First Field, Real Salt Lake will visit The City of the Violet Crown to meet Austin FC on Saturday, June 3 at 6:30 p.m. MT.