Real Salt Lake 0 vs 0 Portland Timbers FC
May 17, 2023; America First Field; Sandy, Utah
Real Salt Lake (3-6-3, 12 points); Portland Timbers (4-5-4, 13 points)
Man of the Match: Making his 200th MLS appearance, goalkeeper Zac MacMath was a pillar in Real Salt Lake’s defensive showcase. The 13-year veteran recorded four saves in his third clean sheet of the season en route to the shutout. MacMath’s night was highlighted by two nearly identical stops, one in the 14th minute and the other coming in the 57th. On both occasions, MacMath laid out to his left and pushed the shot out of harm's way. In 200 career appearances, MacMath has now made 572 saves and kept 54 clean sheets.
Telling Stats: With the draw, Real Salt Lake improves to a 7-6-3 record at home against the Timbers, while also cementing an impressive unbeaten record in back-to-back matches against Portland in the span of a week after winning last Wednesday 4-3 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. 21-year-old Homegrown Bode Hidalgo made just his third MLS start in his young career, and goalkeeper Zac MacMath appeared in his 200th league match. The shutout marks the third time in four matches that RSL has held its opponents scoreless.
What You Missed: Following a near two-hour weather delay, Real Salt Lake came out of the changing rooms trying to assert themselves early. After dominating possession for the opening 10 minutes, Andrés Gómez took a chance on goal in the 11th but was denied by the post. Three minutes later the Timbers responded with an opportunity of their own, but Zac MacMath made a diving save to his left to hold Portland at bay. RSL’s best look came in the last moments of the first half when Justen Glad’s header required a diving save from Portland’s Aljaž Ivačič and Maikel Chang’s rebound shot rattled off the woodwork, sending both teams to the lockers tied 0-0. Coming out of the break, it was Portland who had the first chance on net, but MacMath made a perfectly-timed diving save to his left on a shot from close distance to keep the match even. In the 71st minute Glad fancied his chances from long range, forcing Ivačič to his knees to deflect the ball into touch. Maikel Chang had an opportunity in the 82nd minute from a free kick, but his shot was palmed over the crossbar. Both sides exchanged blows in the remaining moments, but neither were able to find a game-winner and settled for a draw.
What’s Next?: RSL heads to Mile High City for a pair of matches against rivals Colorado Rapids to compete for the Rocky Mountain Cup. The two teams will face off this Saturday, May 20 at 7:30 pm M.T. in regular season play, with a U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 match on Wednesday, May 24 at 7:30 pm M.T. at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.