Real Salt Lake 1 vs San Diego State University 0
January 30, 2016; SoCal Sports Complex
2016 Real Salt Lake Preseason
Man of the Match: The story of the day was the defense, but the game was vastly different in the second half when Javier Morales took the field. With Jordan Allen in the No. 10 role, RSL had its scoring chances, but Morales himself was able to create a goal, then soon after had another chance that nearly beat the SDSU goalkeeper. As he continues to get sharp, he is poised to have another stellar season with scoring options galore in front of him.
Telling Stat: The big one is the zero in the back as RSL earned the clean sheet with goalkeepers Lalo Fernandez and Connor Sparrow challenged only a handful of times all match. With a mixed lineup, RSL was still able to have the cohesion and communication to execute the gameplan well. In addition, RSL came out of the match without any injuries and should have the full team in full training on Monday.
What You Missed: There were young players all over the field making contributions for RSL. Whether it was Omar Holness and Allen with the first-half group or Danilo Acosta, Justen Glad, Amass Amankona and Max Lachowecki with the second-half group, there was plenty of standout performances by players young enough to be suiting up for the college team on the other side of the field.
So What: Real Salt Lake entered the match with the primary goal of earning the shutout. That didn’t mean they intended to bunker against their college foes, but rather play an attacking defensive style with calculated and aggressive pressure in the oppositions defensive third. Keeping shape behind that pressure was important and rarely was SDSU able to break that down. Things will be more difficult and faster against a more seasoned, professional opponent on Tuesday when RSL meets Tijuana in Mexico, but it was a great start to preseason for an evolving club.