Real Salt Lake Opens Season with Scoreless Draw Against Toronto

SANDY, Utah (Saturday, March 4, 2017)Real Salt Lake began the 2017 campaign with a scoreless draw against the 2016 MLS Cup runners-up Toronto FC.  In a tightly-contested and physical match, RSL GK Nick Rimando’s first half penalty kick stop proved to be the difference.

The game began in early-season fashion with neither team getting a firm hold on the game in the first 20 minutes with wind affecting both team’s ability going forward.

The game’s intensity sped up exponentially when Toronto FC Sebastian Giovinco was brought down by Rimando in the box in the 30th minute, resulting in a TFC penalty kick.  Rimando saved the ensuing PK, diving low to his left, hanging onto the Giovinco’s effort.

Both teams continued to look for chances before the halftime break but Rimando’s save made the difference going into halftime.

The second half saw RSL create more chances through wide play with numbers being able to drive forward with no real clear shots on goal. TFC also saw chances come through wide play in the second half but the Reds were never able to sincerely test Rimando.

The physical contest saw strong tackles from both sides and seven yellow cards issued while neither team was able to find the winner and both walked away with a point.

Up Next: Real Salt Lake will travel to Chicago to take on the Fire in a Week 2 matchup.  In the Windy City, RSL is 3-3-4, but unbeaten in the last five at 3-0-2.  The last time the two teams met RSL walked away 3-1 winners at Rio Tinto Stadium in August of 2016.

KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:

RSL – Nick Rimando, 9th minute: After a miscommunication between RSL center backs David Horst and Chris Schuler, TFC forward Jozy Altidore received a bouncing ball inside the area and tried to clip the ball over an on-rushing Rimando. Rimando was able to read the shot and get a hand to the ball to clear the shot.

TFC – Nick Hagglund, 29th minute: After a giveaway on the left side of the TFC defense, Yura Movsisyan picked up the loose ball in the box and tried to cross the ball across the face of goal to Joao Plata. Plata was able to get a quick shot off but his shot was blocked on the goal line by Hagglund.

RSL – Nick Rimando, 31st minute: A quick counter attack led to Rimando having to come off of his line to make a challenge on Sebastian Giovinco resulting in a penalty kick. The RSL net-minder saved the Giovinco penalty marking his 29th penalty kick save in MLS.

RSL – David Horst, 59th minute: A ball played across the box by Jozy Altidore found its way to Sebastian Giovinco near the penalty spot who fired a shot towards goal. Horst was able to throw his head in front of the ball to deflect the chance out for a TFC corner.

RSL – Chris Schuler, 88th minute: On the right flank, a miscommunication between Tony Beltran and Ricardo Velazco gifted Justin Morrow a chance to run at RSL’s back line. Morrow attempted to play a through ball to Jozy Altidore’s feet but RSL defender Chris Schuler was able to read the pass and snuff out the chance just outside the penalty area.

NOTES:
-  This was the first time Real Salt Lake played a regular-season opener at Rio Tinto Stadium since the building opened in 2008. RSL now sits 5-0-8 in home openers, including a 4-0-5 record at Rio Tinto Stadium.

-  MLS Commissioner Don Garber was in attendance at the match and spoke with media before kickoff.

-  Nick Rimando made his 29th career penalty kick save in Major League Soccer in the 31st minute, handing Sebastian Giovinco his first saved penalty in MLS.

- RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando earned shutout number 130 in the draw, extending his record atop the MLS leaderboard.

- Three RSL players made their debut against Toronto FC. New signing Albert Rusnák started the match and played the full 90 minutes in his debut. Ricardo Velazco and Chad Barrett also came on in the second half to earn their debuts.

Match: Real Salt Lake vs. Toronto FC
Date: March 4, 2017
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Attendance: 19,516
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 58 degrees

Scoring Summary:             1               2               F
Real Salt Lake                     0               0               0
Toronto FC                          0               0               0

Lineups:
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, David Horst, Chris Schuler, Demar Phillips; Kyle Beckerman, Sunny (Luke Mullholand 78); Jordan Allen (Ricardo Velazco 87), Albert Rusnák, Joao Plata; Yura Movsisyan (Chad Barrett 69).
Subs not used: Matt VanOekel, Omar Holness, Justin Schmidt, Luis Silva

Toronto FC: (4-3-3): Clint Irwin; Steven Beitashour, Eriq Zavaleta, Nick Haglund, Dreww Moor; Jonathan Osorio (Victor Vazquez 61), Michael Bradley, Justin Morrow; Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore, Armando Cooper (Marky Delgado 80).
Subs not used: Alex Bono, Benoit Cheyrou, Raheem Edwards, Tsubasa Endoh, Tosaint Ricketts

Stats Summary: RSL / TFC
Shots: 17 / 8
Shots on Goal: 3 / 3
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 17 / 14
Offside: 1 / 3

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY:
RSL – Chris Schuler (caution) 23’
RSL – Nick Rimando (caution) 29’
TFC – Nick Hagglund (caution) 45’
TFC – Steven Beitashour (caution) 53’
RSL – Sunny (caution) 72’
TFC – Sebastian Giovinco (caution) 82’
TFC – Jozy Altidore (caution) 92+’

OFFICIALS:
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Peter Manikowski, Jeff Hosking
4th Official: Geoff Gamble

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