Harrison, N.J. (Saturday, March 25, 2017) – Real Salt Lake (0-2-2, 2 points) earned a point after a scoreless draw against the New York Red Bulls. The Claret-And-Cobalt notched its second shutout of the season, carried by a complete debut performance from GK Matt VanOekel. The RSL goalkeeper registered three saves including two game-saving stops in the final ten minutes.
RSL started hot from the get go, immediately creating multiple scoring opportunities. MF Sebastian Saucedo’s attempt in the eighth minute was the best chance of the half for Salt Lake after Saucedo slammed a shot off Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles’ near post before FW Yura Movsisyan’s follow up was cleared off the line.
Both sides sustained continued pressure while a fierce midfield battle ensued but neither team was able to make the breakthrough on the scoresheet.
The second half started quickly much like the first, with Movsisyan picking up a loose ball inside the box just 30 seconds into the half but Robles made himself big, saving Movsisyan’s attempted chip on goal.
RSL looked to catch the Red Bulls on the counter attack but each attack was broken up by a well-organized defense.
The difference in the match was VanOekel, who made two preserving saves in the last ten minutes to keep the clean sheet. His biggest save of the afternoon came in the 80th minute when Red Bull striker Fredrik Gulbrandsen found space for a shot inside the RSL penalty area and curled a shot destined for the far post. The 6’4” VanOekel was equal to the shot as he stretched out a big right hand to parry away the effort.
Interim Head Coach Daryl Shore made three substitutions in the latter part of the match, lending a debut to RSL academy product MF Jose Hernandez in the 73rd minute while MF Ricardo Velazco came on for Saucedo in the 82nd minute and MF Omar Holness appeared for Movsisyan in stoppage time.
With neither team being able to find the winner to take all three points, a scoreless draw was the outcome of a defensively staunch game for both sides.
UP NEXT: RSL will travel north in Week 5 to face expansion side Minnesota United (7:30 p.m. MT, Saturday). RSL and Minnesota played to a thrilling 3-3 draw in a preseason matchup in Portland. The match will be the first regular season meeting between the two sides.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:
NY – Tyler Adams, 8th minute: RSL midfielder Sebastian Saucedo picked up a loose ball after a NY turnover in the attacking half. Saucedo took the ball on his own, firing a shot past Luis Robles but couldn’t beat the right post. The ball bounced back out to Yura Movsisyan who sent the ball back towards goal where Tyler Adams was there to clear the ball off the goal-line.
NY – Luis Robles, 32nd minute: RSL midfielder Brooks Lennon took the ball on his right foot and created space for a shot just outside of the penalty area. Lennon fired a low shot towards the far post but Robles was up to the task, pawing away the teen’s effort.
NY – Kemar Lawrence, 37th minute: RSL midfielder Luke Mulholland played a wonderfully weighted ball down the right side that nearly found the feet of Brooks Lennon in towards goal but Lawrence’s sliding challenge knocked the ball out of play for a corner kick.
NY – Luis Robles, 46th minute: A sloppy throw in from the Red Bulls gave the ball right to the feet of Yura Movsisyan inside the penalty area. Movsisyan broke away with the ball directly at Robles who was quick off his line to snuff out Movsisyan’s attempted shot on target.
RSL – Matt VanOekel, 64th minute: New York forward Fredrik Gulbrandsen dribbled past two RSL defenders and into the RSL penalty area for a chance to create a shot. Once the space was found, Gulbrandsen let loose a curling effort towards the far post of Matt VanOekel who extended well to his right to palm away the effort.
RSL – Demar Phillips, 74th minute: Good wide play found Fredrik Gulbrandsen in space who found midfielder Alex Muyl at the near post. Muyl’s first-time effort was thwarted by a sliding Phillips and pushed out for a corner kick.
RSL – Matt Van Oekel, 80th minute: NY striker Bradley Wright-Phillips received the ball with his back to goal but was able to turn and fire a shot towards VanOekel’s near post but the RSL net-minder got strong hands to the effort to parry for a corner kick.
- RSL Interim Head Coach Daryl Shore led his first game in charge of the Claret-And-Cobalt after Jeff Cassar’s dismissal on Monday.
- Defender Aaron Maund and goalkeeper Matt VanOekel earned their first starts of the season. Maund got the start after dealing with a nagging injury during the first part of the season while VanOekel made his MLS debut with starter Nick Rimando being with the U.S. National Team.
- RSL academy product and former UCLA Bruin Jose Hernandez made his debut for RSL, coming on for Luis Silva in the 73rd minute.
- Goalkeeper Matt VanOekel earned his first shutout in an RSL shirt, keeping the Red Bulls at bay with a solid performance.
Match: Real Salt Lake at New York Red Bulls
Date: March 25, 2017
Venue: Red Bull Arena; Harrison, New Jersey
Weather: Cloudy and 54 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 0 0
New York Red Bulls 0 0 0
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Matt VanOekel; Chris Wingert, Aaron Maund, Chris Schuler, Demar Phillips; Luke Mulholland, Sunday Stephen; Sebastian Saucedo (Ricardo Velazco, 82’), Brooks Lennon, Luis Silva (Jose Hernandez 73’); Yura Movsisyan (Omar Holness, 92+’)
Subs not used: Lalo Fernandez, Danilo Acosta, Reagan Dunk, Justin Schmidt
New York Red Bulls (4-2-2-2): Luis Robles; Kemar Lawrence, Damien Perrinelle, Aaron Long, Connor Lade (Sal Zizzo, 61’); Felipe, Tyler Adams; Daniel Royer; Alex Muyl; Fredrik Gulbrandsen (Sean Davis 75’), Bradley Wright-Phillips
Subs not used: Ryan Meara, Brandon Allen, Justin Bilyeu, Aurelien Collin, Dan Metzger
Stats Summary: NYRB / RSL
Shots: 18 / 12
Shots on Goal: 3 / 5
Saves: 4 / 3
Corner Kicks: 8 / 5
Fouls: 5 / 15
Offside: 4 / 3
NY – Kemar Lawrence (caution) 42’
RSL – Luke Mulholland (caution) 57’
RSL – Luis Silva (caution) 66’
RSL – Sunny (caution) 69’
RSL – Aaron Maund (caution) 70’
RSL – Ricardo Velazco (caution) 87’
Referee: Chris Penso
Assistant Referees: Kathryn Nesbitt, Nick Uranga
4th Official: Jorge Gonzalez