Real Salt Lake played a pair of scrimmages on Saturday morning to wrap up a busy first week of training in Orlando, Florida. Playing against Orlando City SC on the Florida club’s training field, RSL Head Coach Mike Petke was able to get 18 field players 75 minutes of action in tuning up for the season-opening match on March 3 against FC Dallas.
In the first 75 minutes, Real Salt Lake fell behind 3-0 after turnovers in bad areas of the field led to quick-strike opportunities for Orlando. RSL pulled two goals back in an energized final 30 minutes through Joao Plata and Luis Silva, but ultimately couldn’t find an equalizer.
The second 75 minutes saw Orlando nab two goals from similar circumstances, as giveaways created scoring chances before the defense could recover.
Real Salt Lake lineups
Match 1 – Nick Rimando; Adam Henley, Marcelo Silva, Justen Glad, Demar Phillips; Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland; Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnák, Joao Plata; Luis Silva.
Match 2 – Connor Sparrow; Aaron Herrera, Shawn Barry, David Horst, Danny Acosta; Nick Besler (Pablo Ruiz 46’), Sunny; Brooks Lennon, Jose Hernandez (Corey Baird 46’), Sebastian Saucedo; Alfredo Ortuno (Ricky Lopez-Espin 46’).
Among the pertinent notes from the match was 19-year-old midfielder Pablo Ruiz making his first preseason appearance after arriving in camp on Tuesday. He played the final 30 minutes of the second match.
Winger Jefferson Savarino also made his first preseason appearance. He had missed the first matches while recovering from surgery to remove his appendix and played 75 minutes on Saturday. In the first 30 minutes of the match he played two balls that might have set up goals on another day when finishing was sharper, but RSL came up empty on both occasions.
Real Salt Lake will play one more scrimmage before the season opener, this one coming against NYCFC on Thursday in Orlando.