Real Salt Lake 1 at Orlando City SC 3
May 6, 2018; Orlando, Florida; Orlando City Stadium
Real Salt Lake (3-5-1, 10 points); Orlando City SC (6-2-1, 19 points)
Man of the Match: Corey Baird had an up and down match. He staked RSL to an early goal, his second of the season, but missed on a pair of later opportunities. He is getting into opportune situations and providing an active presence in the No. 9 position. He has been an impressive offseason addition and a testament to the club’s academy, but is still a work in progress.
Telling Stat: RSL finished the evening with nine shots on goal and twice hit the woodwork, which is a good indication of just how dangerous the attack was throughout the match. However, with just one goal to show for it, it shows just how great of an opportunity RSL had, but could not capitalize. Goals on any number of those earlier chances could have changed the complexion of the match before Orlando had a chance to stage the comeback and take control.
What You Missed: If all you saw was the final score, you missed the second straight match that saw dramatic improvements in RSL’s danger in possession, defensive discipline and cohesion as a team. While it’s still not the final product, the team is exponentially closer than three weeks ago.
So What: RSL has had two straight encouraging road performances that ended in losses. While earning points would be preferred over the last two matches, the lessons learned by a young roster have been reminiscent of the midseason progress that resulted in the big explosion that closed the 2017 season. Mike Petke and his crew will be looking to continue to build toward the final product and get back in the win column with a home match against D.C. United on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.