SANDY, Utah (Saturday, July 7, 2018) – Real Salt Lake (9-8-2, 29 points) scored one early and one late to hold off FC Dallas, topping the top-seeded team in the Western Conference for the second time in four days after toppling Sporting Kansas City 4-2 on Wednesday night. The win improves RSL to 8-0-1 in the last nine home matches.
MF Albert Rusnák scored an early PK and FW Luis Silva added a stoppage-time goal for the second consecutive match. Meanwhile GK Nick Rimando earned his fifth shutout of the season – and 142 in his MLS career.
Real Salt Lake controlled the majority of the first half and jumped out to the early lead in the 11th minute. In the ninth minute, FW Sebastian Saucedo was taken down in the box and referee Armando Villareal pointed to the spot. After deliberation, Rusnák, who was celebrating his 24th birthday on Saturday, buried the shot past Jesse Gonzalez for his fifth goal of the season to give RSL the 1-0 advantage. For the half, RSL outshot Dallas 7-2 and held nearly 65% of the possession. However, the lead remained 1-0 at the halftime whistle.
In the second half, FW Jefferson Savarino made a pair of goal-line clearances on FC Dallas corner kicks, setting the stage for a late insurance goal from Silva. In the first minute of second-half stoppage time, MF Damir Kreilach sprung Savarino in behind the Dallas defense. He carried it inside the box up the right side before crossing to Silva for his fifth goal of the season, doubling the lead and putting the match away at 2-0.
UP NEXT: RSL hosts German Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt in an international friendly on Tuesday (8 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium) before returning to the road for more MLS action against Minnesota United on July 14 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
RSL: Albert Rusnák (PK) 11th minute – After Sebastian Saucedo was taken down in the box, Albert Rusnák powered his penalty past Jesse Gonzalez for his fifth goal of the season.
RSL: Luis Silva (Jefferson Savarino, Damir Kreilach) 91st minute+ - RSL defended a Dallas attack, the sprung the counter when Damir Kreilach led Jefferson Savarino on a run up the right side. He carried into the box, then crossed to Luis Silva for a left-footed, first-time shot to beat Jesse Gonzalez for his fifth goal of the season.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:
FCD: Jesse Gonzalez, 24th minute – Sebastian Saucedo blistered a shot on the run from 22 yards out, but Jesse Gonzalez parried the shot over the crossbar for a corner.
RSL: Nick Rimando and Jefferson Savarino, 52nd minute – Off a Dallas corner kick, Maxi Urruti attempted to flick a Matt Hedges header past Nick Rimando with a back-heeled effort. However, Rimando stood his ground and deflected the ball to the far side, where Jefferson Savarino made a jumping clearance to keep Dallas off the board.
RSL: Jefferson Savarino, 71st minute – On another Dallas corner kick, Matt Hedges slammed a header on frame, but Jefferson Savarino was stationed at the near post and headed his shot clear to keep RSL in the lead.
- Real Salt Lake concluded a stretch of three matches in eight days with a 2-1-0 record after losing last Saturday in Columbus and winning on Wednesday against Sporting Kansas City. It was the second such stretch for RSL this season after winning all three matches when facing Seattle away before two home matches against Houston and Seattle from May 26-June 2.
- MF Albert Rusnák celebrated his 24th birthday on Saturday, scoring his fifth goal of the season and 12th in 47 matches with RSL.
- Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas each started five Homegrown players, making it the most Academy products to start an MLS match in league history with 10 total. Both teams had previously used six Academy products in a match, sharing the league record for a single club. In bringing DF Aaron Herrera off the bench for the closing minutes, RSL fielded six Homegrown players for the second time this season after previously doing it in a road win against Seattle Sounders FC on May 26.
- RSL now has three players tied for the team lead in scoring. MF Albert Rusnák, FW Luis Silva and FW Corey Baird each have five goals.
Match: Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas
Date: July 7, 2018
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah
Weather: Partly cloudy and 92
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 1 2
FC Dallas 0 0 0
RSL: Albert Rusnák (PK) 11’
RSL: Luis Silva (Jefferson Savarino, Damir Kreilach) 91+’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Brooks Lennon, Marcelo Silva, Justen Glad, Danilo Acosta; Kyle Beckerman, Damir Kreilach; Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnák (Aaron Herrera 87’), Sebastian Saucedo (Sunny 72’); Corey Baird (Luis Silva 63’).
Subs not used: Andrew Putna, Pablo Ruiz, Nick Besler, Joao Plata.
FC Dallas (4-2-3-1): Jesse Gonzalez; Reggie Cannon, Matt Hedges, Reto Ziegler, Kristoffer Reaves; Victor Ulloa (Santiago Mosquera 61’), Carlos Gruezo; Michael Barrios (Maxi Urruti 46’), Kellyn Acosta, Ema Twumasi (Roland Lamah 46’); Tesho Akindele.
Subs not used: Jimmy Maurer, Maynor Figueroa, Jacori Hayes, Ryan Hollingshead.
Stats Summary: RSL / FCD
Shots: 14 / 13
Shots on Goal: 6 / 2
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 2 / 6
Fouls: 9 / 8
Offside: 2 / 2
Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referees: Corey Parker, Adam Garner
4th Official: Elvis Osmanovic
Video Assistant Referee: Younes Marrakchi