RSL Comeback Falls Short Against the Portland Timbers

SANDY, Utah (Saturday, May 4, 2019) – Real Salt Lake (3-6-1, 10 points) dropped its second consecutive match, falling 2-1 to the Portland Timbers at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night.

FW Sam Johnson notched his third goal of the season in the loss as RSL’s valiant comeback fell short in Sandy.

RSL nearly found the go-ahead goal when it earned a penalty kick after Video Assistant Referee judged a handball inside the penalty area in the 26th minute. MF Albert Rusnák stepped up to the spot but Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark read the shot the entire way, diving low to the right to deflect the shot away. Portland gained the lead through Sebastian Blanco’s second goal fo the season in the 34th minute and saw the first half out, taking a 1-0 lead into the break.

RSL brought the match level in the 62nd minute when Johnson’s clever turn atop the penalty area gave him just enough space to slot home his third goal of the season. Portland responded quickly when Diego Valeri rifled home a first-time shot from 15 yards and flew past GK Andrew Putna to regain the lead in the 68th minute.

RSL nearly found the equalizer in the final 15 minutes of the match but again Clark was up to the task, finishing with six saves to preserve the 2-1 victory for the visitors.

UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake returns to the road for its first match against Rocky Mountain Rival Colorado Rapids. RSL will face the Rapids on Saturday, May 11, at 7:00p MT from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.


POR: Sebastian Blanco, 34th minute: Working its way around the penalty area, the ball fell to the feet of Blanco who fired an initial shot right at RSL goalkeeper Andrew Putna who parried the ball back into the path of Blanco. On the second attempt, Blanco made no mistake, rifling a left-footed volley into the roof of the net.

RSL: Sam Johnson (Corey Baird, Nick Besler), 62nd minute: A wonderful through ball towards Johnson at the top of the area didn’t immediately find the feet of Johnson, but he eventually corralled it and turned a toe-poked a shot from 18 yards that deflected off the post and into the net.

POR: Diego Valeri, 69th minute: Sebastian Blanco again found himself with space to turn and shoot inside the penalty area but had his attempt blocked. Valeri lay in wait, smashing home a curling first time shot from 15 yards that found the far bottom corner of the net through traffic.

POR: Steve Clark, 26th minute: After Video Assistant Referee judged a handball inside the area, RSL midfielder Albert Rusnák stepped up to the penalty spot but Clark did well, diving to his right to parry away the spot kick.

- GK Nick Rimando (knee), DF Tony Beltran (knee), MF Kyle Beckerman (hamstring) and MF Everton Luiz (knee) were out of action due to injury. Beckerman experienced hamstring tightness in training on Wednesday and is being held out as a precaution.

- MF Albert Rusnák is now 5-7 all-time in penalty kick attempts after his miss against the Timbers.

- FW Sam Johnson notched his third goal of 2019 in the match against Portland.

- Assisting Sam Johnson for the equalizing goal, Nick Besler recorded his first-ever MLS assist.

Match: Real Salt Lake vs. Portland Timbers
Date: May 4, 2019
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Attendance: 18,066
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 74 degrees

Scoring Summary:     1          2          F 
Real Salt Lake              0          1          1
Portland Timbers          1          1          2
POR: Sebastian Blanco 34’
RSL: Sam Johnson (Corey Baird, Nick Besler) 62’
POR: Diego Valeri 69’

Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Andrew Putna; Aaron Herrera, Justen Glad, Nedum Onuoha, Donny Toia (Joao Plata 86’); Nick Besler (Brooks Lennon 80’), Damir Kreilach, Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnák, Corey Baird (Sebastian Saucedo, 69’); Sam Johnson

Subs not used: Alex Horwath, Marcelo Silva, Luke Mulholland, Justin Portillo

Portland Timbers: (4-2-3-1): Steve Clark; Jorge Moreira, Larrys Mabiala, Bill Tuiloma, Zarek Valentin; Andrés Flores (Andy Polo 60’), Cristhian Paredes, Diego Chara, Sebastian Blanco, Diego Valeri (Julio Cascante 86’); Jeremy Ebobisse (Lucas Melano 83’)

Subs not used: Jeff Attinella, Jorge Villfaña, Renzo Zambrano, Tomás Conechny

Stats Summary: RSL / POR
Shots: 16 / 7
Shots on Goal: 7 / 3
Saves: 1 / 6
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 10 / 10
Offside: 9 / 0

POR: Jorge Moreira (caution) 45’+3
RSL: Donny Toia (caution) 48’
RSL: Nick Besler (caution) 77’
RSL: Aaron Herrera (caution) 78’

Referee: Ramy Touchan
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Benjamin Hall-Volpenhein
4th Official: Farhad Dadkho
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic
AVAR: Jeff Muschik