THIS WEEK AT RSL
Week of June 24 – June 30
Real Salt Lake
RSL earned a hard-fought road point in a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire on Saturday at SeatGeek Stadium. MF Albert Rusnák scored his sixth goal of the season – and fourth from the penalty spot -with his first-half PK. GK Nick Rimando finished with one save in preserving the draw, which moved RSL to 6-8-2 (20 points) to keep a hold on the seventh position in the Western Conference standings.
Now RSL enters a pivotal stage in the schedule, with eight of the next 11 matches coming at Rio Tinto Stadium. Through the first 16 matches, RSL played just six at home and 10 on the road. Salt Lake hosts rival Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, with kickoff scheduled for 8 p.m. MT. The match will be part of RSL’s Pride Weekend and will be broadcast live on KMYU and streamed on the KSL TV app and KSL.com, with radio coverage on ESPN700.
Meanwhile on Monday, Rimando was named to the 2019 MLS All-Star team, his eighth All-Star selection. He is on a list that includes 26 of the biggest stars in MLS that will take on Atlètico Madrid on July 31 at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
On the international stage, FW Jefferson Savarino continues his run with Venezuela in Copa America. Venezuela finished second in Group A with a 1-0-2 record (5 points), topping Bolivia 3-1 in the final match to earn a berth in the Quarterfinals. In the Group Stage finale, Savarino played 90 minutes as Venezuela controlled the match throughout the contest. Now moving on to the next stage, Venezuela will meet Argentina on Friday in Rio de Janeiro.
Utah Royals FC
Utah Royals FC used its stingy defense to earn a road point in a scoreless draw with the Portland Thorns on Friday at Providence Park. GK Nicole Barnhart secured her sixth clean sheet of the season, making three saves in halting the Thorns attack. URFC held on to second place in the NWSL standings at 5-2-2 (17 points) on the season, within one point of the league-leading Washington Spirit.
This week, Royals FC will host the Seattle Reign on Friday at Rio Tinto Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. MT with live coverage on the KSL TV app, KSLSports.com and ESPN 700.
Six players remain away at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, although DF Katie Bowen and DF Rachel Corsie have both been eliminated. Corsie and Scotland exited the tournament in controversial fashion last week, drawing 3-3 with Argentina in the final match of the Group Stage. Ending the round at 0-2-1, a win in the final match would have secured a berth in the Round of 16. Meanwhile Bowen’s New Zealand fell 2-1 to Cameroon in the last match, ending the tournament with a 0-3-0 record.
On Monday, the U.S. Women’s National Team advanced to the Quarterfinals with a 2-1 win over Spain. DF Becky Sauerbrunn and DF Kelley O’Hara both played 90 minutes as the U.S. moved on to face host France on Friday at 1 p.m. MT.
Later on Monday, Canada did not share the same fate, falling 1-0 to Sweden and ending MF Desiree Scott’s World Cup after the Round of 16.
Real Monarchs SLC
Real Monarchs SLC claimed its first road win of the season on Saturday with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Four-Corners rival Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. After a scoreless first half, Switchbacks FC took the lead early in the second half, putting Monarchs under pressure while in search for the three points.
The Monarchs struck back in the 76th minute when Utah native FW Kyle Coffee leveled the score with an effort from outside the penalty area. With four minutes left to play, RSL MF Justin Portillo, playing on loan to the USL club, lined up a freekick from near the touchline and rifled a shot into the far top corner of the net to solidify the 2-1 victory. Portillo’s goal was enough to not only earn the Monarchs a full three points, but was recognized nationally as a top play on Sportcenter’s Top 10 plays of the night, landing at #7.
The Monarchs now turn its attention to a weekend trip to ONEOK Field where it will face the Tulsa Roughnecks on Saturday at 6:30p MT. The match can be seen live on ESPN+.
The RSL U-19s finished its playoff run third in Group H, playing to a 0-2-1 (1 point) ahead of Atlanta United FC. Last Friday, RSL fell 2-0 at the hands of Crossfire Premier. The U-19s were led in the 2019 season by Ben Ortiz and RSL first team member Luis Arriaga who each scored 10 goals on the season. Bryce Duke finished the season with nine goals to his name having appeared in 25 matches in 2019.
The RSL U-17s finished its season having also finished in third place in Group E in Oceanside, earning a 1-1-1 (4 points) record ahead of FC Westchester. On Saturday, RSL finished its playoff run with a 4-2 victory over FC Westchester as Nicolas Bellini, Nikolas Kizerian, Cesar Medina and Braxton Taghvai-Najib all scored in the victory. RSL was led in scoring by Bode Davis who scored 11 goals in 23 appearances for the U-17s with Christopher Garcia adding nine goals in 25 appearances on the year.
The RSL Academy will return to action in August when both teams report for the commencement of the 2019/20 season under the direction of Director Tom Spall.
The U.S. Soccer Foundation will be at the RSL Academy High School Friday through Sunday holding their annual “Train the Trainers” course for their “Soccer for Success” program. “Soccer for Success” is an after-school program, offered free to participants, that is proven to help kids establish healthy habits and develop critical life skills through trained coach-mentors and family engagement.
Also this Wednesday – Utah Royals FC will be participating in Trivia Night at Squatters. Trivia Night is raising money for the “Fight Against Domestic Violence” and Utah’s domestic violence service providers.