RSL shuts out Western Conference-leading FC Dallas in second straight victory

Save Story

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SANDY — Two days was all it took for Real Salt Lake to outdo themselves.

Coming on the heels of Wednesday’s 4-2 win over the Western Conference’s second place team in Sporting Kansas City, RSL defeated conference-leading FC Dallas 2-0 on Saturday, earning three points to maintain their hold on the fourth spot in the West. With the win, Real (29 points) now sits just two points behind Los Angeles Football Club (31 points), which is currently in the Western Conference’s third slot.

Winners of two-straight statement games in the last week, a galvanized RSL is enjoying its best sequence of the season as it crosses the halfway point — something the team hopes will continue as the summer moves forward.

“We’re up there (in the standings) and we’re trying to push towards playoffs,” midfielder Sebastian Saucedo said. “We have such a special team and I think we gotta make the most out of it.”

Coming off their third game in seven days, it seemed fate that RSL would be victimized by fatigue heading into Saturday’s game, even with the home crowd at their backs. After 94 minutes, though, they proved just the opposite, and FC Dallas wore down in chasing their hosts from side to side.

On this, head coach Mike Petke cited particular pleasure. In the days ahead of their weekend tilt, he said his team’s game plan was to limit FC Dallas’ time of possession, which, by game’s end, fell in favor of RSL — 60.9 percent to 39.1 percent.

Saturday was “some of our smartest soccer that we played,” he said. “We talked all week leading up to this about the way they would want to play, the style of play and I thought the backline and midfield moved together, closed gaps for them and won a lot of second balls. … Overall, I think the guys were focused in a game where they were extremely tired.”

For RSL, the game’s first goal came off the foot of Albert Rusnak, who converted a penalty in the 11th minute, while the second came from Luis Silva in the first minute of stoppage time, and put the exclamation point on a game-week filled with fireworks.

On the other side, the Claret-and-Cobalt played airtight defense on their visitors from wire-to-wire, limiting FC Dallas to just two shots on goal as part of their fourth shutout of the season.

“To get six points out of the last two, we played No. 1 and No. 2 in our table, in our conference, those six points are huge,” Rusnak said.

Added Petke: “We’ve been good at home, we’ve gotten results at home. … But any week that you can get six points, two games in a row against a top team in the West on that day, it’s special. It’s a great feeling.”

After two straight home games, RSL now heads out on the road to face Minnesota FC United next Saturday at 6 p.m. at TCF Bank Stadium.

Dillon Anderson is studying literary journalism as a student at the University of Utah. You can follow him on Twitter @DillonDanderson.

Most recent Sports stories

Related topics

SportsReal Salt Lake


From first downs to buzzer beaters, get’s top sports stories delivered to your inbox weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast