Real Salt Lake stop bleeding with “critical” Rocky Mountain Cup capture | MLSSoccer.com
Few teams heading into MLS Matchday 30 needed a win quite as badly as Real Salt Lake.
If that sounds like an exaggeration, here’s what head coach Pablo Mastroeni had to say following Saturday night’s 2-0 defeat of the Colorado Rapids that ended a four-game losing streak across all competitions for the Claret-and-Cobalt.
“I felt like in this moment, it was a critical game for us, especially at home,” Mastroeni stated of the restorative victory at America First Field that set RSL back on track while also securing the Rocky Mountain Cup for the 12th time in the last 15 seasons.
“… There wasn’t one bad performance out there, and you can’t say the same about some of the other games.”
Those other games included a 4-0 drubbing by LAFC that ended their Leagues Cup campaign on a sour note, as well as a heartbreaking 3-1 extra-time loss to Houston Dynamo FC in the US Open Cup semifinals. Another setback against the Dynamo followed in the return to league action, while a midweek loss at the Portland Timbers further deepened the hole Salt Lake were digging for themselves.
Yet they turned things around with goals in each half from Brayan Vera – who scored a “world-class” free kick, according to Mastroeni – and Cristian Arango. The result stopped the bleeding and returned Salt Lake to the top four of the Western Conference standings as they chase an Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs berth.
“It was huge,” Mastroeni said of the three points, which give RSL a confidence boost as they head into a two-week break before their next match – at conference rivals the San Jose Earthquakes on Sept. 16 (10:30 pm | Read More