Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT – Real Salt Lake has finally ended the win less 2017 drought with a stunning 3-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps at the RioT in Mike Petke’s debut for the Claret and Cobalt.
The evening started out cold and rainy, but within 15 minutes it had transitioned to cold and snowy. RSL didn’t seem to to be phased by the weather as they came out with very aggressive play, and didn’t let up for the entire 90 minutes.
Brooks Lennon started off with the kind of strong play we are quickly getting used to since he joined the team, he did struggle a little with some poor decisions midway through the first half, but his strong play was still a big part of the team success.
The first half ended with neither club able to find the net, and a considerable advantage for RSL in possession. Coach Petke commented that this was the first time he had every had to tumble dry his pants at half-time.
Baldomero Toledo brought out the bright orange ball to after the grounds crew did some light snow removal from the pitch. The pace of play slowed considerable as the snow got deeper and footing became an issue. Although
possession was more equally divided in the second half RSL didn’t let up and continued to press the attack.
In stunning fashion Albert Rusnak opened up his MLS scoring account when he was able to slow his pace to pick up a pass for Joao Plata in the 54th minute and finally beat David Ousted to put RSL up 1-0. Rusnak played well on the snow covered pitch all night and came close to adding to his goal before the end of the night.
Rusnak wasn’t done showing us why he is such a great acquisition when he found Yura Movsisyan in the 74th minute and then in the 78th minute connected with Luke Mulholland to put RSL up 3-0 over the Whitecaps.
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 3 3
Vancouver 0 0 0
RSL – Albert Rusnak – 54′
RSL – Yura Movsisyan – 74′
RSL – Luke Mulholland – 78′
VAN – Matias Laba – 29′ – Unsporting Behavior
RSL – Chris Schuler – 40′ – Unsporting Behavior
RSL – Kyle Beckerman – 42′ – Unsporting Behavior
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referee: Ian Andersen
Assistant Referee: Kevin Klinger
4th Official: Fotis Bazakos
Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Chris Wingert; Demar Phillips; Danilo Acosta; Chris Schuler; Kyle Beckerman (C) (Omar Holness, 89′); Albert Rusnak; Luke Mulholland; Brooks Lennon; Joao Plata (Sebastian Saucendo, 62); Yura Movsisyan (Luis Silva, 81′)
Substitutes Not Used: Matt VanOekel; Reagan Dunk; Sebastian Saucedo; Justin Schmidt; Ricardo Velazco
Vancouver Whitecaps: David Ousted; Kendall Waston (C); Christian Dean (Cristian Techera, 59′); Tim Parker; Jakob Nerwinski; Nicolas Mezquida; Matias Laba (Andres Jacobson, 78′); Tony Tchani (Maruo Rosales, 59′); Marcel de Jong; Russell Teibert; Fredy Montero
Substitutes Not Used: Paolo Tornaghi; Marco Bustos; Kyle Greig; Sheanon Williams
Next up for RSL
Real Salt Lake travels to Dick Sporting Goods Park on Saturday, April 15th, in the first leg of the Rocky Mountain Cup as they take on the Colorado Rapids.