Sandy, UT (Saturday, April 22, 2017) – Real Salt Lake (2-4-2, 8pts) fell at the hands of expansion side Atlanta United 3-1 in front of 18,946 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium Saturday. In a back-and-forth affair, RSL was not able to find the points as goals early in each half and a stoppage-time tally for Atlanta proved to be decisive for the away side.
RSL MF Albert Rusnák scored his second goal of the season, but it came after Atlanta had already taken a 2-0 lead early in the second half.
Atlanta got the game’s first goal through Hector Villalba just ten minutes in before Atlanta midfielder Yamil Asad added another just after halftime in the 47th minute.
RSL GK Nick Rimando left the game through injury in the 58th minute, with GK Matt VanOekel replacing him to finish the final 32 minutes in net.
RSL pulled a goal back in the 70th minute through Rusnák who slammed home a wonderfully placed shot for his second goal of the year.
Atlanta added an insurance goal five minutes into added time as rookie forward Brandon Vasquez rounded VanOekel for the game’s third goal.
RSL now sits 2-1-0 under Head Coach Mike Petke scoring six goals in those three games.
UP NEXT: The Claret-and-Cobalt hit the road for a Western Conference matchup against rival Sporting Kansas City on April 29 (6:30 pm MST kickoff). RSL won both games at Children’s Mercy Park in 2016, topping Sporting 2-1 in early April and a 3-1 decision in May before a scoreless draw at Rio Tinto Stadium to end the year’s series. RSL will look to make it five wins in their last seven matches against Sporting when they the two sides meet to close out the month of April.
ATL – Hector Villalba, 10th minute: An attempted clearance from RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando was misplayed directly into the center of the field to Atlanta midfielder Miguel Almirón. He played a through ball in to forward Yamil Asad, who’s attempt was saved by Rimando. The RSL goalkeeper again saved Villalba’s rebound attempt but on the third time of asking the Atlanta midfielder scored, shooting high into the net.
ATL – Yamil Asad (Miguel Almirón), 47th minute: Atlanta midfielder Miguel Almirón did well to dispossess RSL defender Chris Wingert facing his own goal. Almirón then dribbled straight at RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando. Almirón laid the ball to Asad who dribbled past RSL defender Chris Schuler and found the open net for the easy goal.
RSL – Albert Rusnák (Luke Mulholland) 70th minute: A streaking run from RSL defender Demar Phillips found Joao Plata who touched to Luke Mulholland. He then found a wide-open Albert Rusnak who took a touch before firing a right-footed shot into the bottom corner of the far post from 23 yards.
ATL – Brandon Vazquez (Julian Gressel), 90’+6th minute: Atlanta midfielder Julian Gressel played a ball from a wide position into the path of an on-running Vazquez who only had RSL goalkeeper MattVanOekel to beat. Vazquez rounded VanOekel and put the ball away into the open net.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:
ATL – Jeff Larentowicz, 19th minute: A quick counter from RSL saw midfielder Brooks Lennon put into the box to create a chance on goal. Lennon elected to play the ball across the box but Larentowicz was there to clear the danger for a corner kick.
ATL – Miguel Almirón, 37th minute: A misplayed ball at midfield forced Atlanta to track back with RSL counter-attacking straight to goal. Almirón recognized the danger as RSL Kyle Beckerman had one man to beat before going for goal. Almirón made a tackle from behind Beckerman to poke the ball away before a chance was created.
RSL – Nick Rimando, 49th minute: A rifled shot from Atlanta midfielder Miguel Almirón forced RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando into a big save, diving up and to the right to paw the strong shot out for a corner kick.
ATL – Alec Kann, 86th minute: RSL midfielder Albert Rusnák swung in a well-weighted corner kick into the box. Kann came out to punch the ball well out of danger before a RSL player could get a chance on goal.
- Four RSL players spent the weekend on loan with Real Monarchs on their trip to Seattle for their game against Sounders 2. GK Lalo Fernandez, and MF’s Sunny, Jordan Allen and Jose Hernandez all traveled with the Monarchs with all four starting the match. Jose Hernandez notched his second goal of the campaign with the game’s second goal.
- Nick Rimando is now five saves away from owning the all-time Major League Soccer save record after posting three on Saturday against Atlanta.
- RSL is now (7-2-2) all-time at home against expansion opposition after losing 3-1 to Atlanta. The last loss at home to an expansion team came in 2007 against Toronto FC.
Match: Real Salt Lake vs Atlanta United FC
Date: April 22, 2017
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 65 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 1 1
Atlanta United FC 1 2 3
ATL – Hector Villaba 10’
ATL – Yamil Asad (Miguel Almirón) 47’
RSL – Albert Rusnak (Luke Mulholland) 70’
ATL – Brandon Vazquez (Julian Gressel) 96+’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando (Matt VanOekel 58’); Danilo Acosta, Chris Wingert (Sebastian Saucedo 71’), Chris Schuler, Demar Phillips; Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland (Luis Silva 85’); Brooks Lennon, Albert Rusnák, Joao Plata; Yura Movsisyan
Subs not used: Reagan Dunk, Justin Schmidt, Omar Holness, Ricardo Velazco
Atlanta United FC: (4-2-3-1): Alec Kann; Greg Garza, Leanardo Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst, Tyrone Mears; Jeff Larentowicz, Carlos Carmona, Miguel Almirón; Yamil Asad (Kevin Kratz 90’), Hector Villaba (Julian Gressel 78’), Kenwyne Jones (Brandon Vazquez 90’+3)
Subs not used: Kyle Reynish, Mark Bloom, Miles Robinson, Chris McCann
Stats Summary: RSL/ ATL
Shots: 11 / 9
Shots on Goal: 2 / 6
Saves: 3 / 1
Corner Kicks: 4 / 3
Fouls: 6 / 14
Offside: 1 / 5
RSL – Kyle Beckerman (caution) 21’
ATL – Carlos Carmona (caution) 38’
ATL – Greg Garza (caution) 77’
ATL – Miguel Almirón (caution) 84’
ATL – Alec Kann (caution) 90’+3
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Assistant Referees: Cameron Blanchard, Peter Balciunas
4th Official: Younes Marrakchi