Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT – Real Salt Lake looks like they are beginning to take on the form that Mike Petke envisions for the squad. After a shaky start to his tenure, Head Coach Mike Petke is forcing his vision on the club and it is starting to show. The two teams that met at Rio Tinto Stadium seemed to be heading in different directions, but Real was able to score in the 36th minute to get the only goal, and the full three points out of today’s affair.
“They managed it well, got the goal, held on and played some good soccer around it,” Petke said.
The Union have never won against the Claret and Cobalt with a 0-6-3 record. They were off to a slow start to the season, but have really turned things around winning their last 4 matches, while RSL has continued to struggle with winning just 1 of their last 5. Real looked much different this evening, it’s hard to find anything negative to say about any players performance, with exceptional games from Rusnak, Plata, Savarino and Silva.
Plata netted the game-winner with his first goal of the season on a combination of passes inside the box with Savarino. “I had some words with Plata over the last couple weeks. ‘The goal will come. The goal will come,’” Petke said. “I didn’t want the frustration to affect his game. I was very happy that he got the goal tonight because he deserved it. He played a hell of a game. Now this is hopefully going to do something a bit more for his confidence.”
The much anticipated return of Tony Beltran had an immediate impact on the RSL play, allowing the midfield to play much further up the field than we have seen since his injury. Along with Beltran, the entire defense put in a solid performance with what should be the
save of the week coming not from Nick Rimando, but Aaron Maund for his goal saving lofting of the ball over the net at the last possible second, helping Nick get another clean sheet.
Overall it was one of the most exciting games that Real Salt Lake has offered to its fans in recent memory, with too few exceptions to even remember the entire club put on a display that we will all be looking forward to from Coach Petke and company.
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 0 1
Philadelphia Union 0 0 0
RSL – Joao Plata – 36′
RSL – Luis Silva – 28′ – Unsporting Behavior
RSL – Chris Wingert – 52′ – Hard foul
PHI – Oguchi Onyewu – 70′ – Hard foul
PHI – Alejandro Bedoya – 77′ – Hard foul
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referee: Peter Balciunas
Assistant Referee: Apolinar Mariscal
4th Official: Daniel Radford
Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Aaron Maund; Chris Wingert; Chris Schuler; Tony Beltran; Luke Mulholland; Sunny; Albert Rusnak; Jefferson Savario (Omar Holness, 88); Luis Silva (Yura Movsisyan, 64′); Joao Plata (Justin Schmidt, 90’+1′)
Substitutes Not Used: Matt VanOekel; Reagan Dunk; Jose Hernandez; Ricardo Velazco
Philadelphia Union: Andre Blake; Raymon Gaddis; Oguchi Onyewu; Jack Elliott; Fabinho; Fafa Picault; Chris Pontius (Roland Albert, 71′); Ilsinho (Marcus Epps, 83′); Alejadro Bedoya; Haris Medunjanin; C.J. Sapong
Substitutes Not Used: John McCarthy; Warren Craevalle; Richard Marquez; Keegan Rosenberry; Jay Simpson
Next up for RSL
Real Salt Lake travels to Houston for a mid-week match against the Dynamo on Wednesday, May 31st.