Real Salt Lake opens the season with a scoreless draw in Houston

Lacking a handful of key gamers, coach Pablo Mastroeni happy to earn some extent on the street

(Michael Wyke | AP) Houston Dynamo FC ahead Corey Baird, left, loses his footing as Actual Salt Lake midfielder Damir Kreilach, proper, takes the ball in the course of the first half of an MLS soccer match Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022, in Houston.

Actual Salt Lake started a brand new period with a shutout, some extent on the street, and a few questions left to reply about its attacking id going ahead.

RSL performed the Houston Dynamo to a scoreless attract Sunday’s season opener, the primary recreation since supervisor Pablo Mastroeni’s interim tag was eliminated and the primary recreation since former captain Albert Rusnák left Salt Lake for Seattle. Given roster turnover and a handful of key absences — to not point out three open designated participant spots which have but to be crammed — Mastroeni and RSL left Houston happy with the outcome.

“As a coach, a very powerful factor is to give attention to what we do have and never give attention to what we don’t,” Mastroeni mentioned of RSL’s accidents and absences. “Within the meantime, I feel a efficiency like this bolsters the boldness of the group and it validates what this staff is all about.”

Among the many notable absences for RSL have been goalkeeper David Ochoa and striker Rubio Rubin (harm), defender Aaron Herrera (crimson card suspension) and midfielder Everton Luiz (awaiting visa approval).

“It was a very good defensive efficiency,” mentioned goalkeeper Zach MacMath, who began rather than Ochoa. “Clearly we might have preferred to be a bit cleaner on the offensive facet of the sport, however anytime you go to a spot like Houston, first recreation of the season, and hold a shutout, it’s one thing to be happy with.”

Houston dominated possession (61.6% to RSL’s 38.4%) however every staff solely managed two pictures on objective apiece Sunday.

“Each recreation goes to have a unique stream to it,” Mastroeni mentioned. “… I believed the final 10-Quarter-hour we discover a groove and have been type of proactive in that division.”

RSL’s finest likelihood got here within the 72nd minute, when midfielder Maikel Chang aimed a low, left-footed shot towards the again submit, forcing a save from Houston keeper Steve Clark. Ten minutes later, Houston’s Darwin Quintero almost put the Dynamo within the lead when he smashed the crossbar with a curling shot.

4 minutes into further time, a foul on the fringe of the field gave Salt Lake one closing likelihood to steal a victory however Pablo Ruiz’s free kick went crusing over the objective.

“We’ve simply obtained to get extra our bodies within the assault,” veteran midfielder Justin Meram mentioned. “I feel now we have inventive gamers. The extra numbers we get within the assault, we will overload the edges and play by way of and create probabilities. We have been fairly defensive in the present day, which is what Pablo requested. I see it as a very good defensive effort and we had some OK attacking moments. However the extra numbers we get subsequent week, the higher it is going to be for us.”

Actual Salt Lake will play its dwelling opener Saturday when the Seattle Sounders come to Rio Tinto Stadium.

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