by Daniel Olsen | Real Salt Lake played Minnesota in the MLS Is Back Tournament in Orlando, Florida Friday night. The match resulted in a tie.
As the match began, both teams came out ready to fight. After an uneventful start to the match, the teams took a water break at the 27th minute.
At the 33 minute mark, RSL was forced to make a substitution due to Albert Rusnák hurting his hip in a scuffle. Albert scored the first goal for RSL in their first game against Colorado in the MLS is Back Tournament.
Right before halftime, Minnesota nearly connected on a wide open shot that fortunately, for Real Salt Lake, bounced off the goal post and out. With one half to go it looked to be a game that would be competitive until the very end.
This game ended in a 0-0 draw with plenty of close competition. RSL held possession 56% of the time yet was unable to get the ball in the net. They weren’t void of opportunities though. They had four corner kicks compared to only one for Minnesota United FC.
Real Salt Lake ran a 4-4-2 formation. In the preview article for this match, RSL expert Tyler Creer predicted Coach Juarez would run a 4-2-3-1 but he decided to change it up a bit and it at least got him a draw. He also predicted Corey Baird and Giuseppi Rossi would both score goals. While neither scored, Baird did get a shot at the goal. It wasn’t super close but at least he had a good opportunity.
What this result means: As mentioned in the preview article, either a tie or a Colorado win against Kansas City would have helped Real Salt Lake immensely. However, the fierce rival club Sporting Kansas City beat Colorado 3-2.
It all comes down to match 3. RSL plays against SKC for a chance to advance to the knockout round of the MLS is Back Tournament. If RSL gets a win or draw, they’re automatically in. If both RSL and Minnesota lose their respective matches, RSL holds the tiebreaker and would advance. RSL controls their own destiny from here on out. A tie wasn’t the goal, but it was a lot better for their playoff chances than a loss would have been. It’s time to see who will come out on top between the bitter Western Conference Rivals.
Get up early on Wednesday – RSL battles Sporting Kansas City at 7:30 AM MST on ESPN to decide their fate for the rest of the MLS Is Back Tournament.
Featured image courtesy RSLSoapBox.com.