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 highway

(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 highway, and a few questions left to reply about its attacking identification going ahead.

RSL performed the Houston Dynamo to a scoreless attract Sunday’s season opener, the primary sport since supervisor Pablo Mastroeni’s interim tag was eliminated and the primary sport 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 consequence.

“As a coach, a very powerful factor is to concentrate on what we do have and never concentrate on what we don’t,” Mastroeni stated of RSL’s accidents and absences. “Within the meantime, I feel a efficiency like this bolsters the arrogance of the group and it validates what this crew 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,” stated goalkeeper Zach MacMath, who began rather than Ochoa. “Clearly we’d have appreciated to be a bit cleaner on the offensive facet of the sport, however anytime you go to a spot like Houston, first sport of the season, and maintain a shutout, it’s one thing to be happy with.”

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

“Each sport goes to have a special movement to it,” Mastroeni stated. “… I assumed the final 10-Quarter-hour we discover a groove and have been form of proactive in that division.”

RSL’s greatest 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 practically put the Dynamo within the lead when he smashed the crossbar with a curling shot.

4 minutes into additional 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 aim.

“We’ve simply bought to get extra our bodies within the assault,” veteran midfielder Justin Meram stated. “I feel we have now inventive gamers. The extra numbers we get within the assault, we will overload the perimeters and play by way of and create possibilities. We have been fairly defensive right now, 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 will likely be for us.”

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

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