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

Lacking a handful of key gamers, coach Pablo Mastroeni happy to earn a degree 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, a degree 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 end result.

“As a coach, a very powerful factor is to deal with what we do have and never deal with 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 workforce is all about.”

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

“It was a extremely good defensive efficiency,” stated goalkeeper Zach MacMath, who began instead of Ochoa. “Clearly we might have favored 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 maintain a shutout, it’s one thing to be pleased with.”

Houston dominated possession (61.6% to RSL’s 38.4%) however every workforce solely managed two photographs on purpose apiece Sunday.

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

RSL’s finest probability got here within the 72nd minute, when midfielder Maikel Chang aimed a low, left-footed shot towards the again put up, 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 probability to steal a victory however Pablo Ruiz’s free kick went crusing over the purpose.

“We’ve simply obtained to get extra our bodies within the assault,” veteran midfielder Justin Meram stated. “I feel we now have artistic gamers. The extra numbers we get within the assault, we will overload the edges and play by way of and create possibilities. We have been fairly defensive immediately, which is what Pablo requested. I see it as an excellent defensive effort and we had some OK attacking moments. However the extra numbers we get subsequent week, the higher will probably 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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