Real Salt Lake firing on all cylinders ahead of Red Bulls tilt

ByReuters ESPN logo
Saturday, July 15, 2023

Offensive struggles have become a distant memory for Real Salt Lake during an unbeaten run it seeks to continue against the New York Red Bulls when the two clubs meet on Saturday night in Sandy, Utah.

Salt Lake (9-7-7, 34 points) is averaging two goals per game over its last 11 regular-season MLS matches. The Utah club has piled up six victories and four draws in that stretch, while scoring two or more goals in eight matches. RSL have not lost a match since the end of May.

A come-from-behind 2-2 draw against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday extended Salt Lake's current unbeaten run to eight matches (5-0-3). Danny Musovski and Anderson Julio scored second-half goals to help RSL erase a two-goal deficit and claim a road point.

"There's not one player in that locker room that doesn't have the right mentality to compete in this league," RSL coach Pablo Mastroeni said. "And so you couple that with quality and talent, with a resilient mindset, and you put us in a great position to be a great team in this league."

Salt Lake's recent hot form on offense only complicates an already stiff challenge facing the Red Bulls this weekend. New York (6-8-8, 26 points) has won just once in 10 road matches this season.

Fortunately for the Red Bulls, their offense is on a hot streak mirroring the one Salt Lake is enjoying. New York has tallied 10 goals over its last five matches.

Omir Fernandez has been a major catalyst for the uptick in scoring, tallying a goal or an assist in each of the club's last four matches.

The Red Bulls lost for the second time in three matches on Wednesday, falling 2-1 to FC Cincinnati thanks to a stoppage-time goal by Obinna Nwobodo.

"We learn from those situations through experience," Red Bulls coach Troy Lesesne told reporters Friday. "As a coaching staff, there's plenty to improve. If we continue to make the same mistakes, we have to look at ourselves."

--Field Level Media