Real Salt Lake settles for draw in final home game

There are worse results than a draw. Often a draw can be seen as a sort of victory. For Real Salt Lake though, its 0-0 draw with Sporting Kansas City Sunday afternoon at Rio Tinto left much to be desired.

“Frustrated with the final product,” RSL head coach Jeff Cassar said. “I thought we put ourselves in much more aggressive positions today than we have been (in recent games) and that was great. We were less passive, and I thought we created enough chances tonight. That being said, we have to find a way (to score), and it doesn’t have to be beautiful.”

Not only did the lack of goals prevent Real Salt Lake from finishing its home schedule on a high note, when coupled with the Portland Timbers’ 1-0 win against the Colorado Rapids, it means that RSL failed to clinch a playoff spot.

The Claret and Cobalt sits in fourth place with 46 points, but could fall as far as seventh — and out of the playoffs — if the team fails to win or draw its final game of the season at surging Seattle on Oct. 23.

“We talk a lot in our locker room, not just about the attack, but about the choices that we make on the field. We have to get something out of the good play that led to good scoring chances. We have to keep putting ourselves in that position. I have full confidence in these guys. We just have to have that killer mentality,” Cassar noted when asked how Real Salt Lake can be successful in the upcoming game.

RSL had more than a few scoring opportunities early on. Javier Morales had an excellent shot at goal nine minutes into the match, but his effort flew just wide of the left post.

Three minutes later, Yura Movsisyan seemed primed to get Real Salt Lake on the board, but his shot was stymied by a sliding block courtesy of Sporting Kansas City defensive back Kevin Ellis.

Perhaps the best Real Salt Lake scoring chance of the first half came 19 minutes in. Movsisyan broke past the defense, only to be dragged down by a Sporting Kansas City defender. While the RSL forward bemoaned the lack of a penalty call, teammate Juan Manuel Martinez snuck into the box and drilled the ball at the goal, only to have his shot blocked by Sporting Kansas City keeper Tim Melia.

“Tim made some fantastic saves,” Cassar said of the opposing goalkeeper. “We just have to keep putting ourselves in (scoring) positions.”

The latter part of the first half was characterized by high intensity on both sides as well as frequent whistles. RSL was whistled for 11 fouls in the first half alone, including one that earned Luke Mulholland a yellow card. For its part, Sporting Kansas City had nine early fouls.

source: deseret news