A late goal from rookie forward Ryan Johnson gave Real Salt Lake a 1-0 victory over FC Dallas in a Reserve Division match at Pizza Hut Park on Sunday. The Hoops had the better of the chances throughout the game but were unable to finish any of them and were left to pay the price as Johnson got his second goal of the season.
The day did not start well for the Real Reserves as starting forward Jamie Watson was forced the leave the game after just seven minutes because of a hamstring injury. Adam Acosta was summoned to replace the Dallas native up front alongside Johnson but pairing failed to challenge FC Dallas' keeper Ray Burse Jr. for much of the opening 45 minutes. At the other end of the pitch, Real's second year goalkeeper Jay Nolly had a little more to do. Abe Thompson had a pair of good chances and Blake Wagner had one as well, but Nolly was equal to the challenge on each occasion and the game remained scoreless at the half.
The second half began much brighter for FC Dallas and it nearly got its reward just before the hour mark. A long clearance from the back by Drew Moor forced Nolly to race off his line to try and clear the danger. However, he collided with one of his defenders as he tried to get the ball away, allowing the ball to fall to Dax McCarty 30 yards from goal. His first time effort was blocked in the box by Nelson Akwari, but the ball fell back to McCarty who settled it this time and attempted to lob his shot into the still vacant goal, only to see his shot carom off of Nolly's left post. The rebound fell to Oduro who was able to get off a shot, only for Nolly to have retreated in time to make the save on his goalbound shot, keeping the score 0-0.
Following McCarty and Oduro's near misses, the game appeared to be heading to a scoreless draw, only for Salt Lake to grab a late winner through Johnson. Willis Forko broke up a Dallas attack and quickly played a long ball down the left for Johnson, catching the FCD defense on the counter. Johnson raced onto the Forko pass and got behind the defense before slotting a left-footed shot underneath Burse and just inside the far post to give Real a 1-0 lead and eventual victory.
In addition to losing the game, the Hoops lost three players to injury during the game. Alex Yi left midway through the opening half with a hamstring injury while Justin Moore and Dax McCarty were removed in the final 15 minutes. Moore took a knock just above his left eye and McCarty picked up an ankle injury. All will be evaluated next week by the team's training staff.
The FC Dallas Reserves are back in action on Sunday, April 23 when they take on Kansas City at Pizza Hut Park. The Real Salt Lake Reserves, who are now in first place with four points from their first two matches will look to make it two wins in a row in their next game against Los Angeles on Sunday, August 30.
RSL - Ryan Johnson 1 (Willis Forko1) 84'
RSL - Atiba Harris (Yellow Card) 27'
FCD - Justin Moore (Yellow Card) 53'
RSL - Ryan Johnson (Yellow Card) 70'
FC Dallas: Ray Burse Jr., Justin Moore (Alex Smith 69'), Drew Moor, Alex Yi (Miguel Guante 25'), David Wagenfuhr, Blake Wagner (Mario Torres 61'), Michael Dello-Russo, Aaron Pitchkolan, Dax McCarty (Josh Greenleaf 72'), Abe Thompson, Dominic Oduro.
Real Salt Lake: Jay Nolly, Gustavo Cabrera, Cameron Knowles (Christian Jimenez 41'), Nik Besagno, Willis Forko, Kevin Novak, Nelson Akwari, Joey Worthen, Atiba Harris, Ryan Johnson, Jamie Watson (Adam Acosta 7'/Ryan Martin 76').