Real Salt Lake end losing skid with "compete performance" vs. Charlotte FC


Real Salt Lake entered Saturday's Matchday 7 meeting with Charlotte FC on a four-match losing streak and then conceded a first-half goal to Karol Swiderski.

This was a “fork-in-the-road” moment in RSL’s young season.

“Coming back from a one-goal deficit when we had numerous chances in the first half, it’s so easy to let those moments derail you after a string of defeats,” RSL head coach Pablo Mastroeni said post-game.

The response after the break was emphatic: three goals in a six-minute span following halftime as RSL rallied for a 3-1 victory Mastroeni believes can be the launching-off point from a slow start to 2023.

RSL, after opening the year with a 2-1 comeback win at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, were outscored 12-1 in their last four games.

“I think you always need a platform to really leap from, and I think today's performance was a solid platform, solid performance,” Mastroeni said, later adding, “what I saw today was a group of solid characters in that locker room that stayed the course, that dug deep, and that believed. Winning is a fickle thing. But the processes and the character of the man rarely changes and so I couldn't be more proud of this group.”

Pablo Ruiz, Anderson Julio and Jefferson Savarino scored in quick succession during a win that was just the second for RSL on the season and their first this year at America First Field, otherwise a fortress in 2022.

They sit in 10th in the Western Conference standings, but well within striking distance of seventh-place Houston Dynamo FC (nine points) ahead of a Matchday 8 match at FC Dallas next Saturday.

“What I said to the guys after the game is whilst it was a complete performance, we need to keep pushing each other on both sides of the ball,” Mastroeni said. “We have to demand more from ourselves. Because tonight, you guys showed your quality. And again, it's always been there, but it's about bringing it out.

"I think tonight's performance is a great foundation to really build from and use as momentum as we move towards the next group of games.”