SANDY, Utah—Even the words “unbeaten at home” don’t sound so chipper coming out of the mouths of Real Salt Lake players and coaches these days.
For the third straight game at Rio Tinto Stadium, Salt Lake could only muster a single point as they deadlocked the New England Revolution in a 0-0 draw on Saturday night. The result saw RSL post a clean sheet for the first time since a goal-less away tie vs. the Houston Dynamo in May, but that was the quintessential silver lining after finishing proved costly yet again.
“I think the last 4-5 games we kept stressing to keep that shutout,” said goalkeeper Nick Rimando. “Tonight, it feels good to get that for sure to get us back on track, but leaving two [points] out there hurts.”
Real Salt Lake might have held the Revolution scoreless, but New England returned the favor. Some early chances for RSL didn’t pay off and free balls in the box weren’t put on frame, leaving the club with just two goals in its last five league matches.
On one play in the 71st minute on Saturday, Yura Movsisyan used his trail foot on a cross to try and sneak in a game-winner. On another 14 minutes into the match, Kyle Beckerman redirected a shot at the near post that was saved before Joao Plata missed wide left on the rebound after curling his attempt past the far post.
“We have to hit the target no matter what,” said RSL head coach Jeff Cassar. “We have to make the goalkeepers work. We can’t let them off the hook on not hitting the net on certain things.”
The 12 other shots Real Salt Lake created fell into that category.
“We have full confidence in all of our players to score,” Cassar said. “Right now it feels like the net is the one my son plays on – it’s just small.”
For RSL, the game sees them walk away with a solid defensive effort to build on and the question of how to put the ball into the net. The sooner they can find an answer, however, the better.
“We created a lot and had our chances to score," Rimando said, "But for some reason they’re not going in.”