Anderson Julio enjoyed a dream MLS debut as he struck for a brace to lead Real Salt Lake to a 2-1 win over Minnesota United Saturday night at Allianz Field.

Julio marshaled a quick counter attack after a Minnesota United corner kick and the ball fell to the RSL debutant when Chase Gasper tripped Rubio Rubin. The Ecuadorian on loan from Liga MX side San Luis fired over Dayne St. Clair from just inside the 18-yard box in the 31st minute.

Ten minutes later, Julio again capitalized on a counter attack, this time with an easy tap-in at the back post off a feed from Rubin to double RSL’s lead. His second goal followed a mistake in the back by the Loons when Gasper’s attempted pass back to St. Clair was too casual, allowing Rubio to pounce.

RSL threatened to put the match away early in the second half, but St. Clair came up with a critical intervention, diving to his right to get a hand on a Justen Glad glancing header off a corner kick.

The pitch was tilted in favor of the hosts, who finally broke through four minutes from full time on a first-time strike by Robin Lod inside the far post.

The match ended with controversy when David Ochoa punted the ball into the Wonderwall at the final whistle, sparking a post-match fracas, but RSL leave Allianz Field with all three points to open the season on the front foot.

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Three Things 

  • THE BIG PICTURE: They were the last team to open their 2021 season, but it was well worth the wait for RSL fans, who watched their team punish the Loons on a pair of counter attacks to pick up the road win. Minnesota United dominated possession, had more shot attempts, but they weren’t clinical in attack until Lod’s late strike and were punished for mistakes in the back.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Anderson Julio did all the heavy lifting and he was also rewarded with his first MLS goal, albeit after a fortunate bounce.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Anderson Julio was brought in inject some life into an attack that far too often previously relied almost exclusively on Albert Rusnak and Damir Kreilach and he doubly delivered on his debut.

Goals 

  • 31’ — RSL — Anderson Julio | WATCH
  • 41’ — RSL — Anderson Julio | WATCH
  • 86’ — MIN — Robin Lod | WATCH

Next Up 

  • MIN: Saturday, May 1 vs. Austin FC | 8 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ | MLS regular season
  • RSL: Saturday, May 1 vs. Sporting Kansas City | 2 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ | MLS regular season

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