The good news for Real Salt Lake is that they've put together a five-game unbeaten streak. Yet, despite a tenacious performance arguably deserving of a win, they could only muster a draw — now their third straight — against the Houston Dynamo, 0-0, on Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The Dynamo — which have also put together a five-game streak without a loss — finished with 10 men, as midfielder Alex picked up two quick yellow cards just 80 seconds apart midway through the second half.
- (BAD) JUDGMENT DAY: Alex's final 90 seconds in this match was among the worst 90 seconds any MLS player has had in recent memory. In the 64th minute, Alex's on-field tussle with RSL's Albert Rusnak led to Alex (and Alex alone) getting a yellow. Just over a minute later, he went for an airborne ball versus Kyle Beckerman, and left his studs up on a high kick with enough perceived malice to warrant a second yellow. The ejection altered Dynamo coach Wilmer Cabrera's plans — rather than Erick "Cubo" Torres coming on for Andrew Wenger, he came on for Mauro Manotas instead.
- FIVE THE HARD WAY: Both Salt Lake and Houston have unbeaten streaks that date back to the first week of July, though the teams might not be celebrating as much as you'd expect. RSL's three straight draws include two matches where they gave up second-half leads at home, and in this match, they held a more than 2 to 1 possession advantage and 21-9 shot advantage but couldn't get a single shot on target. Houston, meanwhile, still have only won one match away from BBVA Compass Stadium all season, though they have taken their undefeated road streak to four matches.
- LIGHTNING DIDN'T STRIKE TWICE: RSL appeared to want to replicate the same late-game magic they employed back on June 18, when Yura Movsisyan came on as a 70th-minute sub and broke a scoreless deadlock in the 84th minute to propel RSL to a 1-0 home win over Minnesota United FC. Though he came on at the same point in a similar match, and despite a great look in front of goal in the 88th minute, Movsisyan couldn't repeat the dramatic performance.
They Said It
“Am I happy the way that we’re creating and playing right now or do I wish we were playing like crap and scoring three or four goals a game? It’s the yin and the yang right now, so I haven’t decided which way I would prefer. I enjoy the way we’re playing, but we’re just not finding the net."
- Real Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke