Though consistently inconsistent this season, Real Salt Lake reminded the rest of MLS that they can beat anyone on their day when they shocked New York City FC 3-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium Saturday night.
Alexander Ring got the visitors off to a dream start with a slick turn and pinpoint low strike from the top of the penalty box just four minutes in as NYCFC exploited an untimely RSL turnover deep in their own end. But Jefferson Savarino would respond a few minutes before halftime, capping a fluid RSL passing move with a venomous finish into the roof of the net at Sean Johnson's near post.
Sava's teammate Albert Rusnak would do him one better in the second half, taking a pass from Kyle Beckerman after a City half-clearance to lash a vicious 25-yard drive inside the near post in the 75th minute. With the New Yorkers tiring visibly, Salt Lake iced their victory with a heel flick by Nick Besler that was both cheeky and instinctive, redirecting a bouncing Savarino effort into the net.
- 4' – NYC – Alex Ring | WATCH
- 37' – RSL – Jefferson Savarino | WATCH
- 75' – RSL – Albert Rusnak | WATCH
- 88' – RSL – Nick Besler | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Shrugging off NYCFC's strong start, RSL took the game to the Eastern Conference contenders with levels of fluidity and ferocity that belied coach Mike Petke's hefty suspension due to his verbal abuse of the referees in their Leagues Cup match last month. They're now 4-1-3 since the Gold Cup break.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Savarino's goal was lovely, but the velocity, accuracy and range of Rusnak's makes it a must-see...
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Jefferson Savarino produced another devastating wing display that powered RSL, and probably boosted his transfer value even further as overseas suitors circle.