Real Salt Lake suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday night, bringing their season to 1-1-1, after a disappointing and lackluster performance in D.C. With two strong defensive performances to start the season, and conceding one goal in two matches, RSL conceded five to a strong D.C. attack…but most of them were avoidable. After a pretty decent start for the visitors, a few counter attacks and strong “D”, everything began to crumble in the 32nd minute when Marcelo Silva was issued a yellow card and VAR awarded DC a penalty. A PK, a poor turnover, a red card (Jefferson Savarino), another poor turnover (Wayne Rooney hattrick!), a second yellow -> red card (Marcelo Silva), a wonder goal (and probably Goal of the Week winner), and another poor turnover later the match was done. Offensively Real generated four shots, two shots on goal, and zero corner kicks. Defensively they won twenty tackles with a 75% success rate, had 17 clearances and ten interceptions but it wasn’t enough to overcome the home side. Honestly, this tweet (more specifically the gif) sums the night up pretty well.
I really don’t have a whole lot to say about the match because I, like the RSL players, am ready to move on.
The true highlight of the night was seeing the pre-game ceremony honoring Nick Rimando by D.C. United, where he played for five years and won the 2004 MLS Cup alongside Mike Petke.
Throwing it back to his D.C. Days. This will be the last time @NickRimando plays in Washington, D.C. before he retires.
98 games played, 8,956 minutes played, 355 saves and 29 shutouts and one 2004 MLS Cup! 🏆
THANK YOU, @NickRimando!#DCU | #TBThursday pic.twitter.com/VNXGjljohG
— D.C. United (@dcunited) March 14, 2019
The real consequences of Saturday’s match come next week when Real Salt Lake head to California to face LAFC. Already without Albert Rusnak, Corey Baird, and Sam Johnson due to international duty, the already stretched RSL will now have to cope without a starting center-back and starting winger. Now there is a lot of talk of this RSL team being the deepest in club history but there’s only so much one team can take. With last year’s CB starter Justen Glad out for another couple weeks due to a broken toe and line-up regular Joao Plata MIA due to a week 1 ankle injury, next week will be a true test of that depth and character.
If, for some weird reason you want to watch the highlights (maybe you’re a D.C. fan…or an SKC fan…who knows???), here ya go: