In a chippy match full of uncharacteristic mistakes, the Union bowed meekly to Real Salt Lake in Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night by a score of 4-0.
Union first XI: Blake; Fabinho, Trusty, Elliott, Gaddis; Medunjanin, Bedoya, Aaronson, Fabian; Picault, Przybylko
Fabinho sighting! We have a Fabinho sighting! Kai Wagner has a quad issue, so Fabinho started in his place and well, it was apparent why Wagner was starting all this time now.
The first good half-chance belonged to the Union off of a corner kick in the tenth minute. A Marco Fabian corner found Bedoya breaking into the box unmarked on a play right off the training ground, but Bedoya put the ball harmlessly over the goal.
In the eightenth, Andre Blake had to save a rocket from Kreilach on the left post after a Union turnover. It wasn’t long after when Real Salt Lake broke through on a long ball over the top that split Trusty and Elliott and found Savarino, who pounded his strike hard and low to the right, easily beating Blake and giving RSL the advantage.
Things soon got chippy. The match almost swung again minutes later when Kreilach was nearly given a straight red after a VAR review for coming in behind Przybylko studs up and making contact, but the yellow he was originally given was upheld. Soon after, Beckerman recieved a yellow for a bad challenge on Fabian.
The half continued with the Union searching for the final ball and looking out of sync. They finally put together a spell of pressure in the fourtieth minute, but the half ended with RSL up 1-0.
The second half began with recently-extended head coach Jim Curtin swapping out Aaronson for Sergio Santos, possibly because Aaronson took a knock; he was seen with ice on his one knee on the sideline after he was subbed out. Blake was called upon to bail the U out again on a corner kick, getting his knee on a header that was bound for the back of the net in the fifty-third minute. Minutes later, another RSL corner lead to a header that went off of the crossbar.
With the Union struggling to find answers, a miscommunication led to a second RSL goal. Fafa Picault picked up a ball at the top of the Union box but ran into Haris Medunjanin and the ball came free, where Savarino found it and blasted a long-range strike past Blake to double RSL’s advantage.
The Union had a goal called back in the seventy-fifth by VAR when the VAR ruled a ball was entirely out of bounds before Andrew Wooten put a strike past Nick Rimando that would have pulled the Union back into the match.
The boys in blue completely fell apart when Ray Gaddis coughed the ball up in the Union box thinking Andre Blake was coming out for it. He wasn’t, and Rusnak put a strike to it, beating Blake from distance to make it 3-0.
Yet another defensive lapse made it 4-0. The back line allowed Kreilach to slip into the box where he easily beat Blake. Kreilach’s positioning was very close to being offsides and was originally ruled offsides, but VAR review said he was on.
From there, RSL simply saw the match out.
The Union desperately missed the play of Kai Wagner and Jamiro Montiero. They cannot come back fast enough.