Real Salt Lake kicks off 2021 season with 2-1 victory over Minnesota United

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Anderson Julio scores two goals on two assists from Rubio Rubin

ST. PAUL, Minn. (ABC4 Sports) – Two of Real Salt Lake’s new additions had huge impacts in the first game of the season.

Anderson Julio scored two goals, with Rubio Rubín assisting both, and Real Salt Lake opened its season with a 2-1 win over Minnesota United.

Julio opened the scoring in the 31st minute, smashing home a right-footed shot from the top of the 18-yard box. Then in the 41st minutes, Julio tapped home Rubín’s crossing pass to give RSL a commanding 2-0 lead at the half.

“It’s always great to see,” head coach Freddy Juarez said about Julio’s debut performance. “He puts in a lot of work, he does the dirty work. He runs in behind, helps on defense and you want him to be rewarded with goals. You want your attackers to get goals because they need that goal for confidence to keep them going. For them to get rewarded, for him to get rewarded on his debut, it’s a great individual thing for him. But also the quality of the pass that Rubio gave to him, it was an unselfish, wide open pass to him and that’s what creates the goal.”

Robin Lod finished Justin McMaster’s pass in the 86th minute to give Minnesota its first goal of the season.

Minnesota out-shot RSL 23-11, but But David Ochoa got the victory in goal, and drew the ire of the Minnesota United fans when he kicked the ball into the stands after the final whistle.

“No comment, everyone’s fired up right now,” Juarez said. “We’re all competitive and everyone has a right to their own opinion I thought Ochoa had a pretty good game. He’s still developing in many ways, he’s a young adult and we’ll continue to groom him and help him in his career.”

“For me the most important thing is to come out with the win,” Rubin said. “To do it away from home, in this kind of stadium and in our first game, to get our legs under us and come out with the win was very important to us. The rest is just what comes with the game. I was able to get two assists and help the team get those goals, but ultimately the whole team put in the shift to get the “W.” We’re just ecstatic to get to go back home and play our next three games at home and come out with a result of a ‘dub.’”

Real Salt Lake next takes on Sporting Kansas City in its home opener May 1st at 12:00 p.m.

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