SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – If last week’s draw against FC Dallas felt more like a win, Saturday night’s draw against Minnesota United had to feel more like defeat.
Minnesota scored the game-tying goal as the ball trickled across the end line after goalkeeper Zac MacMath punched the ball off the back of and unaware Niko Hansen, as RSL had to settle for one point at home with a 1-1 draw.
Damir Kreilach gave RSL a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute off a beautiful feed from Paulo Ruiz. For Kreilach, it was his third goal of the season and second in as many games.
MacMath, who started in goal in place of David Ochoa, who was called up to the U.S. Men’s National Team, didn’t have to make a save, as Minnesota United could not put a shot on frame.
That changed in the 78th minute, when Hansen scored the fluke goal.
“Cruel,” head coach Freddy Juarez said about the result. “You put your heart and soul into it and I thought everybody had a great game. We pushed and created, but the goal comes out of nothing. It’s just football. That’s how football goes and we have to keep our heads high. The guys were pushing and creating, but we gave up an unlucky goal. I’ve been with enough teams to know that if you keep up that work ethic, then good things will happen.”
RSL put five shots on frame, but could convert only the one attempt by Kreilach. Real Salt Lake had 12 shots total.
“It’s a bit disappointing to get the draw,” defender Andrew Brody said. “I think we did everything right to earn the three points, but they just got one chance and they scored. There are a lot of positives to take away though. We were on the front foot towards the end and I thought we were going to get one. Sometimes you get the winner and sometimes you don’t.”
“They’re just saying we’re right there, one step away from being where we want to be,” said defender Aaron Herrera. “We just have to keep our heads up.”
Real Salt Lake (2-1-3) is off for the two-week international break, and will return to action June 18th at home against Vancouver.
RSL did announce the signing of Argentinian star forward Jonathan Menendez, who will join the club before the team’s next match.
Menendez, who played most of his professional career in Argentina’s first division, scoring 20 goals with 10 assists in 70 matches.
“He’s a really good all around footballer,” RSL manager Elliot Fall said. “He likes to get the ball out wide and come inside; he’s also crafty with the ball at his feet. He looks for goals and he’s also good at creating for his teammates. He’s a well-rounded player.”