SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – It was home sweet road for Real Salt Lake.
Playing as the visiting team against the Vancouver Whitecaps, who have been temporarily relocated to Rio Tinto Stadium for its home games during Covid, RSL dominated play, winning, 4-0.
Damir Kreilach opened the scoring in the very first minute, chipping a ball over Vancouver goalkeeper Thomas Hasal to give RSL an early 1-0 lead.
It stayed that way until the 57th minute, when Justin Meram perfectly served a crossing pass to Kreilach, who headed home his team-leading 7th goal of the season to give Real a comfortable 2-0 advantage.
“I try to give the best of myself,” Kreilach said. “At the end of the day, it’s not about one guy or even 11 guys, it’s about all 30 guys in the locker room. We are all one here. It’s all about preparation. It was a little bit tough the last couple of weeks to not get the three points because in a couple of games we deserved it. For example, the game against Houston and the game against LAFC. Tonight was a great night. It’s very good we are on the right path and we just have to keep going.”
Then in the 71st, Meram got taken down in the box, resulting in a penalty kick for Albert Rusnak. Celebrating his 27th birthday, Rusnak buried the PK to make it 3-0 RSL.
Just for good measure, Anderson Julio booted in his third goal of the season in stoppage time, as RSL put up four goals for the first time this season.
“We figured it out at halftime,” Rusnak said. “We spoke about how we need to get back into the game in terms of getting the ball and trying to press them. We made those little adjustments, and in the second half, we came out strong again and got the second goal. That second goal was the key thing that we spoke about the last couple of weeks that we need to get that goal. You saw today that once we got it, it was all ours.”
David Ochoa had to make just two saves to record his second shutout of the season. Real peppered the Vancouver defense with 18 shots, eight on frame.
Former USMNT player Bobby Wood made his first start for RSL and played 66 minutes before being subbed out for Rubio Rubin.
“He shows what qualities he has,” Juarez said. “He’s strong, holding the ball with his back to goal. When we broke the line and got wide, we had two or three occasions when we served the ball and he got to the end of it. That causes a lot of problems for the opponent because of his physique.”
Real Salt Lake (4-3-4) moved back above the playoff line in the Western Conference. RSL is now off until July 17th when it plays at LAFC.