PORTLAND (ABC4 Sports) – Real Salt Lake started the 2023 season losing four in row early in the year, and now that the season is winding down, RSL is going in the wrong direction again.
Santiago Moreno had a goal and an assist for Portland, while Chicho Arango’s late goal for RSL proved to be too little, too late in a 2-1 loss to the Timbers.
Including a loss to Houston in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals last week, Real Salt Lake has now lost four straight matches, tying its longest losing skid of the season.
The Timbers struck first in the 13th minute when Juan Mosquera’s high crossing pass found the head of and unmarked Moreno, who gave the home side an early 1-0 lead.
“It’s obviously tough,” RSL head coach Pablo Mastroeni said about the early goal. “Especially in the run of form that we’re currently in. But I don’t think it was only the goal, it was the way we conceded it.”
It remained a one goal deficit until in the 64th minute, when Mosquera tapped a pass to Felipe Mora, who blasted a shot past Zac MacMath to give the Timbers a 2-0 lead.
After missing several scoring opportunities, RSL finally found the back of the net when Arango redirected Bryan Vera’s shot past David Bingham to give the visitors some life in the 83rd minute. But RSL could not find the equalizer, and fell back to sixth place in the Western Conference with a record of 10-9-7.
“At the moment, our confidence is a bit low,” Mastroeni said. “But I think today was one of our better performances with the ball and against the ball. But in the final third, we lacked a bit of composure.”
Real Salt Lake out-shot Portland, 14-7, putting five shots on frame, while Portland converted both of its shots on goal.
Just a few weeks ago, Real Salt Lake was tied for second place in the conference, but now has to find a way to get some results over the final eight games just to make the playoffs.
RSL has been outscored during this four-game skid 12-2. The Timbers (7-11-8) had given up eight goals in its last two losses.
After going 8-1-3 across all competitions in June and July, RSL closes the month of August with a record of 1-5.
Real Salt Lake now comes home to host the Colorado Rapids Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. with the Rocky Mountain Cup on the line.