SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – With leading scorer Sam Johnson out with in an injury, Real Salt Lake fans may have wondered where the scoring was going to come from.
Saturday night against the top team in the Eastern Conference, RSL found the back of the net a season-high four times in a 4-0 blowout win over Philadelphia.
Jefferson Savarino had two goals and an assist to help Real Salt Lake move back above the playoff line and into 6th place in the Western Conference.
“This is the standard,” heads coach Mike Petke said. “That’s the message. Someone like Savarino who was just at Copa America and he played incredibly. And there’s been some buzz about him and he’s come back, and he’s been reenergized. And he’s putting the work in on both sides of the ball. And I thought tonight was possibly his best game since we got him.”
In the 23rd minute, Savarino ran behind Aaron Herrera’s long ball, trapped it forward to where he could get it first and finished with a left-footed shot to give RSL a 1-0 lead at the half.
In the 71st, Kyle Beckerman found Savarino open 25 yards from goal and Savarino sent home a one-hopper to double the lead.
“It’s something that the coaching staff has always talked about in training: being a good attacker and also doing your work defensively.,” Savarino said through a translator. “It’s also something that I worked on with the Venezuelan National Team, so that I can be a more complete player.”
Savarino pounced on a defensive miscue in the 81st minute and back-heal flicked to Albert Rusnák, who punched it in to make it 3-0 for Real Salt Lake (9-9-2)
Damir Kreilach finished from close range to cap the scoring in the 89th minute. RSL has won three of its last four and five in a row at home.
“It says that we’re a very strong team at home,” Rusnak said. “We’ve been a little unlucky, like in San Jose, I think we should have kept the unbeaten run going. It wasn’t meant to be in San Jose, for whatever reason. I think we showed tonight that we’re one of the best teams in the league, at home especially. Four goals, clean sheet, so there’s not much to talk about really.”
Real Salt Lake next hosts Minnesota United Saturday, July 20th at 8:00 p.m.