Apr 21, 2018; Sandy, UT, USA; Referee Joseph Dickerson signals for Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard (1) to stand back during the first half against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
Here are three things we learned from Real Salt Lake’s 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids.
1. RSL can score in a hurry
Real Salt Lake scored three goals in a 12-minute span. This not only shows that these players can step up when needed, but they can do so in a big-time manner. Joao Plata got things started when his penalty found the back of the net in the 80th minute. Then in the 88th minute, Demar Kreilach scored his first Major League Soccer goal and just four minutes after that Albert Rusnák put the cherry on top for the home team.
This rapid-fire scoring is promising for future games if the team ever finds itself in a pinch, and it knows it just needs that one goal to inspire something in the rest of the squad. It helps that head coach Mike Petke thinks Damir Kreilach is finally coming into his own.
“It takes time to adjust to this league — the culture, the travel, the different style of play,” Petke said. “I don’t think we’ve seen close to the best of Damir yet. … The more comfortable he gets in the weeks ahead, you’re going to see him in a more advanced position and more central.”
2. RSL shouldn’t have to score in a hurry
Playing against a 10-man squad, RSL shouldn’t have had to score three late goals in the game to make Tim Howard pay for a handball that earned him a red card. The team had possession for 70.8 percent of time, and it had plenty of chances to score. However, none came to fruition until Colorado was too tired to keep pace with RSL.
Petke wasn’t worried, though, a bit stressed — but not worried. He felt confident his players would make the right adjustments to put themselves in a better scoring position in the second half, and they did just that.
3. MacMath is worth keeping an eye on
Conceding three goals is nothing pretty, and it’s probably not how Zac MacMath envisioned his Saturday night going — he certainly wasn’t expecting to play and the Howard red card didn’t give him much time to warm up. That being said, he played well during the first 60 minutes he was on the field and he ended the night with an overall six saves. Not so bad for someone who doesn’t regularly get a lot of playing time.