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Real Salt Lake playing well on quick turnarounds

Jul 7, 2018; Sandy, UT, USA; Real Salt Lake forward Jefferson Savarino (7) and FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges (24) battle in the second half at Rio Tinto Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Here are three things we learned from Real Salt Lake’s 2-0 win over FC Dallas.

1. Real Salt Lake plays well on a quick turnaround

After competing on the Fourth of July and playing its third game in eight days, Real Salt Lake could have run out of gas. And to be fair the team didn’t start this stretch on the best foot after losing 2-1 to the Columbus Crew on June 30. However, RSL regrouped. After allowing Sporting KC to take an early lead in Rio Tinto, it fired back quick to win by two goals. Against FC Dallas on Saturday night, all the team needed was a penalty kick from Albert Rusnák and a late goal from Luis Silva.

Though the team had a few other solid looks at the goal, it did just enough on the defensive end to keep the visitors at bay and to earn three points. This bodes well for a team that already had a tiring stretch of games, and in each case it has been able to show its depth is up to the challenge.

“To get six points out of the last two and playing number one and number two in our table, those points are huge,” Rusnák said.

Watch: Highlights from the match

2. Rusnák doesn’t dwell on past

After missing a penalty kick against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday night, Rusnák could have let that have a negative impact on his penalty approach moving forward, but instead he merely forgot about it. 

Rusnák’s approach on Wednesday went down the middle, but Saturday night’s approach went to the bottom left corner as he scored Real Salt Lake’s first goal of the evening. Granted his missed penalty against Kansas City didn’t really have an impact on the game with Real ultimately winning 4-2, his made penalty against FC Dallas showed his attention to detail and his ability to move on.

“Compared to three four years ago where I was, if I would have missed the PK … it would have stayed in my mind the rest of the game and for the next days and weeks coming up,” Rusnák said. “[The] PK against Kansas City, as soon as I missed it, it was gone.”

3. Petke praises players when he sees it fit

As most people know, Petke isn’t one to praise players — he doesn’t like to single guys out. However, he was thoroughly impressed by how Jefferson Savarino competed against FC Dallas.

Petke doesn’t give out game balls often, he did it maybe once last season — he can’t exactly recall if really did or not— but he awarded Savarino the game ball after his performance on Saturday.

“I’m not in to the whole game ball thing, but I think it was important because we’ve been preaching to Jefferson and really challenging him and riding him for 90 minutes to be focused,” Petke said. “We know what you can do offensively, but I want to see your commitment defensively to get back, and I thought he was phenomenal in that aspect.”

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