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RSL loses 1-0 to Portland Timbers in heated preseason match

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake's first streamed preseason match saw the team fall 1-0 to Portland Timbers in a match that ranged from fast-and-furious to languid.

It didn't take long for Portland Timbers to notch their goal: Lucas Melano scored around 30 seconds in for Portland Timbers with some build-up play through the right flank leading to a tame cross, which he had no problem tapping in.

A scuffle in the 28th minute saw Yura Movsisyan and Portland's Jack McInerney sent off — but not truly sent off, merely forced to be substituted by the referee. Movsisyan was sent off for some head-level pushing, and McInerney was sent off for grabbing Sunny and putting him in a headlock — which caused some further retaliation from others, who weren't carded for their efforts.

Devon Sandoval replaced Movsisyan following that scuffle, and Real Salt Lake made no substitutions at the half.

The second half saw the first team look considerably more assured and able, with the Timbers' possession game of the first half being more or less gutted and replaced with their own. Standing out during that spell — before a 60th minute swap for all eleven players — was Sunny, whose streamed debut for RSL was impressive.

Joao Plata had the best chance for Real Salt Lake in the 59th minute, when Burrito Martinez burst down the left flank and sent a cutting diagonal ball through through the box.

A second-half lineup switch saw trialist Jerry Akaminko make his debut for the team, and the Ghanaian, who nearly went to the 2014 World Cup, but for an untimely injury, came on and led a settled defensive effort alongside Justen Glad.

The game ended with RSL losing 1-0, but a second-half improvement left something positive from the match — but the scuffle and manner by which they conceded the first goal also leaves plenty for the team to work toward.