It nearly happened again. Five minutes into a match against New York City FC, a poor series of defensive plays saw Real Salt Lake concede a goal, going down 1-0.
But the obvious storyline didn’t last. That state lasted a good 30 minutes, and it took Albert itRusnak to lift the team out the self-imposed deficit with an outside-the-box shot that took City’s Sean Johnson the wrong way.
Then, early in the second half, Real Salt Lake pulled ahead, with Aaron Maund scoring from an Albert Rusnak corner. It was the first time in what seems like months since the team was in such a position.
That was enough for RSL, who continued to create opportunities and held off New York, despite David Villa making a second-half appearance.
Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando returned to the starting lineup, with both missing several matches through injury. Jefferson Savarino also got his first start — only just over a week after he joined the club on loan from Venezuelan outfit Zulia FC.
Meanwhile, Andrea Pirlo got the start for New York City FC, starting after an extended period on the bench.
And if you’re wondering why Rio Tinto Stadium looked fairly empty, a bout of late-May winter weather — combined with a recent run of form that left RSL looking wounded — goes some way to explaining that.