RSL dropped out of the U.S. Open Cup at first asking with a lineup of nearly all first-team players, losing to Sporting Kansas City 2-0.
The first half featured very little attacking soccer from either side, with Mike Petke’s side playing cautiously and Peter Vermes’ playing a conservative game.
But with a minimally active first half in the books, Sporting Kansas City wasted no time once the second half whistle sounded, with Johnny Russell scoring the game’s opener in the 47th minute. It came from a particularly poor run of defensive play, with a Kansas City center back opening up space in RSL’s half.
The second came, unsurprisingly, from another run of abysmal defending, with Kharlton Belmar — or Adam Henley with an own goal, depending on how you view it — doubling Kansas City’s lead.
Brooks Lennon, on for a struggling Ricky Lopez-Espin, nearly pulled one back for RSL with a neat bit of attacking play that saw SKC’s goalkeeper, Adrian Zendejas, dumped on the ground just outside his box. But RSL, without much of an attacking presence, couldn’t capitalize on the hand-crafted opportunity.
In what may be an act of desperation, RSL coach Mike Petke dropped Alfredo Ortuño into the lineup — he didn’t have much to show for it, though he did have one on-frame shot around the 86th minute. It was not RSL’s first on-frame attempt, but it may as well have been for all the danger they created.
47’ RSL 0-1 SKC, Johnny Russell
74’ RSL 0-2 SKC, Kharlton Belmar (or Adam Henley OG)
23’ RSL yellow, Aaron Herrera
47’ RSL yellow, Pablo Ruiz
Real Salt Lake
Henley, Horst, Peay, Herrera
Lopez-Espin (71’ Lennon), Hernandez, Brody
L. Silva (78’ Ortuño)
Bench: Leeker, Acosta, Lennon, Gallagher, Saucedo, Baird, Ortuño
Sporting Kansas City
Lindsey, Didic, Amor, Besler, Lobato (68’) Espinoza
Ilie, Busio, Kuzain (83’ Fernandes)
Russell (75’ Salloi)