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9 man RSL lose 5-0 to DC United

After a strong start, RSL fall apart with serious repercussions for next week’s game vs LAFC

MLS: Real Salt Lake at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

For the first 32 minutes of tonight’s game, RSL looked good. They were keeping their shape defensively, and getting forward and creating chances against a good DC United team.

And then, in a single moment, everything changed.

It started with a good bit of interplay from DC United to get the ball into the box. Marcelo Silva and DC’s Paul Arriola came together inside the penalty box, Arriola went down, and play continued. After the ball went out of play, Referee Dave Gantar motioned for trainers to come onto the field to attend to Arriola. After thinking about it for a few moments, still during the stoppage of play, Gantar pulled out the yellow card and showed it to Silva for a foul that he hadn’t even called. This subsequently produced a video review, which culminated in Gantar pointing to the penalty spot. Wayne Rooney slid the ensuing spot kick past Rimando for a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute.

RSL immediately went to work in seeking to press forward and capture a quick equalizer, but could still be seen playing very tentatively, constantly passing the ball backward instead of sideways or forward. This soon led to DC’s second goal. In the 41st minute, Aaron Herrera lost the ball in an awkward position, and a quick cross to Wayne Rooney allowed him to take a touch and then chip the ball over an onrushing Nick Rimando.

In first half stoppage time, things went from bad to worse. Jefferson Savarino raised a boot high in an attempt to bring down a ball, and his studs made contact with the face of a DC United player, who had stooped his head low to go for the ball. Dave Gantar wasted no time going to the back pocket and showing Jefferson the red card. RSL entered halftime down a man and down 2-0.

In the second half, RSL held well for about 20 minutes before another bad defensive turnover led to Wayne Rooney’s third goal of the game in the 65th minute.

Marcelo Silva saw his second yellow and associated red card two minutes later in the 67th minute. RSL would play the final 23 minutes with just nine men on the field.

DC scored their fourth goal of the game via an exquisite volley from Lucas Rodriguez off of a corner kick in the 76th minute. Their 5th goal came just 4 minutes later, making the scoreline 5-0 in the 80th minute.

In the 86th minute, RSL substitues Sebastian Saucedo and Sam Johnson. Sam won the ball and broke into the attack quickly, with Saucedo making a strong run in support of the counterattack. Johnson played a great ball to Bofo, and then ghosted toward the back post, completely losing his defenders and making himself wide open. Bofo should have crossed back to Johnson for an easy goal, but instead took a shot from a difficult angle that went just wide of the post.

4 minutes of added time played out without much more drama. RSL will look forward to a tough match next week against LAFC in what will surely be a test of the deepness of their roster.