Real Salt Lake, minus a handful of normal starters, earned a point and a clean sheet on the road against New England with a 0-0 draw. Both teams were in dire need of points with just weeks to go before the playoffs begin.
Interim coach Freddy Juarez got creative with the lineup, hoping to rest some legs seeing as this is the first of three games in the next eight days. Albert Rusnak, Nick Rimando, and Nedum Onuoha didn’t even make the 18, as names like Andrew Putna, Erik Holt, Justin Portillo, and Kelyn Rowe got the start at Gillette Stadium.
RSL didn’t start off poorly, despite looking disjointed at times. Sam Johnson and Kelyn Rowe both had decent chances on goal in the early stages as RSL logged three shots in the first 30 minutes.
Neither team could find a goal in the first 45 minutes as they went into the locker room at halftime deadlocked at 0-0.
The Revolution put a little more pressure on in the second half as they brought in forward Gustavo Bou, and logged about 10 more shots before the 70th minute, while RSL was only able to put in four shots in the same amount of time.
Luke Mulholland came on in the 71st minute to replace Justin Portillo next to Kelyn Rowe, making his first appearance in nearly a year. Incidentally, the last time Mulholland saw the field for RSL was in the 4-1 win against New England at home on October 18, 2018 when he played a full 90 minutes and notched one assist.
RSL survived a scary moment in the 85th minute when Putna came off his line during a New England free kick, as a ball from Caries Gil found its way to Brandon Bye who made the jump to send a header in toward the empty net. The ball bounced off the post and back out into play, where Marcelo Silva was able to deflect it away and back into safety, keeping the game tied at 0-0.
Despite some golden chances from New England in the final minutes of the game, RSL held on for a 0-0 draw to earn a much-needed point on the road. They stay in fourth place for the time being, pending the result of the LA Galaxy game later on.
RSL returns home to host the Galaxy in a must-win game on Wednesday with just three matches left to play.
46’ NER - Antonio Mlinar Delamea - yellow card
87’ RSL - Andrew Putna - yellow card
RSL: Putna; Herrera, Silva, Holt, Lennon; Rowe, Portillo (71’ Mulholland); Saucedo (81’ Schmitt), Rusnak, Baird; Johnson (84’ Luiz)
NER: Turner; Bye, Farrell, Delamea, Jones; Gil, Zahibo, L Caicedo (66’ Agudelo), Penilla (77’ Fagundez); J Caicedo (HT Bou), Bunbury