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Real Salt Lake show little in 0-0 draw against Sporting KC

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Preseason rust and changes are still very apparent.

Colorado Rapids v Real Salt Lake Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

Real Salt Lake came out for the first half with an experienced side, but strangely in uniforms without numbers on the back of the jerseys. New signing Zac MacMath started in goal; Justen Glad on the right, Marcelo Silva and Nedum Onuoha in the center, and Donny Toia on the left made up the back line; Kyle Beckerman and Justin Portillo interchanged in the center midfield; Aaron Herrera was in front of Glad on the right wing, Justin Meram in front of Toia on the left; and finally Albert Rusnák and Damir Kreilach in the center of the attack.

RSL spent the bulk of the first 30 minutes back in their own half as the SKC attack seemed much more dynamic and threatening. The back six for RSL struggled to find any connection with the forward attacks and most passes moving up the field were easily cut out by the SKC defense. While SKC seemed comfortable moving the ball up into their offensive half they also struggled with the final pass and shot creation in a reflection of the early state of the preseason.

Milan Iloski and Tate Schmitt came on in place of Meram and Kreilach around the 30 minute mark bringing some fresh legs and a little more pace which saw RSL cross the center line a couple of times, but they also found no joy or connection in the offensive half. A lower calf tackle from the rear by Ilie Sanchez with a little over five minutes left in the first half gave RSL their only real offensive chance. Rusnák’s effort from about 40 feet out deflected off the wall and was an easy slow bouncer for the SKC goalie to gather in.

For a RSK-SKC meeting the first half which ended scoreless was strangely quiet and almost boring without a lot of fire from either team and only the single card.

Johnny Russell came on for Khiry Shelton and David Ochoa replaced Zac MacMath coming back after the break, but the basic squads from the first half appeared set to remain on the field until at least the 60th minute. Ochoa was forced into a diving save in the 48th minute as once again SKC looked much more active and in control of the momentum of the match. RSL continued to try and play the ball upward with passes on the ground rather than lobbing the ball up, but they were generally slow and long meeting with limited success. Ochoa came up with another great save just as SKC rolled out the second squad at the 60th minute.

Unsurprisingly RSL looked much better for the initial five minutes as the SKC replacements caught up with the speed of the match, but still struggled to connect on a chain of passes and play quickly settled back back down in their defensive half. The match also became more chippy with the younger SKC players looking to make a mark.

Iloski had a nice run up the right side in the 72nd minute to force a save and a brief period of promising which ended with Beckerman picking a yellow card. RSL continued to show periods of attacking spirit, but similar to SKC found nothing special to finish and go on the board. Herrera picked up another yellow card in the 77th minute but it became increasingly likely that this match was fated to end scoreless as the game continued to slow down.

A handball against RSL gave Kansas City another chance with a free kick from just outside the box by Johnny Russell failed to get it up and over the wall.

With only 3 substitutions in the match, Real Salt Lake had an opportunity to take an extended look at several players including a pairing of Justen Glad and Aaron Herrera but little was shown of what the season might bring in just a few weeks.