Freddy Juarez put out a few surprises in the lineup in this one, featuring the unsigned Giuseppe Rossi at the top of the attack from the get-go as well as Monarchs defender Taylor Peay at center back and former Monarchs attacker Maikel Chang making the starting eleven as well. Zac MacMath got the start in goal for the second game in a row, which makes you wonder if Juarez is leaning toward him to be the preferred starter in the regular season.
New signings Ashtone Morgan and Alvin Jones started at the left and right fullback position, respectively, while Erik Holt, Everton Luiz, Nick Besler, Justin Meram, and Pablo Ruiz rounded out the rest of the starting lineup.
The Dynamo enjoyed the bulk of possession and control throughout the first half, but didn’t do a whole lot of dangerous attacking. Their first shot on target came in the 40th minute, but MacMath easily made the save and sent the ball back out into play.
Not long after, Houston won a free kick just outside the top of the penalty box and sent the ball flying in through the wall. MacMath again made a big save, keeping the score sheet level at 0-0 late in the first half.
Rossi had a decent look at goal in the 44th minute when Justin Meram sent in a beautifully timed ball behind the defenders. Rossi ran to collect it and first-timed the shot, but it hit the keeper straight in the shoulder and bounced back out into play as both teams headed into the halftime break deadlocked at 0-0.
It all went downhill in the second half for RSL, as Houston opened the scoring in the 52nd minute with a great hit from Mauro Manotas, who received a pass inside the box and easily drilled a left-footed shot past MacMath to put the Dynamo up 1-0.
The Dynamo doubled their lead just eight minutes later when Tommy McNamara sent in a shot from outside the top of the box into the far right corner, just past an outstretched MacMath to put his side up by a score of 2-0 with a half hour left to play.
Not three minutes later, Erik Holt gave up the ball to Niko Hansen in his own defensive third. Hansen proceeded to dribble the ball at goal, juking a defender and tapping the ball into the net.
Christian Ramirez added a fourth goal in the 81st minute that seemed all-too-easy after Hansen found him unmarked with a ball into the middle of the box. Ramirez let it fly into the right side of the goal, easily sailing past MacMath to make it a staggering 4-0 over Real Salt Lake.
Thankfully, no more goals were given up and the game ended with the 4-0 scoreline.
RSL goes on to face USL side Phoenix Rising FC on Saturday in their third and final game in the Visit Tucson Sun Cup, before the MLS regular season kicks off just one week later as they head to Florida to take on Orlando City SC on the 29th of February.
RSL starting lineup:
MacMath; Jones, Holt, Peay, Morgan; Luiz, Besler; Chang (62’ Martinez), Ruiz (70’ Arriaga), Meram (62’ Vazquez); Rossi (70’ Iloski)