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RSL opens season with 0-0 draw in Orlando

Real Salt Lake earned a point on the road to kick off the 2020 season.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Orlando City SC James Gilbert-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake ground out a 0-0 draw on the road against Orlando City in their opening game of the 2020 campaign, featuring second half subs from Justin Meram and Giuseppe Rossi.

Freddy Juarez fielded a lineup that we saw in preseason, including Justen Glad at right fullback with Aaron Herrera pushed up into the right wing position. Damir Kreilach started up top while Tate Schmitt got the start on the left wing, with Justin Portillo next to Nick Besler in holding midfield, in lieu of a suspended Everton Luiz and an injured Kyle Beckerman.

The first half brought a lot of attacking from the home team, despite missing their two best attacking players in Nani and Dom Dwyer. 27-year-old Tesho Akindele led the charge for OCSC’s attack, grabbing a golden chance early on that didn’t pan out, but they kept RSL on their back foot for the most part.

RSL weathered the storm and both teams went into the halftime break deadlocked at 0-0.

Orlando had several close calls in the second half, although RSL was able to level out the possession and spend more time in their attacking half as well.

Justin Meram came on later on in the second half to face off against his old club, while new signing Giuseppe Rossi got some minutes near the end of the game as well as RSL pushed to try and grab a late game goal.

Despite their best efforts, neither team was able to score and the game ended in a 0-0 draw. RSL earns a big point on the road before they come back home to host the New York Red Bulls in the home opener on March 7th.