Preseason soccer can be interesting, entertaining, or insightful, but it’s rarely exciting. And so it was that Real Salt Lake and Minnesota United played to a slow, ponderous 0-0 draw with less than a handful of exciting attacking opportunities from either side.
The first half started with some typically drab MLS preseason action, with both sides trading possessions with little danger to their movement. Minnesota United had perhaps the better of the chances in the first 15 minutes, forcing a good save from RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath to deal with a low shot.
MacMath was tested multiple times throughout the first half, proving equal to the task throughout, joining center back Bobby Pierre and defensive midfielder Scott Caldwell in having particularly notable defensive performances.
The second half started very much as the first, but with a new twist: Sergio Cordova, on loan from FC Augsburg, came in at halftime, making his first streamed appearance for the club.
RSL draft pick and Real Monarchs signee Pedro Fonseca nearly opened the scoring in the 60th minute, with his shot from a close, tight angle saved by Minnesota United goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair for a corner.
Sergio Cordova created an exciting opportunity for RSL in the 73rd minute, picking up a very poor back pass, dribbling into the area and beating the goalkeeper, and sending a very nice low pass for Everton Luiz from close range. Luiz inexplicably dummied the pass, leaving it for Jony Menendez, who rightly expected Luiz to have shot, and the ball leapt off Menendez’s foot well over the bar in a low-stakes Robinho moment. It was Cordova’s last meaningful action, being pulled just a few minutes later, giving him roughly 30 minutes of game time.
The 87th minute saw Tate Schmitt nearly beat St. Clair on a header from a Justin Meram cross, but his headed shot was pushed away for a corner. The ensuing set piece saw RSL with real attacking intent, but despite a fortunate chance or two, the score was kept level.