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RSL loses 2-0 to Nashville with listless showing on road

RSL never looked at the races.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Nashville SC Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the return of Anderson Julio to Real Salt Lake, late heroics weren’t on order in the team’s first visit to Nashville SC’s brand new stadium. The visitors never competed, and the 2-0 loss was as just a result as you could have seen.

  • 23’ Zac MacMath has been tested multiple times in the last few minutes, with Hany Mukhtar finding holes in the RSL defense for a shot saved at the near post, and Dax McCarty tested him from distance. It’s not looking pretty out there, folks.
  • Halftime thoughts: This is bad from RSL. There’s nothing good happening in the attacking half of the field. I know a point on the road is generally considered an acceptable result, but I think it’s OK if you sometimes try to attack once or twice. We haven’t even see one meaningful attack, if we’re being honest.
  • 49’ Pablo Ruiz is shown a yellow card for a tactical foul, meaning he’ll miss RSL’s match against Austin FC on Saturday for yellow card accumulation.
  • 62’ Jasper Loeffelsend enters for Maikel Chang, who had a particularly absent outing.
  • 63’ Nashville scores, and RSL looked particularly bad defensively. Aaron Herrera blocked the ball as it would have gone over the line, then Nashville’s Dave Romney put the ball in the back of the net. (Interestingly, Herrera might have blocked the shot with his hands, but advantage kept him from conceding what would almost certainly have been a penalty.)
  • 75’ Marcelo Silva is taken off for Nick Besler, and Rubio Rubin is replaced by Anderson Julio in his return to RSL after spending time in the metaphorical desert. (San Luis doesn’t seem to be a desert in my cursory research. Did you know it snows there occasionally?)
  • 82’ Mukhtar buzzes a low shot just past the far post — that could have been the dagger.
  • 83’ Tate Schmitt replaces Andrew Brody, Scott Caldwell replaces Everton Luiz. Schmitt had that goal against Nashville, so, uh, I guess this could count as an attacking substitution?
  • 86’ There’s a slightly weird sequence when Justin Meram fouls Dax McCarty near the top of the box, takes the ball, and shoots into the back of the net. The whistle blows as he takes the shot. It was weirdly late. (It was also the right call. Just … weirdly late.)
  • Six minutes of stoppage time, huh?
  • Well, six minutes was enough for Nashville to put this one to bed. CJ Sapong puts it in the back of the net quite deftly. Justen Glad misreads it and doesn’t have a chance at breaking up the play. It’s a nice finish. I’m sad.