Real Salt Lake dropped important points against Vancouver Whitecaps tonight, conceding a late goal from Julian Gressel in a disappointing 1-1 draw.
Gressel’s goal came near stoppage time, with RSL battling to keep a 1-0 lead at home — but with a puzzling array of substitutions, including one that saw Rubio Rubin playing at left wing, the team seemed perennially on the back foot.
The goal in question came from a deep cross, marked loosely by the never-a-winger Rubin, with Erik Holt marking Gressel in the box. He didn’t anticipate the cross well and didn’t impact Gressel winning the ball, and it was a simple header past a static Zac MacMath, who didn’t react to the header.
RSL opened the scoring in the second half with a fantastic Sergio Cordova strike, who picked up a superb Jasper Löffelsend pass to free himself of the defense. His shot was calm and collected — a real breath of fresh air from the player who has often lacked confidence, and who had a ball bounce off him earlier in the game from mere feet in front of the goalkeeper.
All told, a match RSL couldn’t really afford to lose or draw was drawn, and it’s starting to look like Dallas and Minnesota might start thinking about locking up 3rd and 4th place in the Western Conference.