Real Salt Lake 2, Orlando City 1 | 2019 MLS Match Recap
Real Salt Lake snapped a four-game losing streak with a much-needed 2-1 win over Orlando City Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Designated Player forward Sam Johnson, in his second start, powered home his first MLS goal to open the scoring, recovering from a penalty-area stumble to split two defenders and rifle a shot at the near post. Damir Kreilach – back from a red-card suspension – struck early in the second half to provide some breathing room.
Orlando rested Nani and Dom Dwyer to start, then brought on both in the second half, with Nani bending in a late free kick to make it a one-goal game, but the Lions did not seriously threaten in the final minutes.
RSL center back Justen Glad started for the first time since October after he missed the first six games of the season with a toe injury, and he made a critical sliding tackle in the 47th minute to prevent Orlando wingback Ruan from shooting when it was still a 1-0 game.
Real Salt Lake (2W-4L-1D) moved ahead of the Western Conference's bottom four with their second win of the season. Orlando (2W-3L-2D), who started Will Johnson after he missed three games due to a concussion, remain in the playoff places at seventh in the East.
- 17' – RSL – Sam Johnson (unassisted) | WATCH
- 55' – RSL – Damir Kreilach (Jefferson Savarino, Aaron Herrera) | WATCH
- 81' – ORL – Nani (unassisted) | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Real Salt Lake got Sam Johnson, Damir Kreilach and Justen Glad all on the field at the same time – a first – and the starters did not disappoint, helping RSL take care of business at home. That bodes well for their ability to recover from a 1-4-1 start, although they did lose Everton Luiz to a first-half injury. Orlando can score, at least with Nani on the field, but they have allowed the most goals in the Eastern Conference (13) and were going uphill from the start in this one.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: With Real Salt Lake threatening and Orlando prepared to respond by bringing on Nani and Dom Dwyer, RSL made the duo's task exponentially harder by striking for their second goal before the substitution could happen, with an Aaron Herrera long ball springing Jefferson Savarino down the right, and Damir Kreilach arriving on time to fire home a left-footer and all but seal the result.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Even before his goal, Damir Kreilach had been the most dangerous attacker on the field, including the skill to earn a free kick and the awareness to take it quickly before Johnson's opener. The attacker earned a measure of redemption after his March 30 red card cost RSL in consecutive losses to FC Dallas and Seattle.
- RSL: Fri., April 19 at FC Cincinnati (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; TSN & TVAS in Canada)
- ORL: Sat., April 20 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (3 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; DAZN in Canada)