Dreams of a deep U.S. Open Cup run came crashing down in California's capitol city.
Real Salt Lake, which featured several second-string players and several Real Monarchs call-ups, lost in its 2017 Open Cup debut Wednesday night 3-1 against USL side Sacramento Republic FC. Struggles in RSL's regular-season form bled into Open Cup play, even after head coach Mike Petke voiced warnings this week of MLS clubs often being upset early in the tournament.
Turns out, RSL is the latest victim.
Trevin Caesar gave Sacramento its first lead of the match in the 28th minute. A long cross from James Kiffie soared over players in the box, but Sacramento's Danny Barrera headed the ball across the face of goal before it went out. The ball squirted through traffic to an unmarked Caesar whose right-footed shot hit the back of the net.