Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Rich Schultz | The Associated Press) Real Salt Lake's Luke Mulholland, left, of England. battles Philadelphia Union's Raymon Gaddis for a header during the second half during an MLS soccer match at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., Saturday, April 12, 2014. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)
Real Salt Lake: RSL unbeaten, yet not totally satisfied
Soccer » Salt Lake has yielded late goals to let a couple of winnable games turn into ties.
First Published Apr 13 2014 10:53 am • Last Updated Apr 13 2014 11:31 pm

Unbeaten, yet not exactly satisfied.

Having maneuvered through the formidable start to the 2014 schedule, Real Salt Lake returns home on the heels of its 2-2 draw at Philadelphia Saturday as the lone undefeated team in Major League Soccer, with a 2-0-4 record. It’s not the best start in franchise history as RSL started 5-1-0 in 2011 and 2012, but the club had never gone unbeaten through the first six weeks of an MLS season.

At a glance

Portland Timbers at Real Salt Lake

Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

TV » CW30

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"I think we are going to get better and that is what really is exciting," said RSL coach Jeff Cassar. "We are not playing our best soccer right now, but we’re still getting results and that is up to me to get the guys going."

The task of facing four of its first six matches on the road — at L.A., San Jose, Kansas City and Philadelphia — has turned into a conglomerate of varying results across the country. A dramatic win, followed by disappointing and hard-earned draws, echo RSL’s difficult slate early on, and Saturday’s draw at PPL Park against the Union was no different.

Despite holding the lead twice at Philadelphia, RSL couldn’t bring three points with it on the flight home as Maurice Edu’s 90th-minute goal equalized four minutes after captain Kyle Beckerman gave Salt Lake a 2-1 lead late.

Much like the wild 3-3 draw at San Jose on March 15, three road points eluded RSL against the Union.

"I think we are unbeaten, so we are picking up points along the way," said RSL midfielder Ned Grabavoy. "Still, I feel like this group expects a lot. Our expectations are very high, from our coaching staff on down to our players. We think that we can go most places, play soccer and win games."

RSL has proved it, yet despite leading in the waning minutes in three out of its fourth road matches, the 1-0 win at L.A. to open the season remains the only away outing RSL has capitalized on protecting.

"We are six games into the season and we have only played a couple of games at home and it’s a proud feeling we are still undefeated," said RSL midfielder Luke Mulholland, who scored the first goal against the Union. "Obviously, at the same time looking at it, taking the lead twice, it would have been nice to get all of those three points."

story continues below
story continues below

Coincidentally, four of the club’s next six matches — all of which feature Western Conference teams — come at Rio Tinto Stadium, starting with Saturday night’s 2013 Western Conference final rematch with the Portland Timbers. The schedule will tip in RSL’s favor as it returns home for a slew of important conference matches before the departures of expected World Cup participants Alvaro Saborio, Nick Rimando and Beckerman in mid-May.

More importantly, RSL survived a bevy of early-season injuries as at least 14 players have missed at least one game due to injury in 2014. Now the club returns to Sandy following another road result with a motivated Timbers (0-2-4) team that is yet to win a game rolling into Rio Tinto this weekend.

"I think there was three points to get, but I am happy with one, happy to stay undefeated and excited about coming home," Cassar said.


Twitter: @chriskamrani

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.