RSL falls 4-0 to Houston in second preseason game

Real Salt Lake fell to the Houston Dynamo 4-0 in a preseason game Wednesday in Tucson, Ariz.

Three of the four goals came within the first 20 minutes of the second half. It started in the 53rd with Mauro Manotas’ goal that was initially overturned due to a possible offside call. That call was then overturned after further review.

Houston’s Tommy McNamara scored again just a few minutes later on a shot from about 20 yards away, and Niko Hansen put one away in the 68th. The Dynamo scored again in the 81st for good measure.

RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath and forward Justin Meram started their second consecutive preseason game, which could be an early indication of coach Freddy Juarez’s thinking for starting spots. Many of the other starters did not play in the draw against Sporting Kansas City, but did play in the 45-minute scrimmage against Houston that occurred at the same time as the SKC game.

One player who got the start Wednesday was Giuseppe Rossi, who is not currently on the official roster. He has trained with the club for much of the preseason and the two sides have been in talks about a contact.

Save for a bunch of corner kicks for both teams, the first half saw one shot on goal for each team late and no real attacking threats other than that.

From an RSL perspective, a combination of Meram and Rossi was a possible glimpse of what those two players can add if the organization signs Rossi.

Meram took his defender one-on-one before laying off to the trailing Rossi, who had a point-blank look at goal. But the shot struck Houston’s goalkeeper and floated out of danger.

MaMath made two saves in the first half, one being off a direct line-drive free kick right into his gloves.