America First Field will have to wait for its first win.
On the night Real Salt Lake unveiled a new name for its home stadium, the familiar face — and outstretched arms — of goalkeeper David Ochoa forced RSL to celebrate the occasion with a scoreless draw.
Ochoa, who was traded to D.C. United earlier this season after a falling out with RSL, recorded seven saves, including tipping away an Anderson Julio header in the 80th minute as his old teammates looked on with frustration.
“Obviously, I’m frustrated with the result. From a points perspective, those were the three points we needed,” RSL coach Pablo Mastroeni said. “The only thing you can’t control is the performance results — you need things to go your way, you need balls to bounce, you need shots to hit the frame, you need good calls, and you need a lot of breaks to score goals. But when I think about where we were and what we went on to achieve in the game on both sides of the ball, I think we did a really, really good job.”
Forward Sergio Cordova also threatened but, in the end, RSL was held scoreless for a second straight game.
“Scoring goals is the toughest thing to do in a game, and we just couldn’t find it, but we created enough solid opportunities to be able to do that,” Mastroeni said. “The guys in the back defended two dynamic forwards extremely well, the guys in midfield defended the ball well, the guys out wide found themselves in great positions on both sides of the ball, but we pressed better than we did in recent times. Again, it’s what I told the guys: you only judge yourself on your performance. We did everything we set out to achieve today, and that’s where I find solace.”
Salt Lake goalkeeper Zach MacMath had three saves.
But the draw means RSL (11-9-10, 43 points) currently sits seventh in the Western Conference standings, just three points clear of the 8th-place Galaxy.
“We just have to do what we have been doing the entire season,” MacMath said. “Staying in games late and keeping clean sheets are very important things to do. All of the games we have played in the last few weeks have been very tight where goals have been scored late. We just have to hang in these games longer and hope that the bounce goes our way to pick up points and push into the playoffs.”