After kicking each other for three weeks, Real Salt Lake finally got to face an opponent from another team on Saturday, squaring off with Sacramento Republic of the USL Championship in a scrimmage at Rio Tinto Stadium.
RSL asserted itself early in the match and got goals from Rubio Rubin and Anderson Julio in a 2-0 win in the 80-minute scrimmage.
“It was all about mentality. For us, that had to be clear and that’s what we were shooting for,” RSL Head Coach Freddy Juarez said. “That was the first thing we wanted to see. The second thing is that we saw some very good things from some individuals.”
In the fourth minute, Rubin nearly found Julio on a pass from the left side, but the ball was just beyond Julio’s sliding effort at the far post. Rubin broke through in the eighth minute, picking off misplayed from the goalkeeper and slotting it into the net for a 1-0 lead.
In the 20th minute, Donny Toia thumped a ball from 20 yards out that caromed out of the box off an RSL corner kick, but it careened off the crossbar. Throughout the rest of the first half, RSL maintained possession even as the scoring chances weren’t as plentiful and went into the halftime break with a 1-0 advantage.
The second half started much like the first with RSL pressing for early goals. Justin Meram got the ball on the left side of the box and played a square ball to Julio, who settled and fired a shot through two defenders and past the goalkeeper to make it 2-0 in the 55th minute.
On a 61st minute corner kick, Rubin nearly added to the lead but was thwarted by the goalkeeper, who could only touch the ball clear for another RSL corner kick and the 2-0 score line held for the remainder of the scrimmage.
First game lineup: Andrew Putna; Andrew Brody, Erik Holt, Marcelo Silva, Donny Toia; Everton Luiz, Pablo Ruiz; Anderson Julio, Damir Kreilach, Justin Meram; Rubio Rubin.
In the second scrimmage, the remaining RSL players faced off against a team from Sacramento Republic for 40 minutes, followed by 40 minutes against a group made up of Real Monarchs and RSL Academy players.
In the first half of that game, Chris Garcia scored the lone goal, tapping in a ball from Ashtone Morgan after a brilliant run up the left side of the box by Morgan to set up the goal.
In the second, the Monarchs group got the first goal when Sam Brown put a free kick into the top corner. Milan Iloski answered with a free kick goal of his own, twisting a shot into the far corner. Iloski added a second, firing a shot from the edge of the 18 inside the far post to finish the afternoon off with flare.
Second and third game lineup: Zac MacMath; Tate Schmitt, Jaziel Orozco**, Kyle Adams*, Ashtone Morgan; Justin Portillo, Nick Besler; Jeizon Ramirez (Bode Davis), Milan Iloski, Chris Garcia; Aris Briggs*** (Griffin Dillon). (*-Real Monarchs player; **-RSL Academy player; ***-non-roster player)