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RSL Topples Sporting KC 3-1 in 2021 Home Opener



SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake (2-0-0, 6 points) came back from an early deficit for a 3-1 victory over rival Sporting Kansas City on Saturday afternoon in front of 9,482 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Two goals from Rubio Rubin and another from Damir Kreilach secured the victory for RSL, moving the club to 7-1-9 all-time in home-opening matches.

Sporting KC opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Alan Pulido’s finishing effort from a counterattack broke the deadlock to make it 1-0. As RSL found its way back into the game, Andrew Brody connected with the head of Kreilach in the 35th minute from a right-footed cross, which the Croatian powered past John Pulskamp to level the score.

In the second half, RSL jumped on the visitors and applied immediate pressure to the backline and nearly found the second goal through Anderson Julio, but his effort fell just wide in the 47th minute. RSL did net its second goal when Kreilach turned provider and found Rubin at the back post in the 52nd minute to take the 2-1 lead. Rubin notched his second of the afternoon in the 77th minute when he fired a low shot just inside the near post to put the game away and secure the 3-1 win.

UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake will remain at home to face the San Jose Earthquakes on Friday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m. MT from Rio Tinto Stadium.


SKC: Alan Pulido (Khiry Shelton) 17th minute: From a quick counterattack, Sporting KC broke through the center of the field before finding Shelton streaking near the right side of the field. Shelton cut into the penalty area where Gianluca Busio let the ball run to the back post where Pulido used a first-time finish to slot the ball into the back of the net.

RSL: Damir Kreilach (Andrew Brody, Pablo Ruiz) 35th minute: In his first Major League Soccer appearance, defender Andrew Brody broke off down the flank on the right-hand side of the pitch, making his way towards the touchline where he sent a lofted cross towards the middle of the 18-yard-box. Kreilach launched through the air and met the cross with his head, deflecting it towards the far-left post to tie the match.

RSL: Rubio Rubin (Damir Kreilach) 52nd minute: Winning the ball near midfield, Kreilach dribbled passed several defenders before swinging in a left-footed cross into the box that found Rubin at the back post. Rubin settled the ball before slotting past the onrushing goalkeeper for the go-ahead goal.

RSL: Rubio Rubin (Damir Kreilach) 77th minute: Releasing pressure from the backline, Kreilach sprung Rubin into a counterattack. Rubin isolated himself with the Sporting backline as he searched for a shot on target. Finding that space, he fired a low shot that crept just inside the near post for his second goal of the day.


– Midfielder Everton Luiz was unavailable after suffering a knee injury in training on Friday.  Defender Aaron Herrera (left quad) and forward Anderson Julio (left hamstring) were subbed out during the match due to injury.

– Rubio Rubin notched his first two goals in the victory as he scored in the 52nd and 77th minutes.

– Nick Besler started in place of Luiz. RSL is 13-10-6 in his 29 starts since joining the team in 2017, including a 2-1 win over Kansas City in 2019 and consecutive games in 2018 that saw RSL win 6-0 against the Colorado Rapids and 6-2 against the LA Galaxy.  He has started all three matches of two different three-game winning streaks for RSL – one in 2018 and one in 2019.

– Real Salt Lake had four RSL Academy products in the XI and six on the 20-man roster.  Additionally, six players on the 20-man roster were previously signed to the Monarchs.

– Rio Tinto Stadium opened to up to 10,000 fans, including 500 tickets the club donated to front line workers with University of Utah Health.

– Andrew Brody made his Major League Soccer debut when he entered the match in the 30th minute as a substitute for defender Aaron Herrera.

– 2020 RSL Golden Boot winner Damir Kreilach netted his first goal of the year and his 27th with RSL, while Andrew Brody recorded his first RSL assist in his MLS debut.

Match: Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting Kansas City
Date: May 1, 2021
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Cloudy and 82 degrees
Attendance: 9,842

Scoring Summary:           1              2              F
Real Salt Lake                   1              2              3
Sporting Kansas City         1              0              1

SKC: Alan Pulido (Khiry Shelton) 17
RSL: Damir Kreilach (Andrew Brody) 35’

RSL: Rubio Rubin (Damir Kreilach) 52’
RSL: Rubio Rubin (Damir Kreilach) 77’

Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): David Ochoa; Aaron Herrera (Andrew Brody 30’), Justen Glad, Marcelo Silva, Donny Toia; Nick Besler, Pablo Ruiz (Douglas Martinez 79’); Albert Rusnak, Damir Kreilach, Anderson Julio (Justin Meram 57’); Rubio Rubin (Maikel Chang 79’)

Subs not used: Zac MacMath, Erik Holt, Ashtone Morgan, Noah Powder, Justin Portillo

Sporting KC (4-3-3):  John Pulskamp; Jaylin Lindsey, Andreu Fontas, Kaveh Rad, Luis Martins; Ilie Sanchez, Gianluca Busio (Gadi Kinda, 72’), Remi Walter (Roger Espinoza, 64’); Johnny Russell (Daniel Salloi, 55’), Alan Pulido, Khiry Shelton
Subs not used: Kendall McIntosh, Roberto Puncec, Amadou Dia, Graham Smith, Cameron Duke, Wilson Harris

Stats Summary: RSL / SKC
Shots: 10 / 6
Shots on Goal: 4 / 1
Saves: 0 / 1
Corner Kicks: 3 / 5
Fouls: 10 / 7


RSL: Pablo Ruiz (caution) 32’
RSL: Maikel Chang (caution) 79’

Referee: Dave Gantar
Assistant Referees: Mike Rottersman, Kevin Lock
4th Official: Alex Chilowicz
VAR: Allen Chapman
AVAR: Craig Lowry