RSL: The Embarrassment Continues, RSL falls 4-1 to Sacramento Republic

Real Salt Lake’s woes continue as the club is bounced from the US Open Cup with another humiliating loss. This time a 4-1 defeat in Sacramento.

It was a wild night in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. FC Cincinnati and Columbus Crew SC started the night off with a bang, a 1-0 thriller for the home side FCC in front of over 30,000 fans. Orlando City was the second victim to a lower league side, as the NASL leading Miami FC soundly beat the Lions 3-1 on Orlando’s field. All other MLS sides took care of business, but most of them were pushed a lot more than they looked comfortable with.

A mostly first-choice Atlanta United needed a late goal and missed penalty to beat the Charleston Battery. A Mauro Diaz led FC Dallas won with an own-goal from the Tulsa Roughnecks in the 93rd minute, and the Houston Dynamo beat North Carolina FC 3-2, but needed extra time for the final goal, with the difference maker coming in the 109th minute of the match.

Real Salt Lake deployed a reserve heavy side against MLS hopefuls, Sacramento Republic of USL to cap off the night. A Sacramento side that had already lost 2-0 at Rio Tinto to Real Monarchs in league play. The motivated hosts would play in front of a sellout crowd of over 11,500, and it was clear from the opening whistle that the Republic squad was playing inspired.

Another bad loss.

Jun 14, 2017; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Republic forward Trevin Caesar (19) scores a goal against Real Salt Lake during the first half at Papa Murphy’s Park. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Following the opening whistle the Republic went at RSL with a fury, putting the RSL reserves on their heels. Sacramento tested Lalo Fernandez early and often as the Claret & Cobalt struggled to keep possession.

Just before the 30 minute mark, Sacramento opened the scoring with a nice play off one of the Republic’s many corner kicks. Ricardo Velazco would answer for RSL just a few minutes later with a nice 3 vs 1 run on a counter, but Real was still taking on water with Sacramento’s pressure. The republic would score again on a corner just before the half, then would benefit from a questionable penalty call in added time to make it 3-1 at the half.

Brooks Lennon subbed on at halftime in an attempt to give life to the struggling RSL attack, but it proved to be futile as Sacramento would score again about halfway through the half. The USL side continued to have their way with RSL for the final 20 minutes of the match, but were unable to add to their already sizable lead.

Moving Forward

Jun 14, 2017; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Republic forward Trevin Caesar (19) celebrates with midfielder Danny Barrera (10) after scoring a goal against Real Salt Lake during the first half at Papa Murphy’s Park. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake now looks ahead to their weekend match against Minnesota United, who were also embarrassed in cup play,  but to a strong Sporting Kansas City side. The match is very winnable, and the first team should be well rested. With the reserves losing to Sacramento, RSL’s Open Cup chances are already finished, leaving them to focus on league play for the remainder of the year.

Being able to focus on one competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the struggling side, but Real’s struggles could also quickly take them out of playoff contention if the results don’t improve. The club will also be without Albert Rusnák, who is with the Slovakian U-21’s after getting 13 minutes with the Slovakian National Team in their World Cup Qualifying victory.