Timbers and Real Salt Lake draw 0-0


Portland Timbers midfielder Yimmi Chara (23) attempts to maintain possession against Real Salt Lake’s Marcelo Silva during an MLS soccer game on Saturday April 23, 2022 in Portland, Oregon. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP)


Real Salt Lake goaltender Zac MacMath made five saves and Real Salt Lake held off the Portland Timbers for a scoreless draw on Saturday night.

The Timbers (2-2-6) have gone undefeated in their last three games. They also played out a 0-0 draw at Houston last Saturday.

Real Salt Lake (3-2-5) were beaten 6-0 last weekend by NYCFC, then lost an Open Cup game to third division side Colorado Hailstorm 1-0 on Wednesday evening.

“We really needed to make a team effort,” MacMath said. “There was a lot more discipline this week than last week, and I think you can say the guys did a great job.”

Portland beat RSL in all four of their meetings last season, outscoring them 14-4. The last time an MLS team swept an opponent in four games was in 2010, when the Galaxy swept the Sounders.

Sebastian Blanco, who has seven goals and seven assists against RSL, couldn’t break through for the Timbers and was substituted in the 59th minute.

“We create, we just have to find a goal and put it in the back of the net,” Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said of back-to-back games without a goal.

Justin Glad, who played Wednesday after missing the previous four games, was in the starting lineup for Salt Lake. Goalkeeper David Ochoa made his Open Cup debut of the season but after playing the full 90 minutes was unavailable against the Timbers.

“I think we could have come out with three points, but it was huge, it was important to get a result that bounces back from what happened in New York,” Glad said. “The mentality of coming back after a result like that, and Portland is a tough, tough place to play, and to bounce back like that is huge.

Portland played without veteran midfielder Diego Chara, who has a sore hip.

The Timbers dominated possession (66.7%) and edged RSL 15-5. One of Salt Lake’s best chances came in the 76th minute, but Portland keeper Aljaz Ivacic made the save.

Ivacic also stopped Sergio Cordova’s shot in injury time to preserve the draw.

“I’m really not happy with the result,” said Portland midfielder Cristhian Paredes. “We wanted and had to win this game, and we arrived with this mentality, and we couldn’t score any goals.”


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Sandy A. Greer