Michael Brandy, Deseret News
Real's Dema Kovalenko (left) and Javier Morales (right) defend Kansas City Wizards' Jack Jewsbury during Saturday night's 0-0 game at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

On a night when Real Salt Lake picked up just its second shutout of the season, the performance was largely overshadowed by the team's inability to put away numerous scoring opportunities.

The shutout, however, and limiting Kansas City to just five shots on goal is definitely progress for an RSL defense that had surrendered 17 goals in just 10 matches.

"We limited Kansas City to one, maybe two chances the whole game. I think that's very positive on the defensive end of things," said RSL central defender Nat Borchers. "At the same time, we're left with a bitter taste in our mouths because we had plenty of chances to get the three points."

Its only previous shutout of the season came in a 4-0 trouncing of D.C. United in the third match of the season.

It narrowly missed earning another shutout last week, but San Jose scored in the 84th minute of a game Salt Lake easily won 3-1.

KEY ABSENCES: Injuries continue to limit Real Salt Lake's lineup choices — and substitute choices.

Nate Sturgis, one of the top young players in U.S. Soccer, missed his seventh straight game with a hamstring injury. Argentines Matias Mantilla (shoulder) and Fabian Espindola (knee) also sat out Saturday's game against Kansas City because of various ailments.

Mantilla and Espindola have combined to start 12 matches this year in addition to making 15 combined appearances.

Those injuries opened the door for a few RSL newcomers in their longest stints of the season.

Having made just three appearances for a combined 17 minutes this year, midfielder Matias Cordoba more than doubled that workload entering the match in the 70th minute.

Rookie forward Tino Nunez also got in the mix, logging 14 minutes a week after making his MLS debut with five minutes against San Jose.

"I think both of them did OK. I was pleased with the way Tino came in and held the ball up for us right away," said Real coach Jason Kreis. "Cordoba, he didn't do anything to stand out, but he certainly hasn't done anything else to hurt himself either."

RSL U-17 YOUTH TEAM UNVEILED: Real Salt Lake released its Under-17 youth roster on Saturday, and the list included a number of prep stars throughout the state.

Among them are Josh Hernandez of Davis, Mike Hodgen of Bountiful, Tommy Martin of Park City, Karson Payton of Timpview, James Rogers of Highland, Patxi Shortsleeve of Brighton and Jake Troy of Judge. Those seven players were all recently honored as first team All-Staters by the Deseret News and will represent RSL throughout the summer.

Others on the roster: Tyler Albretson, Jake Ames, Branton Bauman, Tim Berggren, Derek Boggs, Taylor Bowlin, Esteban Celis, Carlos Cruz, Jonathan Davis, Tim Fitt, Camree Gautavai, Trevor Henderson, Tim Herzog, Kody Hunter, Philip Neuwirth, Taylor Peay, Alfonso Perea, Saul Perea, Jake Petersen, Angel Pineda, Chris Pineda, Ian Ramos, Jose Segura, Bryce Stockman, Riley Yeates.


E-mail: jedward@desnews.com, drasmussen@desnews.com