HERRIMAN — Whether his team lost by one goal or five goals last weekend, Kyle Beckerman said it didn’t really matter.
“It never feels good losing anything. We just have to get onto the next one and hopefully we can do better,” said Beckerman following Real Salt Lake’s practice on Tuesday.
Beckerman, like his coach and several teammates, said last week’s 5-0 loss at D.C. United was actually pretty easy to move on from.
Coach Mike Petke even interrupted a reporter mid question on Tuesday and said, “I’m over it. The players are over it.”
The reason for positivity is how those first 30 minutes played out in the nation’s capital. For the opening half hour, RSL was the better team and looked poised to secure another road result.
Then soccer happened. It started with a bizarre penalty kick, and then a bad mistake and then an unfortunate red card, and suddenly RSL was down two goals and a man at halftime.
By that point, the second half was irrelevant, so it didn’t matter that RSL received another red card and conceded three more goals.
“What was an equal game turned on its head,” Beckerman said.
It started with the penalty kick, which in real time looked more than an awkward slip by D.C. United’s Paul Arriola. As Arriola was being attended to by trainers, the ref was told by VAR to take a second look at the play, which resulted in a penalty kick for D.C.
“In soccer, things happen that you’re not necessarily meaning and if you slow it down and throw it on slow motion it’s going to look bad,” said Beckerman.
Ten minutes later, a mistake on a build-out allowed D.C. United to pounce, and suddenly the promising opening half hour had been erased.
Jefferson Savarino’s red card on a dangerous play in first half stoppage tie ensured there would be no comeback. Then in the 67th minute with RSL trailing 3-0, Marcelo Silva was slapped with a red card of his own.
Veteran defender Nedum Onuoha said it’s the first time in his lengthy career that he’s ever played with just nine men, saying, “It wasn’t great, especially with the amount of time we had left.”Comment on this story
It’s a feeling many RSL players know well. Last August, Real Salt Lake thrashed Colorado 6-0 on the road after the Rapids received two red cards.
As Real Salt Lake looks ahead to a road game at Los Angeles FC on Saturday, it’s that opening 30 minutes at D.C. United that it hopes to build on
“Played pretty well in the first 25, 30 minutes, thought we were going to walk out with at least a point. One bad mistake in build out, one call,” said Petke.
RSL will be very shorthanded because of international call-ups and suspensions, which will make securing another road result difficult.