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RSL closes out preseason Portland trip with 3-3 draw against Minnesota United

Published February 15, 2017 11:23 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Real Salt Lake nearly made the chilly, rainy conditions seem delightful — nearly.

Three second-half goals had RSL on the cusp of an impressive end to the second stop in its five-week preseason campaign. Instead, Minnesota United FC ensured RSL would be left with yet another preseason draw.

A last-gasp goal from Minnesota winger Johan Venegas in the 93rd minute cemented RSL's 3-3 draw Wednesday night at Providence Park in Portland, Ore. RSL remains unbeaten this preseason at 1-0-5. The club tied all three matches at the annual Portland Timbers preseason tournament.

RSL returns to Utah Thursday as it preps for its final preseason stop in Irvine, Calif., starting Sunday. With a little more than two weeks away from the 2017 season-opener at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 4, RSL has shown flashes of its dynamic, new-look attack, but has also struggled defending in transition.

That was apparent once again Wednesday as Minnesota caught RSL on the break twice — both instances resulted in goals from midfielder Kevin Molino. The Minnesota playmaker gave his team the lead in the 24th minute and doubled it four minutes after halftime in the 49th minute.

RSL's turnaround began in the 57th minute as striker Yura Movsisyan scored a penalty kick earned by midfielder Jordan Allen. In the next 30 minutes, RSL would add two more goals to take an eventual 3-2 lead by two substitutes. Offseason addition Chad Barrett knotted the score at 2-2 in the 79th minute by cutting outside the box and curving a low, left-footed shot to the far post and in.

In the 87th minute, Real Monarchs midfielder Andrew Brody gave RSL the lead after tapping in a loose ball that was headed across goal by Barrett off a cross from midfielder Omar Holness. The furious second-half rally was short-lived. Venegas took advantage of an untimely RSL defensive lapse and slotted home the final goal of the match in the last few breaths of the game.

In its three draws in Portland, RSL scored seven goals, but also conceded seven.

RSL was once again without captain Kyle Beckerman, who remains sidelined while dealing with a bone bruise in his left knee. Right back Tony Beltran did not see time either as the veteran defender is dealing with a foot issue. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando was left off the game-day roster due to rest after starting the first two preseason matches in Portland.

-Chris Kamrani

Twitter: @chriskamrani




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