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Real Salt Lake: Jefferson Savarino and Albert Rusnák turning into dangerous duo

Published July 5, 2017 3:36 pm

RSL • Stunning road rout of L.A. easily the best win of the season.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated.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 midfielder Jefferson Savarino slid to his knees and pointed to the sky with both index fingers as his teammates engulfed him.

That was his first-goal celebration in MLS. Five minutes later he had to come up with another.

RSL's 20-year-old designated player scored his first two MLS goals in a 6-2 rout of Los Angeles at StubHub Center Tuesday as the team showed how dangerous a combination Savarino and RSL's other young DP, Albert Rusnák, can be.



"It was great to see those guys linking up," coach Mike Petke said of the Savarino-Rusnák combo, in tandem with Joao Plata and Yura Movsisyan, and later Brooks Lennon. "It was magic."

Savarino started out wide, and Rusnák played up the middle on Tuesday. It was only the fourth time the pair had started together — and the first since May 31, because of Rusnák's international duty with Slovakia at the European U-21 championships.

Savarino's first goal came off a Rusnák corner kick in the 72nd minute. After Rusnák's corner was headed out of the penalty box by a Galaxy defender, Savarino settled the ball, faked out one defender and drilled a shot into the upper right corner of the net to give RSL a 4-1 lead.

Then in the 77th minute, Rusnák took a shot from outside the 18, which was blocked by Galaxy goalkeeper Clement Diop. Savarino followed the shot and poked in a goal at the near post.

"He's a very good player," midfielder Kyle Beckerman said of Savarino, "and he's one of those players that can skin a guy with the guy right in front of him and next second he's on the other side of him.

"It's definitely a big help when you have that on your team. We just have to keep jelling, keep playing together, keep working hard in practice and keep perfecting it because that's an advantage we've got."

In addition to a pair of assists on goals by Beckerman and Movsisyan, Rusnák provided a goal of his own. He was the first to find the back of the net for RSL, scoring in the 36th minute.

"Before this break coming up, we said it would be good to come away with a win," Rusnák said. "And with a 6-2 win away from home, that's a great result for the whole club."

Those six goals in a road match set a new club record and doubled the single-game season high.

The blowout provided a change of pace for a team that has scored more than two goals in one other league match this year (vs. Vancouver on April 8) and squandered several scoring opportunities in Friday's 1-0 loss to Orlando City at home.

"We let one go in Salt Lake City, and we wanted to put a good performance on," goalkeeper Nick Rimando said. "We knew that it was only a matter of time before we could get things right and get some goals. In the locker room I did feel like there was some belief in here today, and we went out there with what I think was our best performance of the year."

mlee@sltrib.com

Twitter: @maddie_m_lee —

Manchester United at RSL

P At Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy

When • July 17, 8 p.m.

TV • ESPN2

 

 

 

 

 

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