The story heading into the match between Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas was consistency versus instability. RSL had been able to get points from every match while FC Dallas was in the midst of a downturn. RSL controlled much of the match but were unable to find a winner. As the final whistle blew, the goalless draw showed a lack of creativity, but still set up a giant MLS clash for next week.
Joao Plata was substituted early again with a hamstring injury. Cole Grossman was starting his second match for Kyle Beckerman as he fulfills USMNT duty. Javier Morales had some positive touches early in the match, but RSL was unable to muster quality chances. Dallas was tight at the back and continued to make vital stops and get in the way of shots. RSL was shut out for the sixth time in the last 24 matches and had their first scoreless draw at Rio Tinto Stadium since October of 2012.
RSL now sits at 6-0-6, tying the record for the longest undefeated streak to open a season. With a game in hand, they trail the Seattle Sounders by two points in the Western Conference. They will travel to Seattle on May 31 with a chance to take the lead out west. The Sounders lost Clint Dempsey to World Cup duty and are battling some injuries. However, the matchup is shaping up as the best game in the first half of the season.
FC Dallas may have had the best opportunities on the night as Fabian Castillo challenged the back line on counter attacks. Jeff Attinella was called into action several times, but was up to the task. RSL was very poor in the attacking third only placing one of their 15 shots on goal. When they did have a good opportunity Adam Moffat was there to block the attempt. RSL did have five shots blocked. Shot selection was poor. Execution was lacking and Morales was unable to spark his team’s creativity.
Still, RSL has a chance to set an unbeaten record next week at CenturyLink. They will have to find a purpose for their possession and make the most of opportunities in the attacking zone. This is what was missing against FC Dallas and lacking those qualities next week will result in a loss.