New York City Football Club earned a point on the road thanks to a goalless draw at America First Field. The seventh meeting between the two sides saw a tight, tactical, affair with neither able to produce a goal.
Real Salt Lake 0 NYCFC 0
The Boys in Blue flew out to Utah to take on Real Salt Lake for the first time since a convincing home win in April 2022.
Nick Cushing’s side were keen to taste victory on the road for the first time in 2023. The Head Coach opted to continue with a back three system following the team’s 0-0 draw with New England Revolution last week.
There were, however, two changes to the team that tied with the Revs last week. Tony Alfaro replaced the suspended Maxime Chanot, while Talles Magno stepped in for Richy Ledezma.
A strong start from the Boys in Blue saw them establish a rhythm in possession and make the most of passing triangles across the pitch.
Unfortunately that did not return many clear cut chances during the early minutes. At the other end, the 21st minute saw Danny Musovski played through on goal. The striker was denied the opening goal via a fantastic block from Tony Alfaro.
On the half hour mark the pieces clicked for City. A line breaking pass from Alfredo Morales found Gabriel Pereira. His cute flick took the ball to Talles Magno and his strike drew a good save from Zac MacMath.
As the half drew to a close Rubio Rubin was afforded a headed chance from close range but he could not make the required contact on the ball. That would force the two teams to go in level at the break.
The start of the second half saw RSL earn the first chance of note just two minutes in when Jefferson Savarino bounced a shot from left to right that forced Barraza into a save.
In the 52nd minute, New York would respond with a free kick on the edge of the penalty area after good work by Talles Magno. Both Braian Cufré and Santi Rodríguez stood over the ball before the former curled an effort around the wall and into the side netting.
As the clock ticked past the hour mark Cushing introduced his first substitution – Kevin O’Toole replacing Cufré.
The Boys in Blue were now finding more joy in the final third, and a flowing move down the right afforded Stephen Turnbull the chance to pull it back. His low cross rolled into a dangerous area, but no NYCFC player could make contact.
In the 73rd minute Cushing again turned to his bench to introduce Tayvon Gray and Matías Pellegrini in place of Turnbull and Gabriel Pereira. The team’s final sub would come seven minutes later as Keaton Parks checked out for Mitja Ilenič.
Still needing to defend their clean sheet, Barraza came up with a brilliant point blank save in the 82nd minute to deny Anderson Julio after the defend wriggled free in the box.
That would prove to be the last notable act of proceedings as Cushing’s side picked up a valuable road point.