Philadelphia Union lost Kai Wagner to a minor quad injury prior to kickoff then gave up four goals to Real Salt Lake as they fell on the road at Rio Tinto Stadium Saturday night. RSL pressed the Union early and often, and the visitors never got into a rhythm with the ball. Passes went astray, players looked uncoordinated, but for a while it appeared Philly could find its footing before Real Salt Lake broke the deadlock. In the 15th minute, a good move up the Union left was broken up when Auston Trusty slid into a passing lane to the center to knock the ball out of play.
Andre Blake then played a soft ball out of the back to Brenden Aaronson that allowed Brooks Lennon to set up Damir Kreilach at the back post. The big attacker thumped a shot on Blake’s goal but Philly’s goalkeeper slid across to push it away.
RSL got their opener in the 23rd minute from Jefferson Savarino. The Designated Player snuck behind the defense with an angled run and Aaron Herrera picked him out with a long pass over the top. Blake had no chance as Savarino rifled home the eventual game-winner.
Ale Bedoya led a charge forward for the Union in the 29th, sprinting past the defense and cutting back from the endline. Nick Rimando was too experienced to be beaten though, and he darted out to intercept the ball with Kacper Przybylko late to move across goal.
Kreilach had received a caution early in the match for a tackle that looked similar to the one that saw Sacha Kljestan sent off for Orlando City; later, he reached out to intentionally use an arm to bring down a long pass but was not awarded a second yellow card.
In Steaz first half stoppage time, Kacper Przybylko beat his man up the left, but he couldn’t find a Union body in the box.
Fafa Picault nearly provided a spark early in the second half. In the 48th minute, he cut inside from the right and tried to find a teammate in the box. There was little movement and the striker settled for a dinked pass that hit a RSL defender and was cleared away.
RSL began pushing for a second and Justen Glad hit the crossbar with a header int he 57th minute. The wait finally ended in the 71st when a miscommunication between Picault and Haris Medunjanin gifted the ball to Kyle Beckerman. A short pass to Savarino opened room for the DP to put his laces behind a long strike, and Blake had no chance to stop the wicked, low finish.
Andrew Wooten came on to make his Union debut as Philly looked for a way back into the match, and in the 76th it looked as though the new signing had a goal with his first touch. Sergio Santos saved a ball on the left and Wooten ripped a half-volley past Rimando. After a VAR review, however, the goal was called back.
In the final ten minutes, RSL put the match out of reach. A poor turnover from Ray Gaddis at the top of the box allowed Savarino to set up Rusnak for a blast of a goal, then Kreilach added one of his own in the 89th.
Despite the rough outing, the Union remain in first place and are back in action next Saturday when they welcome CJ Sapong and the Chicago Fire to Talen Energy Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET. The match will be broadcast on PHL17.