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RSL Dominant in 5-2 Home Trouncing of Atlanta United

Real Monarchs Announce 2023 Preseason Roster

July 7, 2024 – MLS NEXT Pro (MLS NEXT Pro)
Real Monarchs News Release

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake (12-3-7 / 43 points / T-1st West) came out red-hot in front of a fifth consecutive sold-out crowd at America First Field (20,396, and its seventh in 11 home matches this season. RSL needed only 43 seconds to claim the advantage over Atlanta, as MF Matt Crooks’ early score with assists from Diego Luna and Braian Ojeda claimed the title of fifth-fastest goal in Club history. Following a lackluster first half, the final 45 minutes would be dominant for RSL, matching its season high with another five-goal performance, improving to 8-2-1 / 25 points at home this season.

The clear “Man of the Match” for RSL tonight was 20-year-old playmaker Diego Luna, finishing with a goal and three assists. The “hat trick” of assists marks just the fourth time in the Club’s 636-game MLS history that an RSL player has set up three goals (Espindola, 2012; Ruiz, 2023; Luna, 3/3/24 & tonight). The four total goal contributions for Luna are the most in any match in his professional career, matching the most of any RSL player in a game this season (Arango). Alongside Luna on the scoresheet was MLS MVP and Golden Boot frontrunner, RSL Captain Chicho Arango, the Colombian frontman bagging his 17th goal of the campaign. Arango’s 17 goals are the most in MLS, while Luna’s 12 assists rank third-most in the league entering Sunday’s action.

Also contributing was midfielder Braian Ojeda, his 59th minute goal his second in as many games, previously playing 66 consecutive RSL appearances without a goal, scoring in the last two. In addition to Ojeda, DF Alex Katranis also came forward from his natural position to get on the scoresheet, the former Greek youth international scoring for the third time in his inaugural stateside season.

The win was a comprehensive example in ball control for Manager Pablo Mastroeni’s side, his team dominating 62% of possession and outpassing Atlanta 650-383. RSL’s three points keeps it even with LAFC at 43 points atop the Western Conference table, now staring down a three-match road trip to Portland Timbers, LAFC and Colorado Rapids July 13, 17 and 20, heading into the MLS All-Star break and then the Leagues Cup kickoff.


RSL – 1′ – Matt Crooks (Diego Luna, Braian Ojeda): As RSL took possession to open the match, calmly passing throughout the midfield for players’ first touches of the evening, Braian Ojeda took control in the midfield. Seeing…

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