Brad Rock: Real Salt Lake wasn’t just there for the pictures

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera (21) and Real Salt Lake defender Justin Schmidt (6) compete for the ball during a match at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Monday, July 17, 2017.

SANDY — It came shrieking in from the west, full of bluster and malevolence.

Turned out the storm wasn’t all that damaging.

Neither was Manchester United.

For the international soccer giant, Monday’s match was a workout. For Real Salt Lake, it was supposed to be that, too. But it wasn’t. It was RSL’s Susan Boyle moment.

It’s true, Britain’s got (the) talent.

But Salt Lake has attitude.

“At start of the game, (for) a lot of the guys and our coaching staff, the message was about ‘go out and enjoy yourself,’” said RSL captain Kyle Beckerman. “But I think when I came back from warm-ups, I’m like, ‘Forget about enjoying. Let’s try to win this game.’”

When you’re in the kitchen, find the refrigerator.

Though United won the international friendly, 2-1, RSL played to a 1-1 tie in the first 30 minutes, before coach Mike Petke changed lines. All things considered, a day to remember. They can tell their great-grandkids they played heads-up against soccer’s Yankees. Luis Silva took a pass from Jefferson Savarino in the 23rd minute and slipped it past Joel Castro Pereira for the game’s first score. It took until the 29th minute — just before Beckerman & Co. exited — for Man U to tie the score.

In the 38th, Romelu Lukaku got past Lalo Fernandez to put United up 2-1.

RSL made its lineup changes 30 minutes into the match, to preserve itself for Wednesday’s MLS match against Portland. MUFC held its starters through the first half.

“I would have liked to have played longer,” Beckerman said.

The evening began with foreboding. Around two hours before start, weather darkened and early arrivers were asked to get…

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