Real Salt Lake

Pablo Mastroeni hails Real Salt Lake for securing third place on Western Conference standings

Lizzy Becherano
Pablo Mastroeni hails Real Salt Lake for recent success.
Pablo Mastroeni hails Real Salt Lake for recent success. / Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Real Salt Lake defeated the Houston Dynamo 3-0 on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium to cement their third-place standing on the Western Conference table with a record of 9W-4L-5D. 

The team’s recent victory marked their fourth in the last five games, propelling Real Salt Lake to just four points off LAFC’s Supporters’ Shield pace.

While many may be shocked at the Western Conference side’s recent success, head coach Pablo Mastroeni expected it after coming off a successful 2021 campaign. 

“It’s a carryover from last year,” Mastroeni said postgame. “How we ended the season last year was about giving it 100 percent every day and what we had to do in order to make it as far as we did in the playoffs, away from home. And that carried on to the beginning of the season.

“Again, the leadership group has been fantastic. They’ve been really demanding from each other every day in training, what we anticipate seeing in games. And when you train hard and you train with commitment, the game should be a reflection of that. It really has been for these guys and I couldn’t be more proud of the group.

“You just keep building on it. We’re going to have to double down on everything that we’ve been doing in order to keep moving.”

RSL’s latest win came from goals by defender Justen Glad, Bobby Wood and Sergio Cordova, who worked together to take home the three points. 

“We’re in a great spot,” Glad said. “The team’s in a groove right now. The players are happy, it’s a good vibe in the locker room. We just got [Jefferson] Savarino back, we’re in a good spot for sure. We just need to keep the momentum going.”

Savarino returns to Real Salt Lake after a brief stint with Atletico Mineiro, signing as a Designated Player through the 2025 season with a club option for 2026. He’s the first DP acquisition under RSL's new ownership group.

The Venezuelan player initially signed with the MLS side in 2017, managing 21 goals and 21 assists in 82 appearances before the break. Now he’s back and better than ever. 

“I’m in a really great locker room,” Savarino said. “There’s a lot more energy, not just from the Latino players, but from the American players as well, which is something that you definitely need to get the results to go your way.”

Real Salt Lake return to the field on Saturday when traveling to BC Place to face the Vancouver Whitecaps.