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Real Salt Lake, New England Revolution play to scoreless draw

Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Andrew Putna (51) makes a save on a shot by New England Revolution forward Teal Bunbury, left, during the second half of an MLS soccer match at Gillette Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass.
Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Andrew Putna (51) makes a save on a shot by New England Revolution forward Teal Bunbury, left, during the second half of an MLS soccer match at Gillette Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass.
Stew Milne, AP

SALT LAKE CITY — Looking at the glass half full, a point on the road is a point on the road.

That’s about the takeaway for Real Salt Lake after a 0-0 draw against the New England Revolution on Saturday night in a unique game for the away side because of the lineup interim head coach Freddy Juarez employed.

In the first of three games over a span of just eight days, Juarez put a number of players who are typically substitutes in the starting lineup against a Revolution team that is fighting to get back into the playoff picture in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference.

The contest marked the final one for RSL against an Eastern Conference opponent this season with three games now remaining.

With its point earned Saturday, RSL moved 2 points ahead of the LA Galaxy for fourth in the Western Conference. The Galaxy were set to play Saturday night.

In the ever-tight table, RSL sits just 3 points out of second in the West but is also just 3 points up on seventh place. The top six teams in each conference make the playoffs.

The Revolution are 3 points out of sixth in the East.

Perhaps the most notable backup Juarez used Saturday night was goalkeeper Andrew Putna, who started in place of Nick Rimando. Putna acquitted himself well in relief, as New England finished with a whopping 23 shots, although just three of them were on target.

RSL finished with nine shots and also had three on target.

The Revolution also dominated possession, finishing with 60% to RSL’s 40% and tallied seven corner kicks to just one for RSL.

Up next for RSL is a massive game Wednesday night against the Galaxy at Rio Tinto Stadium, which is primed to have significant impact on the playoff race.

Start time is set for 7:30 p.m. MT.

Following that contest, RSL will conclude the regular season against the two teams at the bottom of the Western Conference, the Houston Dynamo (Sept. 29 at home) and Vancouver Whitecaps FC (Oct. 6 on the road).