Daniel Royer’s performance against Real Salt Lake, showed a man on a mission. His consistent attack on RSL’s Nick Rimando set the stage for the second half, which saw four goals. The immediate alternative to an absent Bradley Wright-Phillips, Royer leads the team in shots, but was shut out in the entire month of May. He is currently tied with Brian White for goals on a season that has seen remarkable diversity in goal-scoring.
The belief was there at halftime. The energy was right, a couple little adjustments, and it was fun to watch the guys have fun.–Armas, on the team finding goals in the second half
Royer had to contend with muscle tightness following the hard-fought match against Atlanta. He put in only twenty minutes against the Vancouver Whitecaps and did not make the gameday roster against FC Cincinnati. The team forged on without him, earning four points in those two matches. But he returned ready to bring the fight to RSL. Royer had four out of ten shots in the first half. “We should have scored way earlier, in the first half, though, so we could, you know, catch a breath,” Royer said after the match.
There was no real concern with him coming in. Didn’t want to come out, of course. He had a great game.–Manager Chris Armas, on Royer’s health going into the match
Second Half Breakthrough
An own goal in the 58th minute unsettled Salt Lake, while the Red Bulls found their rhythm. Less than a minute later, Royer’s laser shot doubled the lead and cemented the dominant tone for the rest of the match. Royer credits Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra with creating the goal. “He’s lethal with his passes, and… he’s looking for me.”
In addition to his work in the attacking third, Royer took on defensive duties against RSL. The role has become familiar to the Austrian International. “[The game against] Atlanta is the one that sticks out, where we were down a man, and he had to put in a shift defensively. He was great,” said Captain Luis Robles. Considering nearly every defender has scored this season, it seems equally natural for a top goalscorer to drop back when needed.
As the season continues, between the Open Cup and International competition call ups, the team will continue to look to Daniel Royer. If he can continue the form he showed against Real Salt Lake, the team will be in good hands.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography