TEMPE, Ariz. — The Phoenix FC Wolves gained some much-needed confidence following their 0-0 draw with Real Salt Lake’s reserve side Saturday night at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium.
Phoenix FC outshot RSL 5-2 and played solid defensively, an area in which the club sought improvement after losing the past four matches. Goalkeeper Andrew Weber recorded his second clean sheet of the season and first since the home opener against VSI Tampa Bay FC.
Midfielder Scott Morrison had a good chance to give Phoenix FC a first half lead with his free kick in the 33rd minute that just didn’t quite bend enough to find the net. Real Salt Lake cranked up its attack in the second half but Phoenix FC was the stronger side over the latter part of the half.
Defender Isaiah Schafer, forward Darren Mackie and midfielder Donny Toia, playing against the MLS club that developed him, played well for the Wolves. Toia, on a bum right leg that he later said was fine, made hustle play to save a ball from going out of bounds in the 84th minute that earned him a loud cheer from the 2,386 fans in attendance.
The crowd total was the second-highest home attendance in Phoenix FC’s inaugural season, with only the home opener drawing more fans.
Real Salt Lake’s side featured a number of key players from the main roster with Major League Soccer experience, including defender Lovel Palmer, former USL PRO MVP Yordany Alvarez, defender Carlos Salcedo and rising star forward Devon Sandoval. The two teams also played to 0-0 draw in a match marred by a fight on April 22 at Rio Tinto Stadium, but aside from a few yellow cards there were no reprisals from that meeting.
Phoenix FC is 2-9-4 on the season and seeks its first win across all competitions since April 28, but has earned a point from three draws in those seven weeks.
“It’s a good way to go into the next game,” Schafer said. The Wolves host the Dayton Dutch Lions on June 21 with seven of their final 11 USL PRO matches at home in the Arizona heat.