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Super Sam Rescues a Point for St. Louis City SC in 1-1 Draw against Real Salt Lake

Updated: Feb 26

St. Louis City SC entering the field
Enter City SC | Photo Scott E. Hains

When St. Louis City SC needed rescuing, Sam Adeniran answered the call.

After coming off the bench as a substitute for João Klauss, the super sub, Adeniran, made the most of his opportunity in the 79th minute of play. Eduard Löwen found the forward on an outlet pass down the right flank of the Real Salt Lake defense. Adeniran’s first touch took him past his marker and then closed in on goal with his speed. He took one touch to his left before putting it past the Real Salt Lake keeper, Zac MacMath, to save a point in a 1-1 draw. 

After Real Salt Lake’s Cristian Arango opened the scoring in the 74th minute, Adeniran’s solo run provided a much-needed jolt to the team (and City Park) to see out the game. Sam was very quick to give credit to Löwen in his postgame conference, “I know every time I make a run forward that he’s going to see me.”

St. Louis City SC
Photo Scott E. Hains

For as much as we’ll talk about Adeniran’s super effort, the team’s performance leading up to the two goals should be emphasized as well. The team’s first half left little to be desired and was tough to watch at times. In a mix of misplaced passes and cheap giveaways, the team struggled to find its composure. The way head coach, Bradley Carnell, put it in his postgame press conference was “we lacked intensity.” 

Carnell said the team was disappointed in their play in the first half, and it showed in the comments by Njabulo Blom and Löwen postgame. When asked about the team’s night, Blom was critical of the team’s midfield performance. “We let them control the game. We need to control the midfield more.” Löwen was just as critical. “We played a really bad game, couldn’t win the second ball, lost a lot of balls, and made a lot of mistakes.”

Even in the midst of mistakes and what ifs, last night served as a reminder of a couple things. 

First, a team willing to express their frustrations over their play and hold itself accountable speaks to the locker room culture. They are in the middle of four games in 11 days across two different competitions. Coach Carnell emphasized the need to move on from Saturday’s game, learn from their play, and look towards Tuesday's second leg against Houston in the CONCACAF Champions Cup.

Second, how you respond to adversity during the game is how teams become good teams. Coach Carnell also emphasized, “Not all evenings are going to be perfect. Good teams find a way to get a point.” Adeniran echoed those comments a bit later. “One of the great things about this team is that we keep fighting. You’re going to be down at some point in this league.” Last year’s team probably would have folded at the adversity during Saturday’s game. 

If City can fight through the adversity, then this good team can become great.

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