Real Salt Lake’s Justen Glad celebrates MLS milestone with memorable goal

The RSL defender gave his team a 2-2 draw with a left-footed volley late in stoppage time.

Real Salt Lake's Justen Glad (15) celebrates his goal against Minnesota United withDanny Musovski (17) and Jefferson Savarino (10) during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, June 24, 2023, in Sandy, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Real Salt Lake defender Justen Glad celebrated his 201st game in Major League Soccer with a couple of surprises.

Before Saturday night’s match, Glad got a surprise visit from his family. Then, eight minutes into second-half stoppage time, Glad surprised everyone with a left-footed blast to give RSL a 2-2 draw against Minnesota United.

“I would say that was probably my favorite goal that I’ve scored,” Glad said. “You know, it’s left-footed. I had the fam here celebrating the 200th milestone. … So that was just an exciting moment for me and my family.”

After trailing 2-0 at one point, RSL striker Danny Musovski cut the lead in half. Then, in the 98th minute, midfielder Braian Ojeda sent a ball into the box for Diego Luna, who set Glad up for a highlight-reel equalizer.

“I had flashbacks because I swear there was a play exactly like that a couple of games ago and I hit it over,” Glad recalled. “And I said to myself after the game if that happens again I just gotta hit it as hard as I can and put it on frame. So that’s literally what I was thinking when when that moment happened.”

The goal was Glad’s third of the season and the 11th of his MLS career.

“It was just massive that we got the result,” Glad said. “Obviously we haven’t been getting results at home, which is disappointing for us, disappointing for our fans. It’s nice to win on the road but it’s a special feeling when you win in front of your home fans and they get to share in that. So I was happy to get the point happy to get the fans an exciting game.

“But at this point it’s still just about keeping the groove going and keep climbing the table and, you know, making a run and hopefully winning some trophies here.”

The 26-year-old Glad, whose 200th MLS appearance came last week in a road win over D.C. United, is arguably the RSL academy system’s biggest success. He is the first homegrown player to be named club MVP and the first to wear the captain’s armband.

“Obviously, Salt Lake has done an incredible job with their academy over the years,” Glad said. “And to see these young guys perform and get games under the belts and perform at a high level, it’s always exciting, and it shows that it can be done. I think it’s awesome for the club. It’s awesome to see that that pipeline is still there. And yeah, it’s exciting for the future as well, because that means there’s going to be more kids like Bode [Hidalgo], Gavin Beavers coming up, stepping up and playing in these big games.”

Glad, meanwhile, wants more for himself.

The defender has said he hopes to have his first-ever five-goal season. He’s also not satisfied with that 200 mark.

“It’s an achievement I’m super proud of, but it’s just another milestone along the way, you know?” Glad said. “I’m trying to get 300 or 400.”