SEATTLE – Real Salt Lake (14-9-6, 48 points, West #2) fell 2-0 at Seattle Sounders FC (15-8-4, 49 points, West #1) on Friday night, giving up two first half goals at CenturyLink Field to slip out of first-place in the Supporters’ Shield and Western Conference races.
RSL fell behind right from the jump, allowing Seattle FW Obafemi Martins to score in the third minute. Martins collected a pass at the top of the box on the left side, playing MF Andy Rose through on the left side with his first touch. Rose chipped a cross to the middle of the box, with Martins running onto it and volleying home inside the right post from eight yards out.
Real Salt Lake GK Nick Rimando made a huge save to keep Seattle from doubling its advantage in the seventh minute. DF Zach Scott got on the end of a corner kick from the left side, heading a shot toward the far post that Rimando kept out with a fine diving save.
The Claret-and-Cobalt had a shout for a penalty kick in the 18th minute. The play began when DF Chris Wingert played a through ball to MF Javier Morales in the left side of the box. Morales took an uncharacteristically heavy touch and appeared to get fouled in the box by Sounders MF Osvaldo Alonso when trying to recover the ball, but referee Allen Chapman waved off his protests, continuing play.
FW Joao Plata nearly put RSL on the board in the 31st. The Ecuadorian striker picked up a loose ball in the center of Seattle’s defensive third, taking a touch before firing a 25-yard shot just wide of the left post.
Seattle went up 2-0 in the 38th minute. GK Michael Gspurning started the move, playing on the ground out of the back, with the Sounders eventually finding DF DeAndre Yedlin on the right flank. The U.S. Under-20 international took a touch into space, picking his head up and firing a low cross to unmarked FW Lamar Neagle in the center of the box. Neagle made no mistake with the opportunity, firing a shot into the top right corner with his first touch.
Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jason Kreis made one change at the break, bringing FW Olmes Garcia on for MF Luis Gil.
RSL’s switch didn’t affect much change, however, as Seattle would’ve added a third in the 54th if it weren’t for another big stop from Rimando. The Sounders slipped Neagle through down the left side, allowing the speedy striker to get into the box for a 1-v-1 with Rimando. The Claret-and-Cobalt’s veteran ‘keeper came up huge for the second time on the night, getting low to block Neagle’s far post attempt.
Things died down after Rimando’s big save, with neither side registering another opportunity until RSL almost pulled one back in the 80th minute. MF Javier Morales lifted a free kick in from the left side that DF Nat Borchers got on the end of at the spot. Borchers flicked his contested header toward the far post, with the ball nearly crossing the goal line before Gspurning got his body in front of it.
RSL dodged one more bullet in the 83rd minute. Seattle played Martins in behind the Claret-and-Cobalt defense, with the Nigerian Designated Player racing into the box for a 1-v-1 with Rimando. Martins took one touch too many, however, allowing Borchers to recover and clear the ball off his foot and out for a corner before he took a shot.
The Real Salt Lake Reserves will play tomorrow, taking on Seattle Sounders FC Reserves at 1:00 p.m. MT at Starfire Sports Complex.
The Claret-and-Cobalt first team will return to action next Saturday, Sept. 21, when it will take on Western Conference foe San Jose Earthquakes at 7:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium. A very limited amount of tickets are still available to the San Jose match – fans can purchase tickets at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets or over the phone at 801-727-2700.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 0-2 SEA
- Tonight’s crowd of 55,107 was the largest crowd Real Salt Lake has ever played in front of.
- Real Salt Lake FW Alvaro Saborio did not dress for tonight’s match due to a left calf injury suffered while he was on international duty with Costa Rica. Real Salt Lake’s all-time leading scorer, Saborio is tops on RSL this year with 10 goals in just 13 league games.
- Tonight’s loss broke RSL’s five-game unbeaten streak on turf. The Claret-and-Cobalt was 1-0-4 in its last five games on artificial surface – including a 1-0-2 mark on turf in 2013 – prior to tonight’s defeat.
- Real Salt Lake was shutout tonight for the first time since losing 2-0 to the LA Galaxy at Rio Tinto Stadium on April 27 – a span of 23 games across all competitions. RSL still leads MLS in goals scored with 52 in 29 games played.
- Tonight’s loss dropped Real Salt Lake out of first-place in the Supporters’ Shield and Western Conference races. The Claret-and-Cobalt is now one point behind Seattle, which has two games in hand on the Utah side. RSL has five league games left in the regular season, while Seattle has seven regular season matches remaining.
REAL SALT LAKE 0–2 SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
FRIDAY, SEPT. 13, 2013
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 0 0
Seattle Sounders FC 2 0 2
SEA – Obafemi Martins (Andy Rose) – 3’
SEA – Lamar Neagle (DeAndre Yedlin, Obafemi Martins) – 38’
RSL – Javier Morales (Tactical Foul; Yellow) – 33’
RSL – Carlos Salcedo (Foul; Yellow) – 60’
RSL – Ned Grabavoy (Foul; Yellow) – 63’
RSL – Olmes Garcia (Foul; Yellow) – 70’
SEA – DeAndre Yedlin (Foul; Yellow) – 79’
RSL – Khari Stephenson (Foul; Yellow) – 85’
RSL – Kyle Beckerman (Time Wasting; Yellow) – 89’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Carlos Salcedo, Chris Wingert; Kyle Beckerman (C); Luis Gil (Olmes Garcia, 46’), Ned Grabavoy; Javier Morales; Joao Plata (Khari Stephenson, 76’), Robbie Findley (Devon Sandoval, 58’)
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella (GK), Lovel Palmer, Cole Grossman, Yordany Alvarez
Seattle Sounders FC (4-4-2): Michael Gspurning; DeAndre Yedlin, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez; Mauro Rosales (C) (Eddie Johnson, 75’), Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose, Marc Burch; Obafemi Martins, Lamar Neagle (David Estrada, 93’)
Substitutes not used: Marcus Hahnemann (GK), Djimi Traore, Alex Caskey, Patrick Ianni
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Anthony Vasoli, George Gansner
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal