SANDY, Utah (Saturday, September 18, 2021) – Real Salt Lake (10-9-6, 36 points) claimed a 1-0 home win over Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday night in front of 19,850 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium. The win moved RSL to 5th place in the Western Conference with nine matches remaining in the 2021 season.
Damir Kreilach scored his 10th goal of the season and David Ochoa earned his fourth shutout of the 2021 season.
To start the first half, RSL pressed Seattle’s backline in search of the game’s opening goal but took until the 15th minute when the best chance of the opening half fell to Aaron Herrera who volleyed a shot from inside the box that beat goalkeeper Stefan Frei, but rattled the crossbar before trickling out for a Seattle throw in. Neither side found the opening goal in the first half as the teams went into the halftime break scoreless.
To begin the second half, RSL found the opener in the 48th minute when Kreilach headed home a goal inside the six-yard box for the 1-0 lead. RSL nearly doubled its advantage in the 57th minute but Albert Rusnák’s effort forced an incredible save on the goal line from Sounders FC goalkeeper, Frei. From then, RSL was able to thwart the Seattle attack with staunch defending to secure the crucial 1-0 home win.
UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake returns to the road to face the Portland Timbers on Saturday, September 25 at Providence Park. Kickoff in Oregon is set for 8:00 p.m. MT.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
RSL: Damir Kreilach (Aaron Herrera, Albert Rusnák) 48th minute: Taking his defender on near the end line, Herrera created space to whip in a cross towards the back post. His cross found the head of Kreilach who nodded the ball down and into the back of the net.
- RSL extended its home unbeaten run to six matches and currently holds a 7-2-4 record in 2021 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Saturday’s match also marks the team’s fifth-consecutive home victory dating back to July 24.
- RSL extended its unbeaten streak against the Sounders in Utah and improve its 10-1-3 home record against Seattle since 2009. RSL’s only home loss to Seattle came on May 28, 2011.
- RSL has scored the second most goals of any team in the Western Conference having scored 41 goals through 25 matches this season.
- RSL now has four home matches remaining in the 2021 season, matches that will prove pivotal in the Western Conference playoff race.
- Aaron Herrera returned to the starting lineup after serving a one-match suspension due to yellow card accumulation on Sept 12 against LAFC and the team’s Sept 15 match at San Jose. The RSL Homegrown product is tied for the third most assists in MLS this season (9) and leads the category among defenders after registering his ninth assist of the season on Saturday.
- RSL and Major League Soccer legend Nick Rimando was honored at halftime of the match against Seattle for his induction into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame. He will be inducted into the USHOF on Monday, September 20 as the first representative from RSL to be in ducted.
- RSL celebrated its annual Kick Childhood Cancer Night with events surrounding the match against Seattle.
Match: Real Salt Lake vs Seattle Sounders FC
Date: September 18, 2021
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Cloudy and 70 Degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 1 1
Sounders FC 0 0 0
RSL: Damir Kreilach (Aaron Herrera) 48’
Real Salt Lake (3-5-2): David Ochoa; Justen Glad, Erik Holt, Toni Datkovic; Aaron Herrera (Maikel Chang 82’), Everton Luiz, Pablo Ruiz, Albert Rusnák, Justin Meram (Noah Powder 61’); Damir Kreilach, Rubio Rubin (Anderson Julio 71’)
Subs not used: Andrew Putna, Donny Toia, Justin Portillo, Nick Besler, Jonathan Menéndez, Milan Iloski
Seattle Sounders FC (4-4-2): Stefan Frei; Xavier Arreaga, Nohou, Brad Smith (Jimmy Medranda 64’), Abdoulaye Cissoko (Yeimar Gomez Andrade 64’); Cristian Roldan (Fredy Montero 64’), Alex Roldan (Kelyn Rowe 46’), Nicolas Benezet, Danny Leyva (Will Bruin 80’), Josh Atencio; Raul Ruidiaz
Subs not used: Stefan Cleveland, Shane O’Neill, Leo Chu, Joao Paulo
Stats Summary: RSL / SEA
Shots: 16 / 9
Shots on Goal: 5 / 2
Saves: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 7 / 6
Fouls: 21 / 6
RSL: Everton Luiz (caution) 33’
RSL: Damir Kreilach (caution) 41’
SEA: Abdoulaye Cissoko (caution) 45’
RSL: Aaron Herrera (caution) 53’
RSL: Anderson Julio (caution) 85’
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson, Corey Parker
4th Official: Tim Ford
VAR: Michael Radchuk
AVAR: TJ Zablocki