SANDY, Utah – 10-man Real Salt Lake (11-6-4, 37 points, West #1) lost a heartbreaker to Sporting Kansas City (10-5-6, 36 points, East #1) on Saturday night, giving up two goals – including one in the 97th minute – after going down a man midway through the second half to fall 2-1 in front of a sold-out crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The loss snapped the Claret-and-Cobalt’s 11-game unbeaten streak over all competitions. Despite the defeat, Real Salt Lake remains in first-place in the Supporters’ Shield standings, one point ahead of second-place SKC.
RSL took the lead in the 56th minute, going ahead through FW Robbie Findley. The Claret-and-Cobalt went down a man in the 66th, when referee Matthew Foerster controversially showed RSL DF Chris Wingert a second yellow card, ejecting him from the match. SKC took advantage immediately, getting a goal from FW Soony Saad on the ensuing free kick before DF Ike Opara scored the winner in the 97th.
Tempers flared right from the start, with several players from both sides getting into it in the first minute after Wingert and SKC FW Kei Kamara knocked heads on an aerial attempt. Wingert was shown a yellow for his role in the incident, setting the table for his 66th minute ejection.
RSL had the match’s first chance, nearly going ahead in the 16th minute. FW Joao Plata played MF Luis Gil in down the right side, with Gil cutting past SKC GK Jimmy Nielsen in the right corner of the area before lofting a cross to the back post. Unfortunately for RSL, Gil’s ball drifted a tad too close to the end line, and Findley could only head his attempt back toward the middle of the box for a SKC clearance.
Real Salt Lake had another decent look in the 18th, when Findley curled a low cross in from the right side that was just touched away from the waiting feet of Plata at the far post.
Neither side registered another chance until after halftime, when RSL GK Jeff Attinella – who was making his first career MLS start – blocked SKC FW Claudio Bieler’s shot to keep it scoreless. Bieler collected a ball at the top of the box, cutting to his left before firing a low shot toward the right post. Attinella did well to get to it, quickly diving to his left to palm the ball around the post and out for a corner.
Sporting Kansas City nearly scored on the ensuing set play. MF Graham Zusi curled the corner from the right side to Opara at the back post. The big center back nodded his header down towards the right side of the goal, where Plata headed off the line for a goal line clearance.
Findley gave RSL the lead in the 56th minute. MF Javier Morales chipped in a free kick from the middle of Kansas City’s half and Nielsen muffed his attempted catch, only managing to slap at the ball and deflect it behind him. Findley took advantage, heading his close-range effort over several players and into the back of the net to give RSL the lead.
Wingert was ejected 10 minutes later. The veteran left back pulled Saad down on the right wing and Foerster judged it worthy of a yellow, showing Wingert his second caution and leaving RSL with 10 men.
SKC took advantage immediately, scoring on the ensuing free kick. Zusi’s free kick got loose in the box, bouncing around off of several players from both teams before Kansas City hit a shot through the RSL defense from the left side of the area. Attinella made a big stop on the shot, but couldn’t hold it, with the ball eventually bouncing to Bieler, who headed to Saad for a side-volleyed finish.
10-man RSL nearly went ahead in the 90th minute. Substitute FW Olmes Garcia collected a ball on the left wing and raced to goal, firing a shot from the top left corner of the box that Nielsen stopped with a diving save.
Opara scored the winner in the 97th minute. Zusi curled in a corner from the right side and Opara got on the end of it, heading it past Attinella and in to give SKC all three points.
Real Salt Lake will return to action next Saturday, July 27, when it will travel to the east coast to take on the New York Red Bulls at 5:00 p.m. MT on Red Bull Arena.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 1-2 SKC
- Real Salt Lake's 11-game unbeaten streak across all competitions was snapped with tonight's 1-2 loss, RSL's last setback coming in another stoppage-time heartbreaker at Montreal on May 11, when it dropped a 3-2 result in Canada ... RSL was 9-0-2 during its unbeaten run, outscoring its competition 30-9 in that stretch ... Despite tonight's loss, RSL remains atop the MLS Supporters Shield table at 37 points, just ahead of Sporting Kansas City's 36 ...
- Real Salt Lake fell to 9-2-3 at home in all competitions at “The RioT” this year, outscoring its opposition 29-14 in 14 games at home, the team's last loss coming back onApril 27 against Los Angeles ...
- RSL fell to 10-2-2 when scoring first in MLS play in 2013 with tonight's loss, as the short-lived lead from Robbie Findley's 56' goal was overcome by Kansas City, which scored its equalizer immediately after going up a man and then the game-winner deep into stoppage time after RSL was down to 10 men ...
- The Chris Wingert ejection came after he saw his second yellow card in the 66' and was RSL's third red card in its last four games (Palmer, July 3 v PHI; Beltran, June 29 @ TOR) ... Wingert will miss next Saturday's trip to his New York home to face the Red Bulls, the veteran defender remaining one caution away upon his return to action from serving another one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation ... Fellow outside back Lovel Palmer remains one caution away from suspension for yellow card accumulation as well ...
- RSL GK Jeff Attinella made four saves in his first career MLS start tonight, Kansas City's first goal snapping a shutout streak of 108 minutes to start the third-year pro's MLS career ... The 24-year-old Attinella made his MLS debut last week, coming on in the 51st minute for injured GK Josh Saunders at Dallas ... Attinella performed well in his debut, making three saves – including a fine reflex stop on FCD’s Ramon Nunez in the 88th minute that won Attinella MLS Save of the Week ... Academy product Lalo Fernandez was Attinella's backup tonight, with regular starter GK Nick Rimando with the U.S. national team on international duty and Saunders out for the year with an ACL tear ...
- Attinella became the 25th different Real Salt Lake player to start a league game this year; the only four players from RSL’s opening day roster that have not started a regular season game are DF Rich Balchan, MF John Stertzer, MF Enzo Martinez and GK Lalo Fernandez. Both Balchan and Stertzer are out for the year after suffering injuries in May.
- RSL will see four players participate in tomorrow's CONCACAF Gold Cup Quarterfinals, as Captain Kyle Beckerman (U.S.), DF Tony Beltran (U.S.) and GK Nick Rimando (U.S.) play El Salvador, while FW Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica) faces Honduras ...
- Newly acquired Real Salt Lake DF Brandon McDonald was not in the 18 tonight. McDonald was acquired on Wednesday in a trade with D.C. United in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft and a conditional selection in the 2015 draft. Newly signed FW Benji Lopez is also not in the 18 tonight. The 18-year-old Lopez signed on Monday as a Home Grown player out of RSL’s Arizona Academy.
- Tonight’s game was RSL’s 4th sell-out of the season in 11 MLS home games. This is the second-straight match that Rio Tinto Stadium will be sold-out for after it was filled to the brim with 20,445 fans for 10-man RSL’s 2-2 draw against the Philadelphia Union on July 3. RSL’s other sell-outs were in the club’s first two home games this year, on March 16 against the Colorado Rapids and on March 30 against Seattle Sounders FC
- Tonight’s match was RSL’s 18th home Fireworks game. The Claret-and-Cobalt is 6-2-10 all-time in home Fireworks matches, with the lone previous loss coming on July 4, 2007 against Toronto FC at Rice-Eccles Stadium. RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis is now 5-2-7 in Fireworks games since taking over as Claret-and-Cobalt manager in May 2007.
REAL SALT LAKE 1–2 SPORTING KANSAS CITY
SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2013
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 1 1
Sporting Kansas City 0 2 2
RSL – Robbie Findley – 56’
SKC – Soony Saad (Claudio Bieler) – 67’
SKC – Ike Opara (Graham Zusi) – 97’
RSL – Chris Wingert (Yellow; Foul) – 3’
RSL – Luis Gil (Yellow; Foul) – 37’
RSL – Javier Morales (Yellow; Dissent) – 44’
SKC – Oriol Rosell (Yellow; Foul) – 55’
RSL – Chris Wingert (Yellow; Tactical Foul) – 66’
SKC – Aurelien Collin (Yellow; Foul) – 73’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) – Jeff Attinella; Lovel Palmer, Nat Borchers, Aaron Maund, Chris Wingert; Yordany Alvarez (Khari Stephenson, 79’); Ned Grabavoy; Luis Gil; Javier Morales (C); Joao Plata (Abdoulie Mansally, 68’), Robbie Findley (Olmes Garcia, 69’)
Substitutes Not Used: Lalo Fernandez (GK), Enzo Martinez, Sebastian Velasquez, Devon Sandoval
Sporting Kansas City (4-3-3) – Jimmy Nielsen (C); Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Ike Opara, Seth Sinovic; Graham Zusi, Oriol Rosell, Peterson Joseph (Lawrence Olum, 63’); Kei Kamara, Claudio Bieler (Dom Dwyer, 84’), Soony Saad (Benny Feilhaber, 79’)
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Kronberg (GK), Mechack Jerome, Teal Bunbury, C.J. Sapong
Referee: Matthew Foerster
Referee's Assistants: Kevin Duliba, Boubacarr Jallow
4th Official: Allen Chapman