SEATTLE, WA – Real Salt Lake (12-6-10, 46 points, West #3) was unable to hold on to a draw on Friday night, giving up a stoppage time goal to fall 3-2 at Seattle Sounders FC (17-7-3, 54 points, West #1).
It was a wild evening for Real Salt Lake, which saw it score the opening goal in the 30th minute through RSL MF Javier Morales. Seattle was able to equalize in the 38th minute thanks to a golazo from Sounders MF Lamar Neagle and then grab a 2-1 lead through FW Obafemi Martins right before halftime. RSL FW Joao Plata pulled the Claret-and-Cobalt even 2-2 in the 50th minute for his 12th goal of the year, but RSL was later dealt a severe blow in the 68th minute when DF Nat Borchers was shown a straight red card, reducing the squad to 10 men. RSL couldn’t weather the storm at the end, conceding a heartbreaking stoppage time goal scored by Seattle MF Andy Rose to fall 3-2 on the road.
The match started off wide open with both sides sharing multiple half-chances in the opening minutes. RSL’s best opportunity came in the seventh minute with Morales on the break. The Argentine sprinted to the top of the area before laying off a pass to Plata on the right side. The speedy Ecuadorian played a dangerous ball into the box that rolled across the face of goal. RSL FW Robbie Findley made the run but was unable to connect with the cross, allowing Seattle GK Stefan Frei to cobble up the ball.
RSL GK Nick Rimando was tested for the first time in the 13th minute by fellow U.S. teammate FW Clint Dempsey. The U.S. Captain received the ball at the top of the area, setting himself up for a left-footed rocket from 20 yards out. Rimando read the attempt well, making the save at the far post.
Seattle had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 20th minute. The play started with a Seattle throw-in in RSL’s half that found Neagle open on the left flank. Neagle sent a cross into the box that DF Chad Marshall headed to Martins just outside the six yard box. The dangerous striker deftly flicked the ball into the air to set himself up for a left-footed volley that dinged off the crossbar.
Real Salt Lake was able to find the opener in the 30th minute. RSL MF Luke Mulholland received a fantastic long ball from RSL DF Chris Schuler outside the area on the right side. The Englishman played a great pass into the center of the box for Morales who took two touches and coolly finished a right-footed shot to the far post to give RSL a 1-0 lead.
Rimando came up with a fantastic save five minutes later. Martins was again the culprit, picking up a deflected shot inside the box and hammering a shot on frame from the penalty spot. Rimando showed off his lightning quick reflexes with a great reaction save, using both hands to push the shot above the bar.
Seattle continued to attack, finding the equalizer in the 38th minute with a spectacular goal from Neagle. The Washington native ripped a shot from distance, finding the far upper-90 to bring the match on level terms.
Seattle continued to show its threat on the counter, taking the lead in the 43rd minute through great combination play from Dempsey and Martins. The Sounders started on the counter with Seattle MF Brad Evans finding Martins on the right side who then back-heeled a pass behind for Dempsey. The Texas native took a few touches and then slipped Martins in behind RSL’s back line, who then smoothly finished to the far post to put the home side up 2-1.
Real Salt Lake started the second half on the front foot, equalizing in the 50th minute. Morales started the play at the touch line, playing a ball to Plata at the top left corner of the 18 yard box. Plata took one touch and whipped a right-footed shot into the area that took a deflection off of Seattle MF Osvaldo Alonso, redirecting it to the far post where it bounced off the woodwork and in.
Real Salt Lake suffered a huge blow in the 68th minute after Borchers was shown a straight red card for taking down Martins, who was in a 1v1 situation with Rimando, outside the penalty box. Seattle had a great look on the ensuing free kick just outside the area, with Dempsey sending a low driven shot that skipped through the area, narrowly missing the far post.
After being reduced to 10 men, RSL head coach Jeff Cassar was forced into a defensive substitution bringing on DF Carlos Salcedo in place of MF Ned Grabavoy.
Despite waves of attack from Seattle, RSL looked poised to close out the match, but ultimately fell in the final minute of stoppage time. The Sounders lobbed a ball into the box that DF DeAndre Yedlin put into the path of unmarked MF Andy Rose, who fired a shot from the center of the box to the far post to clinch the win.
Real Salt Lake will return home for its next match, hosting Colorado Rapids on Friday, Sept. 19 at 8:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium. The RSL-Colorado contest will be broadcast nationally on NBC Sports Network and locally on ESPN 700 and 102.3 La Gran D FM. Tickets to the match can be purchased 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 2–3 SEA
- Tonight’s contest was the third and final regular season meeting between Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders FC. RSL went 1-2-0 against the Sounders in 2014, with both clubs trading wins at home (a 4-0 loss at CenturyLink Field on May 31 and a 2-1 win at Rio Tinto Stadium on Aug. 16) before tonight’s defeat at Seattle.
- Real Salt Lake is now 12-6-10 on the season, remaining third place in the Western Conference and fourth in the league with a total of 46 points.
- Tonight marked the return of RSL’s 2014 leading goal scorer Joao Plata to the starting lineup. The Ecuadorian missed RSL’s 2-1 win over FC Dallas last weekend as he was with the Ecuadorian National Team for a pair of international friendlies. Plata notched his 12th goal of the year, scoring in the 50th minute to draw RSL even with Seattle.
- RSL MF Javier Morales scored the opening goal in the 30th minute for his eighth of the year. He also assisted on Plata’s goal, notching his 11th helper of 2014.
- RSL FW Robbie Findley earned a second-straight start tonight after notching his first goal of the year against FC Dallas last Saturday.
- Tonight marked the second appearance for FW Alvaro Saborio who entered the match in the 68th minute. Saborio made his debut from injury last Saturday against FC Dallas, scoring the game-winner 14 seconds after entering the game in the 76th minute. The Costa Rican international had been recovering from a fifth metatarsal fracture in his right foot suffered during Costa Rica’s pre-World Cup training camp at the end of May.
- The Claret-and-Cobalt now post a 7-8-5 all-time record against Seattle across all competitions. RSL now posts a 2-4-2 regular season record at CenturyLink Field. Tonight’s two goals marked the first scored at Seattle since 2012.
- Real Salt Lake has now gone 4-5-5 on the road in 2014,
- Despite their World Cup departure, Rimando and Beckerman rank first and second, respectively, amongst active MLS players in all-time regular season minutes played (Rimando: 33,003; Beckerman: 28,446), games played (NR: 365; KB: 346) and games started (NR: 365; KB: 317).
REAL SALT LAKE 2–3 SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
FRIDAY, SEPT. 12, 2014
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 1 2
Seattle Sounders FC 2 1 3
RSL – Javier Morales (Luke Mulholland) – 30’
SEA – Lamar Neagle (DeAndre Yedlin) – 38’
SEA – Obafemi Martins (Clint Dempsey) – 43’
RSL – Joao Plata (Javier Morales) – 50’
SEA – Andy Rose (DeAndre Yedlin) – 94’
SEA – Lamar Neagle (Yellow; Foul) – 25’
RSL – Nat Borchers (Red; Professional Foul) – 68’
RSL – Chris Wingert (Yellow; Foul) – 71’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Chris Schuler, Chris Wingert; Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy (Carlos Salcedo, 70’), Javier Morales (C), Luke Mulholland, Joao Plata (Cole Grossman, 84’), Robbie Findley (Alvaro Saborio, 68’)
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella; Abdoulie Mansally; Luis Gil; Olmes Garcia
Seattle Sounders FC (4-4-2): Stefan Frei; DeAndre Yedlin, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez; Lamar Neagle (Chad Barrett, 79’), Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Gonzalo Pineda (Andy Rose, 65’); Obafemi Martins, Clint Dempsey
Substitutes not used: Josh Ford; Jalil Anibaba, Michael Azira, Kenny Copper, Sean Okoli
Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistant Referees: Baboucarr Jallow, Peter Balciunas
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Weather: Clear and 70 degrees