Real Salt Lake 0 vs. Portland Timbers 1
August 15, 2015; Rio Tinto Stadium
Real Salt Lake (7-10-8, 29 points); Portland Timbers (11-9-6, 39 points)
Man of the Match: Nick Rimando made three saves that were potentially match-saving. Twice he made stops on Diego Valeri – once on a first-half free-kick and the other on a point-blank shot in the second half. Then in second-half stoppage time, he pushed away a shot from Maximiliano Urruti. Ultimately, Nat Borchers spoiled the league’s all-time shutout king’s night with his 95th-minute header.
Telling Stat: Of the 38 goals RSL has allowed this season, 12 have come in the final 15 minutes of the match. Five of those goals have been game-winning goals, meaning teams have earned 10 additional points and wiped out five for RSL after the 75th minute.
What You Missed: After scoring the winning goal five minutes into second-half stoppage time, former RSL defender Nat Borchers fell to his knees. Out of respect for the club and its fans, he didn’t celebrate the seminal moment – a first-class gesture by a first-class person.
So What: It was a grueling two-weeks for Real Salt Lake with five matches in 15 days. There was an opportunity to gain ground in the Western Conference standings, reach the U.S. Open Cup final and get a good start in the CONCACAF Champions League. RSL was able to accomplish one of those three goals with a 1-0 win over Municipal in the Champions League, but going 0-3-0 in MLS play and falling in the Open Cup semifinals made it a forgettable stretch. There are still nine games left on the schedule and Salt Lake is six points out of the sixth and final playoff spot and face the occupants of that position – Seattle Sounders FC – on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.