Sandy, Utah (Saturday, September 23, 2017) – Real Salt Lake (12-14-5, 41 points) bested Western Conference rival Seattle Sounders FC 2-0 in front of 19,876 fans on a cold, rainy evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. Goals from FW Jefferson Savarino and MF Luke Mulholland secured the win for the Claret-and-Cobalt as the club moves into playoff position in the Western Conference.
A fierce start from both teams gave rise to big chances early on as MF Albert Rusnák’s blast off the crossbar in just the fifth minute was followed up with what looked to be a sure goal, if not for DF Justen Glad’s opportune defensive effort just five minutes later. The match was quick for the remainder of the first half with RSL garnering the best of chances, while Seattle looked to break on the counter.
Coming out of the halftime break, RSL played the aggressor, quickly jumping on Seattle’s back line and found the game’s first goal in the 51st minute when Savarino slammed home his sixth goal of the season off a cross from Rusnák. RSL doubled its lead in the 66th minute when Mulholland easily tucked his shot under the crossbar from six yards for his third goal of the year.
GK Nick Rimando recorded his 137th shutout in the win, growing his all-time record atop the Major League Soccer leaderboard.
UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake will head to Southern California for a match against the LA Galaxy on September 30 with kickoff slated for 8:30 pm MT from the StubHub Center. The last time the two sides met RSL walked away from LA with a 6-2 victory over the Galaxy on July 4 in a game that saw five RSL players notch goals in the win.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
RSL – Jefferson Savarino (Albert Rusnák), 52nd minute: A forced turnover near midfield gave space for RSL to counter through Savarino and Rusnák. Rusnak poked the ball through the legs of a Seattle defender that found the run of Savarino who slammed the ball home with a first time shot into the far post.
RSL – Luke Mulholland (Jefferson Savarino, Joao Plata), 66th minute: Another brilliant counter attack from RSL gave Savarino the ball with space on the left side of the Seattle defense. Savarino picked his head up to fire a cross to Mulholland who easily tucked home from six yards.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:
RSL – Justen Glad, 6th minute: A counter attack from Seattle put Seattle forward Will Bruin in 1v1 with RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando. As Bruin dribbled around Rimando, Glad stepped in with a great recovery run and tackle to knock the sure goal away from the feet of Bruin.
RSL – Nick Rimando, 80th minute: A deflected first-time shot from Sounders striker Clint Dempsey forced Rimando into an awkward save in the center of the goal as he batted away the shot.
- RSL now sits in fifth place in the Western Conference standings with three games remaining in the 2017 regular season.
- Jefferson Savarino notched his sixth goal of the season and second in as many games as Mulholland earned his third goal of the year. Defensively goalkeeper Nick Rimando earned his 137th career shutout in the win over Seattle.
- RSL midfielder Albert now has 13 assists to his name this season to lead the team while also sharing the team lead with seven goals.
Match: Real Salt Lake vs Seattle Sounders
Date: September 23, 2017
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Showers and 41 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 2 2
Seattle Sounders 0 0 0
RSL – Jefferson Savarino (Albert Rusnák) 52’
RSL – Luke Mulholland (Jefferson Savarino, Joao Plata) 66’
Real Salt Lake (4-3-3): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Marcelo Silva, Justen Glad, Danilo Acosta; Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland, Albert Rusnák; Joao Plata (David Horst, 87’), Jefferson Savarino (Sebastian Saucedo, 90’+4’), Brooks Lennon (Sunny, 78’)
Subs not used: Matt VanOekel, Jose Hernandez, Yura Movsisyan, Chris Wingert
Seattle Sounders: (4-2-3-1): Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam, Roman Torres, Gustav, Svensson, Nouhou Tolo (Joevin Jones, 61’); Osvaldo Alonso, Cristian Roldan, Nicolas Lodeiro (Chad Marshall, 86’), Victor Rodriguez; Clint Dempsey, Will Bruin (Lamar Neagle, 72’)
Subs not used: Tyler Miller, Tony Alfaro, Jordy Delem, Aaron Kovar
Stats Summary: RSL/SEA
Shots: 12 / 11
Shots on Goal: 5 / 4
Saves: 4 / 3
Corner Kicks: 1 / 2
Fouls: 12 / 11
Offside: 1 / 4
SEA – Kelvin Leerdam (caution) 57’
SEA – Lamar Neagle (caution) 90’+6’
Referee: Sorin Stoica
Assistant Referees: Jeff Muschik, Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho
4th Official: Drew Fischer
VAR: Jon Freemon