Real Salt Lake 2 vs Seattle Sounders FC 0
September 23, 2017; Sandy, Utah; Rio Tinto Stadium
Real Salt Lake (12-14-5, 41 points); Seattle Sounders FC (11-8-11, 44 points)
Man of the Match: Jefferson Savarino finished the night with a goal and an assist and it was well earned. He was a consistent target for Seattle fouls and persisted to create three scoring chances while converting the game-winner himself in the 52nd minute. He also assisted on Luke Mulholland’s late goal that put the match out of reach. He now has two goals and two assists in the last three matches.
Telling Stat: This was RSL’s sixth straight home victory over the Sounders, a streak that started in 2013. In those six matches, Salt Lake has tallied 12 goals, scoring twice in all six contests. Meanwhile, the defense has allowed just three goals in that stretch. In addition, the win thwarted Seattle’s 13 game unbeaten streak that started back in June. The Sounders were 6-0-7 in that stretch and had registered four straight draws.
What You Missed: Nick Rimando made two incredible saves late in the second half to preserve his 137th career MLS shutout. On the first in the 80th minute, he was ranging to his left, but made a big swipe with his right glove to make a remarkable reaction save on a first-time shot by Clint Dempsey. The second came two minutes into stoppage time as he was setting up his wall on a 22-yard Dempsey free kick. With everyone caught unaware, Dempsey took the shot toward the opposite post and Rimando sprung across the width of the goal to make the save, making the 24 feet between posts seem like no space at all.
So What: Real Salt Lake now has a firm grip on fifth in the Western Conference standings with three matches to play. The club’s 12 wins are the third-most in the West – and all 12 have come in Mike Petke’s 26 games at the helm (12-11-3).