Sandy, Utah (Sunday October 22, 2017) – Real Salt Lake (13-15-6, 45 points) toppled Western Conference rival Sporting Kansas City 2-1 in front of 19,102 at Rio Tinto Stadium in what turned out to be the final match of the season for the Claret-and-Cobalt. With San Jose’s win over Minnesota United, RSL was bumped from playoff contention for just the second time in ten years.
RSL started the match against Sporting furiously, scoring in just the third minute of action when FW Luis Silva tucked home the opening goal of the match from a pass from MF Albert Rusnák. Most of the action was seen through the midfield for both sides until FW Brooks Lennon added a second goal in the 41st minute.
The second half of play brought little action as both sides couldn’t add to the score line until the 89th minute when Sporting defender Ike Opara headed home a Graham Zusi corner kick to cut the home side’s lead in half.
San Jose clinched the final playoff berth in the Western Conference with a 3-2 win over Minnesota, scoring in stoppage time to leapfrog RSL and FC Dallas, who scored a 5-1 win over the Galaxy that would have kept RSL out of the postseason.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
RSL – Luis Silva, 3rd minute: A misplay in the back from Sporting Kansas City led to the ball trickling to the feet of a wide-open Silva. Silva beat the onrushing goalkeeper to the ball to tuck home the game’s opening goal with his seventh goal of the season.
RSL – Brooks Lennon, 42nd minute: Good interplay at the top of the penalty area saw Luis Silva a chance on goal but he chose to play it wide to Lennon in space. Lennon fired a shot near the corner of the six-yard box that was saved by Dykstra. At the second time of asking however Lennon made no mistake about it as he slammed home the rebound for his third goal of the season.
SKC – Ike Opara (Graham Zusi), 89th minute: Sporting defender Graham Zusi’s out-swinging corner kick found the end of Opara as his run into the box went unmarked as the center back slammed his header in from six yards.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:
SKC – Andrew Dykstra, 25th minute: Clever 1-2 play between Joao Plata and Luis Silva put Plata in 1v1 against Dykstra. Plata elected to try and beat the goalkeeper for an open net, but Dykstra slid out well to steal the ball from Plata’s foot.
RSL – Nick Rimando, 50th minute: A big deflection from an attempt by Sporting midfielder Jimmy Medranda saw the ball fall to the feet of Diego Rubio. Rubio attempted to blast a shot past Rimando but the RSL goalkeeper made himself big to deny the goal.
SKC – Andrew Dykstra, 76th minute: A breakaway effort by Brooks Lennon was denied by Dykstra’s right leg as he slid out to make himself big in net, denying Lennon his second goal of the match.
- RSL missed the playoffs for just the second time in ten seasons due to San Jose’s win over Minnesota United.
- Luis Silva scored his seventh goal of the season, adding to his three assists on the year. With seven goals apiece, Luis ended the year tied with Yura Movsisyan, Albert Rusnák and Joao Plata for goals in 2017.
- A moment of silence was observed in the 26th minute of play in honor of Kevin Pierce, a founding member of the ‘Section 26’ supporter’s section at Rio Tinto Stadium who passed away suddenly last week.
Match: Real Salt Lake vs Sporting Kansas City
Date: October 22, 2017
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 59 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 2 0 2
Sporting Kansas City 0 1 1
RSL – Luis Silva, 3’
RSL – Brooks Lennon, 42’
SKC – Ike Opara (Graham Zusi), 89’
Real Salt Lake: (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Chris Wingert (Demar Phillips, 79’), Marcelo Silva, Justen Glad, Danilo Acosta; Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland; Brooks Lennon, Albert Rusnák, Joao Plata (Jefferson Savarino, 73’); Luis Silva (Yura Movsisyan, 87’)
Subs not used: Matt Van Oekel, David Horst, Sunny, Sebastian Saucedo
Sporting Kansas City: (4-2-3-1): Andrew Dykstra; Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic; Illie Sanchez, Roger Espinoza; Jimmy Medranda (Benny Feilhaber, 72’), Daniel Salloi (Kevin Oliveira, 85’), Latif Blessing; Diego Rubio (Gerso Fernandes, 59)
Subs not used: Adrian Zendejas, Saad Abdul-Salaam, James Musa, Soni Mustivar
Stats Summary: RSL/SKC
Shots: 11 / 19
Shots on Goal: 6 / 5
Saves: 4 / 4
Corner Kicks: 3 / 6
Fouls: 16 / 11
Offside: 3 / 3
SKC – Daniel Salloi (caution) 28’
SKC – Matt Besler (caution) 72’
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Assistant Referees: Cameron Blanchard, Peter Manikowski
4th Official: Younes Marrakchi
VAR: Juan Guzman Jr.