Real Salt Lake showcase complete team effort in win over Sounders

KyleBeckerman (USA Today)

By TYLER GRAY

SANDY, Utah – A dominant Real Salt Lake side emerged victorious in the latest battle of the Western Conference war with the Seattle Sounders.

RSL put in a complete team effort on Saturday night, defeating the visitors from Seattle 2-0 to move to the top of the conference standings.

The game started out very open-ended as both sides pushed to be the first to get on the scoresheet. The opening goal would not come until 41st minute, but the wait was well worth it.

Javier Morales’s free kick attempt was deflected and bounced right to Kyle Beckerman. The veteran midfielder took it out of the air with a beautiful side volley that kissed the underside of the crossbar and beat Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.

“At first I was thinking, ‘I’m wide open,’” Beckerman said after the match. “The ball popped out and I just tried to get something solid on it to get it on goal, and luckily it went in.”

The Sounders were unable to respond before the halftime whistle as they finished the opening half with zero total shots. The second half was not any kinder to the Sounders as it only took RSL a single minute to find the back of the net again.

Once again, Morales played a huge part in the goal. He played a beautiful ball to an onrushing Robbie Findley, whose shot was parried by Gspurning.  The ball fell fortuitously to forward Alvaro Saborio, who ended up lashing a pass back to Findley.  The RSL forward didn’t miss twice, blasting the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-0.

“Right when you turn around, [Saborio] takes the shot,” Findley said. “It came back to me, bobbled between my legs and sat right there.  I was able to just turn around and get it the first time.”

The shellshocked Sounders would rarely threaten the rest of the match. RSL bossed the midfield and ended the game out-shooting the Sounders 17 to 2.

This is the type of win that makes a statement and surging to the top of the league table doesn’t hurt either, but RSL head coach Jason Kreis brushed off any talk of first place.

“Just because we’re first now, I’m not going to start concerning myself and being happy about that,” Kreis said. “I’m still looking at the individual performances. When I say individual performances I mean week-in week-out, the individual games, and looking for places to improve.”

Kreis will have plenty to look at after this game as plenty of RSL players’ quality shone through.  Despite missing regulars Chris Shuler and Kwame Watson-Siriboe in the back due to injury, academy product Carlos Salcedo stepped up admirably in central defense to help preserve the shutout.

These are the types of performances that are happening more regularly from an RSL side that was supposed to be rebuilding this season. Beckerman, however, isn’t surprised by what the team has been able to accomplish.

“I think the biggest thing about that is having a winning mentality since 2007, when we turned it around,” Beckerman said. “We just continue to try to build off that foundation.  Whether we bring in new players, young players, old players – I think when the guys see what we’ve done in the past couple of years, they want to buy into this.  When we bring in new guys, it’s easy to integrate them to what we’re about here.”

RSL will be back home this Wednesday to face the Carolina RailHawks in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals. Seattle, on the other hand, will have a 10-day break before their next match, a league meeting with D.C. United.

Here are the match highlights:

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12 Responses to Real Salt Lake showcase complete team effort in win over Sounders

  1. Travis says:

    RSL was quite good today and Seattle was quite bad today. Seattle really struggles without Alonso, that middle of the park gets get run over, Carrasco isnt good enough without Alonso. They really only created one chance the entire game and that was Martins after the RSL D had a communication issue. RSL did get lucky bounces on both their goals, especially the second one, but it is fairly obvious they were the better team tonight.

    • Travis says:

      Also Garcia looks like a terror for RSL, that was the most I’d seen of him. Bit of physicality as well.

      • beachbum says:

        Garcia keeps looking good. How fast is that guy anyway? and he’s got skills.

        Seattle always misses Alonso, Rosales hasn’t been the same all year since his injury, and I’m wondering if Montero is missed by that whole team. Seattle fans, what do you think?

        • Travis says:

          Really dont Montero is the issue, although Rosales has looked off the pace at times. Neagle, Martins and EJ each have 4 goals and have worked well together. This team is just much worse without Alonso, he controls the entire team, he is by far the most important player. Its a bit like LA without Juninho or RSL without Beckerman, a big piece is missing without him

          • beachbum says:

            no doubt on Alonso, they always miss him when he’s out. Interesting about Juninho as he’s been subpar for him so far, especially later in games.

            thanks for the thoughts on Montero

            • Travis says:

              Im not saying Montero wouldnt help, because regardless of what other Seattle fans say he is still a good player but we dont miss him much. Also missing Yedlin yesterday hurt, Scott never gets forward at RB so we lost a major part of our attack. Ultimately teams are bound to have bad games and Seattle had one.

  2. Neruda says:

    Good win for RSL. Seattle is better than they showed in this one. Two young solid players for RSL are salcedo and Olmes Garcia. RSL has to start proving it on the road and will suffer a some quality when rimando and beckerman join the US for gold cup.

  3. Chodilicus says:

    Complete and udder midfield domination. After reading your first paragraph about “both teams pushing for the first goal”, I wondered if you were watching the same game I was at. It is true that RSL was a little sloppy in possession early, but Seattle never came close to threatening RSL’s goal all game. In fact, their one and only shot came in the 74th minute and was a long range effort that was easy for Rimando.

    This game was as one sided as any game I have seen in MLS this season. 17 shots to 1! It was still very entertaining with some chippy moments, but RSL just dominated the midfield. Seattle has some nice attacking options but just cannot keep possession in the middle of the park. Even with Alonso they struggle with creativity from the middle. Without him, they have no bite, creativity or possession. They may have the weakest midfield in the league right now. It is amazing that Shalrie Joseph has fallen so far that he can’t start in that midfield right now. He used to be a really, really good player that I quite admired. Now, he seems to just be good for a few cheap shots a game and a likely yellow card.

    • PD says:

      Those poor udders never had a chance….

    • Travis says:

      “They may have the weakest midfield in the league right now.” Now I know they werent good last night but that is a bit of an overstatement. Have you watched Chivas or SJ recently? If you are talking center of the pitch maybe but their outside mids are as good as anyones.

  4. rph says:

    Who’s that creepy guy just over Beckerman’s left shoulder?

  5. Neruda says:

    A reluctant fan of soccer or a sounders fan. Either way he’s amused but not impressed enough to stand.