In Seattle the anticipation for today’s match had been palpable since Fredy Montero’s scored his brace in Dallas, Real Salt Lake (7-3-2, 23 pts.) and Seattle Sounders FC , winners of five in a row (7-1-1, 22 pts.) would be playing for the top of the Western Conference table.
Andy Rose found himself in the starting role for Brad Evans, who was nursing a hamstring injury. Rose’s debut sparked a minor controversy after a yellow card and a reckless tackle in a matter of moments against FC Dallas. Bryan Meredith looked to continue his debut scoreless streak sitting at 271 minutes and counting.
Bryan Meredith Pulls In A Save
Real Salt Lake came into Seattle with a game plan typical of visiting sides, defend, look for an opportunity to counter and head to Sea-Tac with a point or three if things fall your way. RSL did not look to get forward and allowed Sounders space on the wings but kept Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero out of the middle of the box.
Eddie Johnson had the better attempts for his side, although one of his shots may hit the Sergio Ramos penalty kick somewhere around Mars. Johnson had several turnovers from several stepovers around the penalty area that were incredibly wasteful.
RSL appeared more active early in the second half, getting forward. It would be Fabian Espindola who would break the deadlock in the 51st minute on a ball over the top of Jeff Parke from Luis Gil, Adam Johansson may have had a chance to win the ball before Espindola, but he was off-balance when the shot was taken. Coach Jason Kreis mentioned that they were quite fortunate to get a bounce of the turf that confused Adam Johansson and allowed Espindola to score the first MLS goal on Meredith ending his scoreless streak at 322 minutes.
Johnson also picked up a ridiculous card trying to head the ball out of Nick Rimando’s hands in the 53rd minute. Not exactly how a forward should react when the other team just scored. When coach Sigi Schmid mentioned that his forwards were displaying a lack of creativity up top, this out-of-the-box attempt to create a scoring opportunity must not have been on his mind. Eddie Johnson now has four cautions and will miss his next match when he picks up another.
After the goal was scored RSL did not appear to get forward with the same level of urgency after they scored, Seattle once again appeared to have free space up the wings and room to play while RSL kept their shape and composure and left Seattle without allowing a single shot on target from Seattle’s 8 attempts in the match, not to mention 30 crosses and 6 corners taken by the home side.
Kreis mentioned that they were fortunate to get a lucky bounce on Espindola’s goal, Johansson was unlucky that he wasn’t able to prevent the ball from getting to Espindola, and it was a fantastic finish. RSL have picked up six points on the road in their last two matches which is even more impressive considering that they played more matches (13) than any other MLS side to date. and face FC Dallas at Rio Tinto and Sounders look to get back to their winning ways on the road against Vancouver Whitecaps for their first Cascadian derby of 2012.
39,312 in attendance.