SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Real Salt Lake is on a roll.
Corey Baird and Luis Silva scored goals as RSL shut out Seattle for the second time in a week, as Real Salt Lake won its third straight game, 3-0.
RSL finished a rigorous week and moved up to third place in the MLS standings with a record of 7-6-1.
Baird scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season, while Silva added his third of the year, while Nick Rimando earned his fourth shutout of the season.
“A total team defense obviously played the biggest role in that,” head coach Mike Petke said. “It’s not just the back four and when we score it’s probably not just the guy who scored, it’s started from the goalkeeper so to me I saw a total team defending and immediate counter pressure when we lost it in transition, which when we didn’t win the ball right away at least we forced them sideways or backwards.”
In a physical first half, RSL outshot Seattle 5-2, but neither team was able to break the scoreless deadlock. RSL had a few near-misses, including one in the 44th minute by Baird. Head Coach Mike Petke was forced to make his first substitution of the match just before halftime as Joao Plata came off with a rib injury, replaced by Sebastian Saucedo as RSL continued to pressure the Seattle defense.
The second half started with an aggressive RSL attack as Saucedo and MF Kyle Beckerman each had dangerous shots in the first five minutes. The home side finally broke through in the 57th minute through Baird. Danilo Acosta made an overlapping run up the left side and got in behind the Sounders defense on a ball from Damir Kreilach and put a shot on frame that was saved by Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
The ball came out to Baird, who leapt and headed the rebound beyond the reach of a Seattle defender and into the net to make it 1-0.
“Danny was cutting inside, running free towards goal,” Baird said. “I tried to check back a little bit, look for a spot to get the ball. I joke around with Hector, I would’ve been pretty pissed if we hadn’t scored that, because I thought I was open, but it worked out. Great build up play from Dani to get in that position.”
Silva added an insurance goal in stoppage time when Frei was pressed forward looking for an equalizer off a corner kick. RSL cleared the Seattle effort and Silva launched a long-range shot into the open net to put the game out of reach at 2-0.
The win capped a three-game week that saw Salt Lake take nine points while outscoring the opposition 5-1.