SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Jefferson Savarino and Luke Mulholland each scored second half goals, as Real Salt Lake moved into the 5th seed in the Western Conference with a 2-0 victory over Seattle at Rio Tinto Stadium.
RSL now has 41 points with three games remaining, and leads San Jose and Houston by two points.
After a scoreless first half, in which RSL’s best scoring chance came when Albert Rusnak’s shot in the early going hit the crossbar, Savarino took a pass from Rusnak and buried it in the back of the net to give Real a 1-0 lead in the 52nd minute.
The goal was Savarino’s 6th of the season.
Then just 14 minutes late, Savarino returned the favor, finding Mulholland in the box, and he beat Stephen Frei for his third goal of the season, to give Real a 2-0 advantage.
Nick Rimando made four saves, including a sprawling effort against U.S. National Team member Clint Dempsey late in the secon half, to earn another shutout.
“Second half, we came out and the explosiveness that we showed on the goal particularly, the transition and then to have the mentality to battle and grind it out,” said head coach Mike Petke. “I’m proud of these guys. They knew coming into this game because of the other results before we played tonight, they knew exactly what was at stake, and they wanted it.”
“The last ten or a dozen games we’ve turned a corner on this season,” said Mulholland. “We’ve slowly but surely turned Rio Tinto back into a fortress. I think if we can take care of business, especially at home, and then see what we can do on the road, we’ll leave ourselves with a good opportunity to get into the playoffs.”
RSL next hits the road against the L.A. Galaxy on September 30th.