SEATTLE (ABC4 Sports) – Jordan Morris scored his eighth goal of the season midway through the first half, Yeimar Gómez Andrade added a goal on a header early in the second half, and the Seattle Sounders beat Real Salt Lake 2-1.
RSL, which benefitted from an own goal by Seattle, did not have a single shot on frame.
This is RSL’s second straight loss, and they fall below the playoff line in the Western Conference with a record of 4-6-6. Real Salt Lake is currently in 10th place with 18 points with seven games remaining in the regular season.
“We’ve just got to grind through this,” said RSL captain Kyle Beckerman. “It’s not the greatest time for us results-wise. But that’s part of every season so, I thought the guys that came in did a really good job of trying to keep the level high, bring some fresh legs and give a good effort against a quality side in Seattle.”
“I would say we were a little bit ruthless enough,” said head coach Freddy Juarez. “We put ourselves in good areas and got into the box, but we just needed a bit more. We earned several corner kicks that come from getting into those areas and putting them on their heels.”
The first half was a fairly even, with both sides evenly splitting possession and recording four shots each. Morris scored his second goal in as many games in the 28th minute in a play that started with Nicolas Lodeiro’s pass to Cristian Roldan on the right side of the field. From there, Roldan sent a square pass to Morris, who immediately scored from right in front of the goal.
Seattle stretched its lead in the 61st minute, when Yeimar Gomez Andrade scored on Lodeiro’s second assists of the night via free kick, standing barely a yard from goal and sending a cross into the box. Gomez then headed the ball, which took a quick bounce before ending up in the back of the net.
After falling behind 2-0, Real Salt Lake got a gift from Seattle as Nouhou Tolo kicked in Mikael Chang’s centering pass for an own goal in the 68th minute.
But Real Salt Lake could not find the equalizer the rest of the match.
Seattle padded its lead on top of the Western Conference with its third straight win and fifth in the last six matches.
Real Salt Lake, which played its second game without star midfielder Albert Rusnak, who was called up to the Slovakian National Team, will next play at Vancouver Saturday night.
“We know what we have to do, it’s obvious,” said goalkeeper Andrew Putna. “We put ourselves in this position over the last couple of weeks. The West has been tight all year as far as points and if you start stacking wins you can be right back in the mix. I think it starts Saturday at Vancouver and we can only look at one game at a time. Start there with a win and look at the next game.”