SEATTLE (ABC4 Sports) – Real Salt Lake was just a few minutes away from earning a point on the road against the top team in the Western Conference.
But a late foul on Anderson Julio resulted in the game-winning penalty kick by Raúl Ruidíaz in the 88th minute, and the Seattle Sounders ran their franchise-record, season-opening unbeaten streak to 10 with a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night.
Julio’s handball in the penalty area set up Ruidíaz’s penalty kick for the Sounders (7-0-3) in their second consecutive victory. The season-opening 10-game unbeaten streak is a franchise record.
“It’s a tough game,” said head coach Freddy Juarez. “You come into Seattle and you know they are going to be full of energy. It was the biggest crowd they have had in a while so they were buzzing. It took us a little bit. We knew where the spaces were, but because of their energy it forced us to lose the ball a little bit more than usual.”
“We had the point right there to take it home,” said RSL forward Rubio Rubin. “But unfortunately, we lost and we just have to move on and look forward to Saturday now.”
Albert Rusnák tied it for Real Salt Lake (3-2-2) tied it in the 79th, converting a penalty kick following a handball by the Sounders’ Stefan Cleveland, who tripped Rubin in the box.
Cristian Roldan opened the scoring for Seattle in the 58th minute. He scored off a rebound on a save by goalkeeper David Ochoa following an attempt by Will Bruin.
Former USMNT player Bobby Wood made his Real Salt Lake debut, checking into the match in the 68th minute.
“I saw a few moments when we just played it to Bobby, they tried to jump over him and they just hit a wall,” Juarez said. “I think that is going to be very good. As soon as the ball gets wide he wants to get into the box, I think that is another good thing. He is another aggressive player that wants to score goals and win games and that’s important. Leadership as well, you saw him talking to guys. Even though he is new to the team he wanted to help the team win the game and that is very important.”
Real Salt Lake (3-2-3) next hosts Houston on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.