SEATTLE (ABC4 Sports) – Justin Morris and Heber both scored for the second consecutive match as the Seattle Sounders defeated visiting Real Salt Lake 2-0 Saturday night.
Alex Roldan assisted on both goals and goalkeeper Stefan Frei made two saves for his second straight shutout for the Sounders (2-0-0, 6 points), who are off to a strong start after missing the MLS playoffs for the first time in franchise history last season.
Goalie Zac MacMath made five saves for RSL (1-1-0, 3 points).
Seattle opened the scoring in the 35th minute. Alex Roldan’s cross from the right wing found Morris at the top of the 6-yard box. Morris leaped over defender Andrew Brody and headed the ball into the turf and it bounced into the upper right corner of the net past a leaping MacMath. It was Morris’ third goal of the season.
The Sounders made it 2-0 in the 58th minute. They worked the ball down the left wing before Morris’ crossing pass was knocked away momentarily by the RSL defense. The ball fell to Nicolas Lodeiro on the left side of the penalty area and his cross was knocked wide by MacMath. Alex Roldan collected the rebound on the right side of the 6-yard box and his low shot deflected off Heber’s left leg and into the net from close range.
The Sounders nearly tallied in the 10th minute. MacMath made a diving save on Lodeiro’s shot from the top of the 18-yard box, but was unable to hold on to the ball. Heber got to the rebound and took a shot from just outside the right post that glanced off the sprawling goalie and appeared headed for the net. But RSL defender Justen Glad made a sliding stop, knocking the ball off the goal line.
RSL’s best scoring chance came in the 55th minute, as Jefferson Savarino put a shot from just inside the top of the 18-yard box over the crossbar.
Both of Frei’s saves came in the final 12 minutes on shots from outside the penalty area.
Seattle standout Raul Ruidiaz, who missed the opener with a strained right hamstring, made his season debut as a substitute in the 80th minute and put a shot off the post.
RSL will next host Austin FC Saturday, March 11th in its home opener at America First Field.