SEATTLE – A second half goal from Fabian Espindola was the difference as Real Salt Lake (8-3-2, 26 points) beat Sounders FC (7-2-1, 22 points), 1-0, on Saturday night on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. The loss snapped Seattle’s five-match winning streak and six-match unbeaten streak, dating back to March 31.
Sounders FC Press Release
In the 51st minute, Espindola got around the defense on a ball from Luis Gil and half-volleyed a left-footed shot past Bryan Meredith. The goal ended Seattle’s 321-minute shutout streak, as well as Meredith’s individual streak of 275 minutes.
The Rave Green looked strong in the first half with multiple chances in the opening 20 minutes. In the 10th minute, a Mauro Rosales corner kick found Jeff Parke, who’s header was cleared back to Andy Rose at the top of the box. Rose sent a hard shot through traffic that went wide.
In the 14th minute, Eddie Johnson rose above the RSL defense to connect with an accurate cross from Adam Johansson but his shot missed.
In the 16th minute, Johnson took possession of the ball near midfield and proceeded to weave through defenders for 40-yards, bringing the ball into the box, but his 15-yard attempt sailed high.
Seattle’s best second half chance came in the 71st minute when Rosales’ cross found Montero close to the near post but the Colombian’s header went wide.
Alvaro Fernandez made his return to the pitch when he came on for David Estrada in the 58th minute. Fernandez had missed the previous five games with a quad injury.
Cordell Cato made his home debut when he came on for Rosales in the 75th minute. After an Alex Caskey corner kick in the 88th minute, he controlled a ball with his head inside the six-yard box but his headed attempt was cleared away in front of the line by a Salt Lake defender.
RSL defender Chris Wingert left the game in the 20th minute after straining his left hamstring battling for a ball with Rosales near the end line. He was replaced by Chris Schuler.
Tonight’s attendance was 39,312, the largest of the season for Sounders FC and the third largest all-time for an MLS match at CenturyLink Field.
Sounders FC returns to action next Saturday as Seattle travels to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps FC in the first Cascadia fixture of the season. Kickoff is at 2:00 p.m. PT at BC Place.