- Ethan Gomberg

SANDY, UT - Both Real Salt Lake and the Seattle Sounders needed desperately to get 3 points on the night. But it was Seattle who did something that hasn’t happened in league play since the Kansas City Wizards came to Utah over two years ago, win at Rio Tinto Stadium. Coach Sigi Schmid, whose team ran out 2-1 victors, said “It is something we're proud of and something we talked about before the game. We wanted to try and be the team that ended the streak, and it was something that was a goal for us as we went into the game."

Seattle started with star striker and Designated Player Freddie Montero on the bench. It was a obvious move by Seattle coach Schmid to prove a point to Montero that he expects goals. Schmid decided to go with veteran MLS forward Nate Jaqua playing along the short but speedy Michael Fucito. RSL coach Jason Kreis had a similar forward dilemma with both starting forwards Arturo Alvarez and Alvario Saborio out with their receptive Gold Cup teams. In their place RSL went with returning starting forward Fabian Espindola and usual bench midfielder Jean Alexandre.

The cold evening match began in a quiet fashion with both clubs feeling out the other. Seattle made some penetrating runs from the wings which gave them some quality corners and opportunities. One in particular in the 10th minute was nearly in until RSL captain Kyle Beckerman headed the ball out.

Seattle designated player Alvaro Fernandez fell awkwardly in the first half and was replaced by newcomer Lamar Neagle. RSL had some aggressive offensive chances including shots by Will Johnson and Alexandre. Again Seattle had some nice chances when Neagle shot on goal but goalkeeper Nick Rimando was there and showed when he got called unto the US men’s national team. Seattle's streaking runs continued and became increasing dangerous closer to the mid-point of the game.

RSL also got into their attacking 3rd with several quick corners. However as the half came to a close no real chances presented themselves and both sides seemed fairly content to go into the locker rooms with a 0-0 score line.

The 2nd half started with no changes in the lineup but the high octane attack was on from the get go. Espindola had a dangerous shot that was barely saved goalkeeper Kasey Keller. RSL continue to be dangerous with several corners and even the post helped Seattle keep the ball out. There some noticeable plays they seemed like apparent handballs and non-offsides but none were called by referee Kadlecik.

Seattle finally starting getting some offense going about 10 minutes into the 2nd half. But the game was still back and forth. Defensive play by defender James Riley and midfielder Osvaldo Alonso denied RSL all chances. The mood changed in the 58th minute when defender Jamison Olave brought down Fucito near the box and was shown a red card for denying a goal scoring opportunity. Unsurprisingly, many RSL players thought the red card unfair. However the red card stood and the 2010 MLS defender of the year left the pitch for the night.

RSL immediately began to play more defensively and stopped pushing forward a they were before. This especially effected Espindola, who basically left alone up top to produce most of RSL's chances.

RSL defender Chris Wingert came in for Alexandre to help secure the back line with Olave out and immediately saw yellow when he went in aggressively on Riley for rough play. Seattle wanted to take advantage of the weakened RSL back line when they brought in Montero in the 69th minute for Fucito. His quick runs proved difficult for RSL. Montero’s work near the corner allowed Patrick Ianni in the 74th minute to score, breaking RSL’s 409 minute scoreless streak.

Kreis decided in the 76th minute to switch defender Robbie Russell with midfielder Nelson González. Apparently this was the right call because RSL began to apply more offensive pressure immediately (or at least Seattle began to pull back because of the goal). RSL had few shots on or near goal but Keller swallowed up all comers.

Montero and Seattle had a quick shot on a counter but RSL was there with Rimando to keep it. However Neagle, on an assist by defender Tyson Wahl, had a slicing goal in the 84th minute to make it 2-0 Seattle.  The Tacoma, Washington product said of his goal "You always remember your first goal. It's defiantly nice. I've had a couple of goals in the Reserve League, but nothing like that."

RSL wasn’t done yet though. 2nd half substitutes González and Luis Gil made an impact when in the 88th minute, they scored a goal. González ‘s goal breathed new life into RSL in the waning minutes of the game. The assist from USMNT hopeful Gil made it 2-1.

Wahl received a yellow in the 90th when he stopped Espindola the high tension free kick was poorly taken by goal scorer González. With time running out Seattle surged forward and used up valuable time for RSL.

RSL made some strong chances but Keller stopped them. Kellar said after the game "Real Salt Lake never quits, and that's a lot of credit to them. They kept coming and they got their goal and almost snuck another one at the end. Like I said, I'm proud of our guys to hold on and keep those three points in difficult conditions."

In the end, referee Kadlecik blew the whistle at full time and Seattle did what no MLS team had done in over 2 years, win at Rio Tinto stadium.

After the match coach Kreis was pleased with the effort from the team. But going forward, they will not only have to deal with key Gold Cup losses, but also deal with stalwart Olave’s absence as well. RSL’s next test will be Vancouver at home next week. On seeing the 29 game league undefeated streak end at Rio Tinto, Kreis said “All good things must come to an end, I guess.  I’m not quite sure how to feel about it right now”

Seattle was surprisingly humble on breaking RSL’s streak. Sounders General Manager Adrian Hanauer said after the game that the club was happy with the win but didn’t want to get ahead of themselves. Seattle can take great confidence for breaking a Western rival’s streak and maybe starting their own. The Sounders next test will be on the road against Chicago.

Scoring Summary:
SEA – Patrick Ianni (Fredy Montero, Nate Jaqua) 71

SEA – Lamar Neagle (Tyson Wahl) 84

RSL – Nelson González (Luis Gil) 87

Real Salt Lake -- Nick Rimando; Robbie Russell (Nelson González 76), Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran; Ned Grabavoy, Kyle Beckerman (captain), Andy Williams (Luis Gil 86), Will Johnson; Jean Alexandre (Chris Wingert 62), Fabian Espíndola

Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish (GK), Chris Schuler, Collen Warner, Artur Aghasyan

Seattle Sounders FC – Kasey Keller; James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke, Tyson Wahl; Alvaro Fernandez (Lamar Neagle 18), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Erik Friberg (Roger Levesque 80); Mike Fucito (Fredy Montero 69), Nate Jaqua

Substitutes Not Used: Terry Boss (GK), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Mauro Rosales, Zach Scott

Misconduct Summary:
RSL – Will Johnson (caution; Reckless Foul) 27

RSL – Jamison Olave (ejection; Denied Goal Scoring Opportunity) 58
RSL – Chris Wingert (caution; Reckless Foul) 65
SEA – James Riley (caution; Delaying a Restart) 8
SEA – Tyson Wahl (caution; Reckless Foul) 90

Referee: Mark Kadlecik

Attendance: 14,674

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