Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT – Real Salt Lake comes out on top against Sporting Kansas City, but Dallas and San Jose do their part to deny the Playoff spot. Real Salt Lake started the day in a 3 way battle for the last remaining playoff spot in the west. Both FC Dallas and San Jose have 43 points with RSL sitting in 8th place and 42 points. To make the playoffs 3 things have to happen, first, Real has to win today against Sporting Kansas City, second and third, both Dallas and San Jose have to lose or tie in their matches against LA and Minnesota, respectively.
The Claret and Cobalt did their part, but with both San Jose and Dallas at home it was a tough ask of two of the worst teams in the West. The Galaxy had us hopeful when they struck first against FC Dallas, but it was too much to hope for as Dallas sent a barrage of shots at LA and went on a streak of five unanswered goals. San Jose had an up and down battle against Minnesota, but in 3rd minute of stoppage tie, Marco Urena put the Earthquakes out front and earning the last Playoff spot in the West.
Real Salt Lake came out swinging tonight at Rio Tinto Stadium. It took just over two minutes for Luis Silva to find himself with a shot after Dykstra was pulled off his line and to put the Claret and Cobalt on top 1-0. With the pressure never being let up in the first half of play it was only a matter of time before we saw more goals and Brooks Lennon was in the right place and the right time to take advantage of a rebound and put the home team on top 2-0 at the break.
Sporting KC didn’t give up the fight and definitely had a better second half, but they didn’t find the back of the net until Ike Opara headed in the ball in the 89th minute on a Graham Zusi assist. Even with the loss Sporting is on their way to the knock-out round of the Playoffs where they will travel to take on the Houston Dynamo.
We may have had our last chance to see Yura Movsisyan in an RSL jersey, he was substituted in for Luis Silva in the 87th minute. Yura led the team in goals scored for much of the season, but after some disagreement with Coach Petke, he was relegated to the bench with limited playing time.
A bittersweet ending to a season that started out with so much promise quickly turned south and then was salvaged after the international break. We will have to keep an eye on what changes happen during the off-season and hope that we can keep the core of the club intact.
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 2 0 2
Sporting KC 0 1 1
RSL – Luis Silva – 3′
RSL – Brooks Lennon – 41′
SKC – Ike Opara– 89′
SKC – Daniel Salloi – 28′ – foul
SKC – Matt Besler – 72′ – unsporting behavior
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Assistant Referee: Cameron Blanchard
Assistant Referee: Peter Manikowsi
4th Official: Younes Marrakchi
Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Chris Wingert (Demar Phillips, 79′); Marcelo Silva; Justen Glad; Danilo Acosta; Kyle Beckerman; Luke Mulholland; Brooks Lennon; Albert Rusnak; Joao Plata (Jefferson Savarino, 73′); Luis Silva (Yura Movsisyan, 87′)
Substitutes Not Used: Matt VanOekel; David Horst; Sunny; Sebastian Saucedo
Sporting Kansas City: Andrew Dykstra; Graham Zusi; Ike Opara; Matt Besler; Seth Sinovic; Ilie Sanchez; Roger Espinoza; Jimmy Medranda (Benny Feilhaber, 72′); Daniel Salloi (Kevin Oliveira, 85′); Latif Blessing; Diego Rubio (Gerso Fernandes, 59′)
Substitutes Not Used: Adrian Zendejas; Saad Abdul-Salaam; James Musa; Soni Mostivar