Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, KS – Real Salt Lake traveled to Children’s Mercy Park for the second time this year in the midst of a long road swing that has not been kind to RSL. Real Salt Lake had two tough losses this month at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park going down 0-1 against the Colorado Rapids, and then the same scoreline against the Houston Dynamos.
Before 2016, Real Salt Lake had never won at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City. After posting a 3-1 win over Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night, RSL has now won twice in two months there.
FW Juan Manuel Martinez and FW Yura Movsisyan both scored and RSL was the benefactor of an own goal for the first time this season as the Claret-and-Cobalt won the season series against Kansas City with two road wins over the Western Conference rivals. GK Nick Rimando made three saves to earn the victory as RSL improved to 6-3-2 on the season.
Kansas City had the first good scoring chance of the match in the 19th minute as Brad Davis whipped a left-footed cross into the box for Dom Dwyer in transition, but Dwyer’s header missed wildly and the score remained 0-0.
Against the run of play, RSL broke through in the 32nd minute. FW Joao Plata picked off a pass along KC’s back line and RSL took possession. With numbers to their advantage, the ball was played back to MF Javier Morales at the edge of the 18. He played it back to Plata on the left side and the forward cut a pass back across to Martinez for a first-time goal into the open net at the far post, giving RSL a 1-0 lead and breaking a 232-minute scoreless streak.
Plata nearly added a goal to his tally from a difficult angle in the first minute of first-half stoppage time, curling a shot from the right corner toward the far post that forced Melia into an incredible save as he picked the ball out of the top corner for the save.
Before the half, the Claret-and-Cobalt would double the lead off of a set-piece goal.
In first-half stoppage time, Morales sent a corner kick in from the right side that was redirected back to the right edge of the box. Movsisyan collected and shot and while the shot looked like it was heading wide of the far post, it was redirected into the net by Davis for an own goal, giving RSL the 2-0 lead at the break.
RSL held a 2-0 lead despite being outshot 6-3 with Kansas City holding 57.1% of possession.
To start the second half, RSL remained aggressive, but Kansas City pulled a goal back in the 50thminute. Jimmy Medranda led Dwyer up the left side into the box and he ripped a shot past Rimando and inside the far post for his sixth goal of the season to make it 2-1.
Salt Lake quickly responded as Movsisyan scored his third goal of the season.
In the 53rd minute, MF Kyle Beckerman played the ball to Movsisyan, who beat Nuno Coelho 1v1, cutting to the left and lofting a shot over the oncoming Tim Melia and into the net for a 3-1 lead.
In the 63rd minute, Rimando made a sprawling save to preserve the two-goal lead, diving to his right to push a Davis shot wide of the far post.
RSL withstood a late push from Kansas City and saw the game out for the 3-1 win, ending a three-game road losing streak to improve to 2-3-2 away from Rio Tinto Stadium this year.
Salt Lake will close out the month of May in Columbus against the defending Eastern Conference champion Crew SC on May 28 at MAPFRE Stadium.
GAME NOTES – SKCvRSL
– Saturday was MF Kyle Beckerman’s last match before reporting to U.S. National Team camp ahead of Copa America Centenario. He will miss matches against Columbus and NYCFC before RSL goes on a two-week break between MLS matches for the tournament.
– MF Sunny and DF Aaron Maund both returned to the starting lineup from injuries.
– Five RSL players appeared in the starting lineup Saturday on loan for Real Monarchs against the Orange County Blues at Ute Field – GK Lalo Fernandez, DF Boyd Okwuonu, DF Phanuel Kavita, MF Omar Holness and FW Olmes Garcia. FW Emery Welshman was also on the bench Saturday for the Monarchs.
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 2 1 3
Sporting Kansas City 0 1 1
RSL – Juan Manuel Martinez – 16′
LAG – Gyasi Zardes – 19′
LAG – Mike Magee – 26′
RSL – Kyle Beckerman – 13′
LAG – Gyasi Zardes – 38′
RSL – Tony Beltran – 57′
SKC – Benny Feilhaber – 90′
Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Aaron Maund; Chris Wingert (Dimar Philips, 68′); Justen Glad; Tony Beltran; Kyle Beckerman; Javier Morales; Sunny; Juan Manuel Martinez; Yura Movsisyan; Joao Plata
Substitutes Not Used: Jeff Attinella; Jamison Olave; John Stertzer; Luke Mulholland; Devon Sandoval; Jordan Allen
Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Saad Abdul-Salaam; Nuno Andre Coelho; Matt Besler; Jimmy Medranda; Benny Feilhaber; Soni Mustivar; Roger Espinoza; Brad Davis; Dom Dwyer; Graham Zusi
Substitutes Not Used: Alec Kann; Chance Myers; Ike Opara; Paulo Nagaumura; Lawrence Olum; Jacob Peterson; Diego Rubio