Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Real Salt Lake cemented its place atop the
Western Conference for another week as its 1-0 defeat of Seattle Sounders FC
at CenturyLink Field on Saturday saw the club improve to an MLS-best 26 points
on the season.
The Claret and Cobalt entered the weekend in the top spot, a position that
they will retain after Fabian Espindola's 51st-minute strike extended their
unbeaten run to five games.
Real Salt Lake (8-3-2) goes four points ahead of the second-place San Jose
Earthquakes - the 'Quakes have three games in hand, one of which will be
played Sunday against Chivas USA. Seattle (7-2-1) suffers just its second lost
of the season, a defeat that snaps its five-game winning streak and six-game
The Sounders had the better running of the opening period on Saturday, but it
was all for naught as they failed to stick one past Nick Rimando.
Their inefficiency in front of goal came back to haunt them as Real Salt Lake
grabbed the lead early in the second half. Luis Gil chipped a through ball
over the Seattle defense and Espindola powered a sneaky effort off the bounce
and into the back of the net, catching Sounders goalkeeper Bryan Meredith off
Salt Lake never looked back as a stout defensive performance in a tough road
environment guided the club to all three points.
Seattle heads into an important Cascadia Cup match at Vancouver Whitecaps FC
next Saturday, while Real Salt Lake will enjoy a week off before returning to
action against FC Dallas at Rio Tinto Stadium on May 26.