Real Salt Lake stay hot, blank Seattle

League: MLS

Posted on: 16 May, 2024 at 03:55 AM

Credit: Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports

Diego Luna had a goal and an assist in Real Salt Lake's 2-0 win over the visiting Seattle Sounders on Wednesday.

Red-hot Salt Lake is 6-0-3 in its last nine regular-season matches, giving RSL (7-2-4, 25 points) a four-point cushion for the Western Conference lead.

The Sounders (3-6-4, 13 points) were shut out for the sixth time this season, ending the club's own three-match (2-0-1) unbeaten run in MLS matches.

Andres Gomez put RSL ahead in the 27th minute, and Luna's 58th-minute strike sealed an impressive all-around performance from the home squad. Real Salt Lake held 59.2 percent of the possession and outshot Seattle by a 21-9 margin (9-2 shots on target).

RSL has allowed only 11 goals this season, the second-lowest total in the league.

Making his third start of the regular season, RSL backup goalkeeper Gavin Beavers made two saves for his second clean sheet.

Stefan Frei made seven saves for the Sounders, almost single-handedly keeping the match from becoming a rout.

Playing just three days after a 2-1 road win over the Portland Timbers, Seattle made six changes from its last starting lineup. The list of resting and banged-up regulars included leading scorer Raul Ruidiaz, who didn't play due to a foot injury.

Another injury concern emerged for the Sounders when midfielder Leo Chu left in the 21st minute due to a thigh injury.

Gomez opened the scoring after putting the finishing touch on a tremendous passing play. Luna and Matt Crooks each earned assists for working the ball upfield to Gomez, who then out-maneuvered defender Cody Baker to find space in the box to shoot.

It was Gomez's fifth goal of the season, and third in his last five matches.

Luna was on the receiving end of a canny Brayan Vera pass in the 58th minute, resulting in his second goal of the season. Luna took the ball while rushing down the field, and the midfielder then made a nice move of his own to evade Seattle's Jackson Ragen before burying the shot.

--Field Level Media