RSL 1st in West after 2-0 win over Sounders

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 23, 2013 at 12:33 am •  Published: June 23, 2013
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SANDY, Utah (AP) — Real Salt Lake has found the perfect offensive rhythm and opponents are paying the price for it.

Salt Lake has a reputation for possessing a stingy defense. In recent matches, it also has found ways to beat teams on offense, too.

"We're punishing teams when we get our chances," RSL midfielder Kyle Beckerman said. "When you score and you change the game, a team can't come in here and sit back. They got to come out now."

Seattle learned that lesson first hand. Beckerman scored a goal right before halftime and Robbie Findley added another immediately after it to lift Salt Lake to a 2-0 victory over the Sounders on Saturday night.

The win vaulted RSL (9-5-3) into first place into the Western Conference. Seattle (6-5-3) lost for just the second time in its past nine MLS matches.

Salt Lake has scored two or more goals in five consecutive matches and has 27 goals in its last 10 games across all competitions, registering eight wins during that stretch.

Beckerman put Salt Lake on the board in the 41st minute, scoring on a deflected free kick by Javier Morales. The ball bounced off a defender and took a hop out to Beckerman on the right side of the box. He cleaned it up perfectly, sliding a half-volley under to the crossbar.

Seattle had no shots on goal and did not create a single shot period during the first half.

"This is our first shutout in a few games," RSL defender Nat Borchers said. "We put that on the bulletin board and really made that a point to get that tonight."

It only took 40 seconds of the second half for Findley to close the door on the Sounders, giving RSL a two-goal lead in the 46th minute on a second-chance goal after his initial shot was saved.

Findley tracked down a deep pass from Morales and fired a right-footer just outside the 6-yard box. Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning cleared the ball out to Khari Stephenson, who flicked ahead to Findley again. He launched another shot just outside the right upper corner of the box. This time, he threaded the ball inside the left post.