Real Salt Lake put a stop to their run of poor form against Seattle Sounders with a 2-1 win tonight, with Robbie Findley finding his first goal since his return.
Findley, who scored a simple finish in the 8th minute after a mishap on the Seattle backline opened up the option, came out of the match immediately after the goal with a left adductor strain. It's certainly a blow for the player, whose start to the season has been a bit slow.
Luis Gil grabbed the second as Real Salt Lake scored from a corner; Sebastian Velasquez fed Ned Grabavoy along the touchline, who sent in a cross for Gil. The midfielder's diving header finished the training ground move and sent RSL up 2-0.
Devon Sandoval was perhaps the most notable standout of the night. In his first-ever professional start, he forced defenders to pay attention to his ability to hold up the ball. This freed up room for Joao Plata to work some moments of real magic.
Joao Plata, Findley's replacement, came on for his longest appearance of the season and was involved in some dangerous chances. He took six shots during his time on the pitch, with three on target.
Javier Morales made his season debut with 30 minutes left, coming on for Luis Gil. During his time on the pitch, he made 21 of his 25 attempted passes to help RSL retain possession. Morales was brought down in the box by Jhon Kennedy Hurtado late in play on a breakaway, but referee Mark Geiger only motioned for Morales to get up. Replays indicate that Hurtado hadn't played the ball — removing a scoring opportunity for Real Salt Lake with the referee ignoring what should have been a penalty and a sending-off.
As the second half continued, Real Salt Lake lost Abdoulie Mansally to injury; Lovel Palmer came on in his place and saw out the remaining 10 minutes of play.
Brad Evans pulled Seattle within a goal in the 57th minute after a defensive miscue allowed him a shot to the far post.
But for the brilliance of Michael Gspurning, RSL could have easily walked away with a handful of goals, but despite his efforts, Seattle returns to the Pacific Northwest with only one point to their name after four matches.