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WATCH: Plata hits stunning free kick, catches sleeping Portland

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

While the bigger talking point from Real Salt Lake's first half against Portland Timbers will undoubtedly be Kyle Beckerman's red card, that will be rivaled by a stunning free kick from Joao Plata.

Plata's 16th minute goal came after Burrito Martinez stripped Diego Chara of the ball and worked his way toward goal.

A tricky run-over from Javier Morales didn't seem to do much initially, but it was just enough to distract Portland Timbers goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey, who cheated a bit to his left. Plata's free kick was sublime, and it basically dipped right where Kwarasey had been standing.

It was a wonderful moment from Plata, and it is far from his only great moment in 2016. He scored RSL's only goal against Tigres, he scored twice against Orlando in a 2-2 draw, and he notched two assists in a 2-1 win over Seattle Sounders.

This is a distinct improvement over Plata's 2015, to say the least.