It was not the most entertaining half of soccer, but RSL was overall good in the first 45 in Houston after a game delay from the day before. Sunny Obayan and Nick Rimando got a rest with John Stertzer and Jeff Attinella making the starting XI. Salt Lake had some decent looks but were unable to keep the ball on frame or make that final pass to the guy with the better look. Around the 39th minute, Jeff Attinella shanked a ball and DeMarcus Beasley found Cubo Torres who did exactly what you are supposed to do with a header opportunity and sent it low. He sent it so low in fact that it hit the ground and bounced over the goal. Attinella looked like he was in a good position to save it in case it went on frame, but it was a scary moment. Neither team ended the half with a shot on goal and things were tied at 0-0.
After an early chance out of the gate, RSL was on their heels for a good 10 or 15 minutes. Chances came and went for Houston and RSL's defense was bending a little too much for comfort with luck clearly on their side for too long. RSL reset and started to calm things down when John Stertzer found Yura Movsisyan who had a beautiful one on one opportunity with the keeper but chipped it high and over. Almost immediately after, Giles Barnes got ahead of the RSL back line and slotted in the first goal of the game to give Houston a 1-0 lead. Jeff Cassar brought on a couple of offensive-minded subs with about 20 minutes to play but Houston continued to look like they were the more threatening team with Salt Lake looking discombobulated and unable to make the final connection going forward. RSL dropped another one on the road losing 1-0.