It was a match marked by true magic from Seattle’s Nico Lodeiro, but it will be remembered as Nick Rimando’s final appearance in Claret and Cobalt.
The action started early, with Seattle tasiman Nico Lodeiro hitting the post from outside the box with a fifth minute shot that doubtlessly had Nick Rimando beat in the top corner.
The next big opportunity for Seattle came in the 13th minute, with Raul Rudidiaz capitalizing on a misread throw-in with a good header that Nick Rimando managed to bat away for a corner. A bit of a scare followed, as the veteran goalkeeper stayed down following the play, holding his shoulder.
Nedum Onuoha saw a yellow card in the 28th minute for bringing down Jordan Morris on a breakaway, which sparked a minor kerfuffle between the two sides.
The first half ended knotted 0-0, with RSL looking perhaps slightly better, but Seattle doubtlessly had the better of the chances.
The second half started fast and furious, with Seattle producing multiple opportunities from close range. One was stopped by Nedum Onuoha’s head, another rebounded off his foot into Nick Rimando. It wasn’t ideal, but it was a reminder of the last-ditch defending RSL is capable of producing.
Roman Torres came off the field with a hamstring injury in the 49th minute, with Xavier Arreaga replacing him.
Seattle nearly found goal in the 61st minute, with Cristian Roldan getting his head on a cross; Rimando, par for the course, made the fingertip leaping save to push the ball out for a corner.
The 64th minute saw RSL concede first, breaking after bending for the entirety of the match to that point. Seattle center back Gustav Svensson got his head on a Lodeiro corner, finishing at Nick Rimando’s near post from a difficult angle.
The 82nd minute brought a second Seattle goal, with Nico Lodeiro scoring a beautiful bending strike from a Rudidiaz counterattack, who barely managed to stay onside on his run.
With tensions flaring, Everton Luiz committed a horror tackle on Gustav Svensson, leaving his feet and diving studs-first into the ankle. The red card he was shown was immediate, and it was an inexplicably stupid way for the match to end, with both sides immediately clashing.
With the match nearing its close, Real Salt Lake didn’t collapse in on itself, as in years prior. Instead, we saw a goalline save from Aaron Herrera, keeping things vaguely in grasp, but more importantly, protecting his goalkeeper.
With time running out, Rimando made another wonder save, trying to give his side yet another opportunity to rescue the match. It wasn’t enough, and at the end of the day, a vintage Rimando performance wasn’t enough to change the outcome.