Real Salt Lake put on a clinic in Freddy Juarez’s first game officially in charge as they rolled past the Seattle Sounders with a 3-0 win, thanks to goals from Sam Johnson, Albert Rusnak, and Corey Baird. With this win, RSL finds themselves jumping from sixth place to third in the Western Conference for the time being, just one point behind Minnesota.
Sam Johnson, in his triumphant return to the starting lineup, opened the scoring in the 26th minute as he dribbled in toward the goal and let a shot rip. The ball took a deflection off a defender’s leg and caught Frei going the wrong way, putting the home side up 1-0 early in the first half.
Despite some continued great attacking play, RSL couldn’t find another goal in the first half but they dominated most of the play, controlling 59% of possession and logging nine shots in total to Seattle’s three. The score remained 1-0 going into the locker room at half time.
The second half was a different story as the Sounders brought the ball to RSL, controlling a big chunk of the attacking play. RSL was only able to even get the ball up to their own attacking third a couple times throughout the first 25 minutes of the second half. Sam Johnson was eventually subbed out to make way for Justin Portillo, at which point Juarez moved Kreilach up top and put Portillo at holding midfielder.
Albert Rusnak found RSL’s second goal in the 71st minute thanks to some beautiful team build-up. Kreilach got the ball at the top of the box and toe-poked it to his right to find Rusnak who was able to tee up a shot. He sent it sailing far post, past Frei’s reach and into the corner, putting the home side up 2-0 and safely out of Seattle’s reach.
Corey Baird added a third goal in the 87th minute to put the final nail in the coffin as he collected a long ball over the top and essentially had a one-on-one with Frei. Baird easily slotted it on the ground near post past Frei to make it a 3-0 score line.
RSL is now unbeaten in six, with only one loss in their last 10 games as they look forward to Saturday when they host the league leaders Los Angeles FC.