Real Salt Lake ended their final game of the season with a 2-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City, from two goals in quick succession on either side of the halftime break. While it was Decision Day in MLS, nothing was on the line for RSL but pride as they had already been eliminated from playoff contention. For SKC, though, this win solidified their spot at the top of the Western Conference going into the postseason.
Nedum Onuoha bid farewell to the fans who came out in the snow, as he played his last game after announcing his plans to retire at the end of this season.
David Ochoa got his first MLS appearance since being signed to the first team at the end of 2018. While he’s spent most of his time with the Real Monarchs, a lot of people thought this would be his year to finally battle for the starting spot with Rimando’s departure. That spot went largely to Andrew Putna after he and Zac MacMath went the rounds, but with no playoffs on the line in today’s game, Freddy opted to give Ochoa a chance to get some time on the field.
Kansas City opened the scoring near the end of the first half. After Ochoa parried a header off a corner kick, Ilie collected the rebound and sent a shot in. The ball took a couple deflections, ultimately pinging off Marcelo Silva’s foot and into the net, and SKC would take that lead into the halftime break.
SKC continued their momentum and doubled their lead in the 47th minute when Erik Hurtado broke free with a great run in behind and collected a pass. Ochoa came way off his line thinking he could grab it, but Hurtado went around him and sent the ball into the empty net, putting the visitors up 2-0 early in the second half.
RSL had a decent chance in the second half, but SKC kept them off the board to hang onto a 2-0 win, clinching the top spot in the west.