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MLS Cup 2013: Recapping RSL's loss to Sporting KC in July

Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City might have a little bit of history, but the most recent meeting between the two sides -- back on July 20 -- saw SKC visiting Rio Tinto and walking away with three late-begotten points.

Douglas C. Pizac-USA TODAY Sport

Lineup: Attinella; Palmer, Borchers, Maund, Wingert; Alvarez (Stephenson, 79'), Grabavoy, Gil, Morales; Plata (Mansally, 66'), Findley (Garcia, 68')

Jeff Attinella starts his first RSL match, with Josh Saunders having sustained a season-ending ACL injury in the last match; Aaron Maund made only his second start for the club, starting a week prior.

Some brief thoughts we can take from this one:

  • We can't go around conceding corners willy-nilly. We'll be punished.
  • We can't let Sporting KC's physical play (which we're more than capable of meeting) dictate terms. We got frustrated against them last time, and it played out very much not in our favor.
  • We can't let poor refereeing dictate our reactions. Referees might add more time than is necessary, but they absolutely don't score goals. I mean, unless they do, and then we have a real controversy on our hands.

1' Chris Wingert picks up an early yellow for barging into Kei Kamara, prompting some to argue he deserved a red card.

8' Uri Rosell catches Javier Morales in the head after Aurelien Collin brings the Argentine down

15' RSL has a brilliant opportunity, with Luis Gil beating his defender, crosses the ball into Robbie Findley, who wisely heads it back across goal. Oddly, no RSL player is there to meet it, with Joao Plata and Javier Morales the only two players in remotely positive positions. It was slightly discouraging.

34' Matthew Foerster genuinely starts to lose control of the match, taking his sweet time to set up a free kick and generally angering both sides. It only gets worse from there, but neither team did the young referee any favors, as the atmosphere was heated from moments after the whistle.

44' Javier Morales goes into the book for obstructing a free kick.

45+2' Joao Plata shows amazing footwork and resilience to keep the ball under pressure, but a reminder emerges that he's improved massively since then. Now, expect him to play a killer pass before he goes for a crafty play that will put his name up in lights.

54' Robbie Findley is taken down after a beautiful bit of combination between him and Yordany Alvarez. No call.

54' Uri Rosell clobbers Javier Morales with a sweeping tackle, and Foerster shows Sporting KC their first yellow of the night.

55' Jimmy Nielsen underestimates a Javier Morales free kick, spills it, and Robbie Findley capitalizes with a simple header.

57' Rosell fouls Morales again -- taking out the planted leg of the Argentine this time. Kei Kamara proceeds to get into the face of the felled Morales, seeing no caution for his action.

66' Chris Wingert is sent off for a professional foul -- his second yellow card of the match. Abdoulie Mansally enters for Joao Plata.

67' Soony Saad scores from the ensuing free kick, but not before Jeff Attinella makes two brilliant saves.

68' Robbie Findley exits for Olmes Garcia, who was in brilliant form to that point of the season.

70' Lawrence Olum goes into the book for a sweeping tackle from behind on Ned Grabavoy.

73' Aurelien Collin goes into the book for a not-unusual tackle on Olmes Garcia.

77' By this point, things had actually calmed down. This does not play in Real Salt Lake's favor, as we see moving forward.

79' Yordany Alvarez is substituted out, probably as Jason Kreis is looking to avoid going down to nine men.

90' It sure looks at this point as if we're accepting a draw. This does not bode well, as we're not actually in control of the match. At 1-1, plenty of things can go wrong.

91' Uri Rosell fouls Javier Morales yet again, with calls for a yellow card flying in -- but nothing.

94' Olmes Garcia is felled by Aurelien Collin from behind, with no foul called.

95' Ike Opara pushes Nat Borchers after Borchers and Collin have some words on a corner -- Opara was not initially involved, and the referee was talking to Collin and Borchers.

97' Ike Opara scores from unmarked a corner, well after the allotted stoppage time had expired. Jason Kreis is deflated. CJ Brown takes to the field to keep RSL players and members of the coaching staff from getting into a scuffle with the referee. RSL fans rain trash on the pitch. It was an ugly, ugly day.