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RSL falls to counterattacking Seattle, loses Desert Diamond Cup final

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Christian Petersen

Real Salt Lake lost their chance at a preseason cup as they fell 1-0 to growing foes Seattle Sounders on — you guessed it — a counterattacking goal.

Early proceedings were certainly dominated by the two goalkeepers, with Nick Rimando making good reaction saves early on, and Hahnemann making brilliant stop after brilliant stop.

Chances continued to flow throughout the first half, with Sebastian Velasquez nearly beating Seattle goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann with a left-sided shot, Saborio and Robbie Findley nearly pouncing on rebounds after that. Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy and Saborio both had good opportunities as well.

Alex Caskey opened the scoring, giving Seattle a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute after Kenny Mansally was caught high up the pitch, leaving the defense to cover his position at left back.

Caskey's goal came only minutes after Joao Plata, on at the half for Robbie Findley, created a chance that Hahnemann saved spectacularly. John Stertzer also came in at the half, as arguably the first half's most influential player, Sebastian Velasquez, came off.

The remainder of the second half played out with RSL struggling to create chances but controlling possession, and Seattle looking dangerous on the break. It was very much one of those matches we've seen time after time before.

Perhaps most reassuring about the match was seeing Robbie Findley looking bright, active and great on the ball, and Sebastian Velasquez looking like the sort of player who really can control the pacing of a match.