Luke Mulholland

Adam Fondren/The Deseret News via AP

WATCH: Knee slide celebration goes face plant for RSL’s Mulholland

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We’d ask Luke Mulholland to take a bow, but we’re unsure how that would turn out.

The Englishman celebrated his 16th Real Salt Lake goal with a knee slide turned face plant on Sunday, and it was immediately clear he shared in the laughter it caused at Rio Tinto and on screens around the world.

[ RECAP: RSL 2-0 Seattle ]

Mulholland helped RSL continued it’s improbable red-hot run into the playoff picture with his third goal of the season on Saturday night against Seattle with a run in front of a defender to punch home a cross.

On his way to the corner flag for a nice slide, the pitch decided to rebel against his knees and sent him face-first into the Earth.

MLS Snapshot: Red-hot RSL end Sounders’ unbeaten run at 13

Photo credit: Real Salt Lake / @RealSaltLake
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The game in 100 words (or less): With the Seattle Sounders’ 13-game unbeaten run now a thing of the past (and the final four of those games all draws), Real Salt Lake (two losses in their last two, including wins in four of their last five) might just be the hottest team in MLS not named Atlanta United (just one loss in their last 12, including wins in three of their last four; combined score: 17-3). Furthermore, Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Seattle at Rio Tinto Stadium boosts RSL into fifth place in the Western Conference, two points clear of the San Jose Earthquakes and Houston Dynamo, as Mike Petke’s side makes this year’s improbable, late charge toward the MLS Cup Playoffs, in much the same fashion Brian Schmetzer’s Sounders did a year ago. Jefferson Savarino, who scored one and assisted one on Saturday, has proven himself a star on the rise in recent weeks, and has RSL playing their best soccer of the year at exactly the right time.

[ MORE: MLS weekend preview — ATL host MTL; RSL desperate vs. SEA ]

Three moments that mattered

52′ — Savarino slams home Rusnak’s pass for 1-0 — RSL have themselves an attacking trio (Savarino, Albert Rusnak and Brooks Lennon) that loves to play together, and that joy really shines brightly in moments like this.

66′ — Mulholland slams home from Savarino’s cross for 2-0 — Savarino turned provider just 15 minutes later, getting in behind Joevin Jones, corralling Joao Plata’s through ball, and picking out Mulholland atop the six-yard box.

92′ — Rimando makes a stunning save to deny Dempsey — Clint Dempsey tried to sneak a quick free kick past Nick Rimando, but the all-time greatest goalkeeper in MLS history was over it.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Jefferson Savarino

Goalscorers: Savarino (52′), Mulholland (66′)

MLS Snapshot: Sporting Kansas City 1-2 Real Salt Lake (video)

AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
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The game in 100 words (or less): Four weeks into the season, the last of the perfect teams in MLS 2016 has fallen as Real Salt Lake knocked off Sporting Kansas City, previously 3-0-0 to begin the season, 2-1, at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday. Goals scored by Justen Glad and Luke Mulholland — what, you expected different names? — were enough for a shorthanded RSL side (Kyle Beckerman, Jamison Olave and Juan Manuel Martinez were all suspended, while Javier Morales and Nick Rimando were missing through injuries, among others) that thoroughly outplayed their opposite number on the night. As Sporting versus RSL clashes typically go, this one got testy and chippy. Don’t let anything these two teams say fool you, they secretly love each other deep, deep, deep down inside.

[ MORE: Sacramento to MLS? | Preview the rest of Week 4 ]

Three moments that mattered

29′ — Glad heads home after some comical defending — Justen Glad may never have a freer attacking header in all his career. Sporting chose to mark precisely no one on this Joao Plata free kick, and Glad…well, gladly headed it home.

79′ — Mulholland hits a seeing-eye bouncer for 2-0 — Luke Mulholland put next to nothing on his right-footed strike from well outside the box, but Tim Melia’s sight was blocked by a sea of bodies in between and the ball found its way into the back of the net.

90+4′ — Rubio tripped in the box, PK to SKC — Diego Rubio, making his MLS debut, went down under contact from behind right on the edge of the penalty area — he may or may not have actually been inside the 18-yard box — and referee Ted Unkel (eventually) whistled for a penalty to Sporting, which Benny Feilhaber slotted home.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Justen Glad

Goalscorers: Glad (29′), Mulholland (79′), Feilhaber (90+4′ – PK)

MLS Snapshot: Real Salt Lake 2-0 Seattle Sounders (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): For the first time quite some time, Real Salt Lake looked like a team that had “it,” with “it” being hope, in a season-saving (for now) 2-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium. With their season very much on the line against the Sounders (Seattle entered the game sixth in the Western Conference with RSL six points back with just eight more games to play), Jeff Cassar’s side showed the kind of urgency they hadn’t really done thus far in 2015. After dropping three straight games by a combined score of 11-4, RSL jumped on the Sounders early and held on to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Sounders, on the other hand, looked completely overwhelmed and more their pre-Obafemi-Martins-returning selves than the bunch who hammered Orlando City SC last week. With the victory, RSL move to within three points of the sixth-place Sounders, who lost ground on fourth-place Portland, second-place Vancouver and potentially first-place LA (vs. New York City FC, Sunday) this weekend.

[ MORE: Previewing the other Week 25 games | How close was Lampard to joining LA? ]

Three moments that mattered

12′ — Morales converts from the sport, gives RSL a lead — Roman Torres was adjudged by referee Ismail Elfath to have handled the ball inside his own penalty area, though replays indicated the Panamanian defender may have been just outside the area. Regardless, Javier Morales did his part and RSL had a 1-0 lead.

19′ — Mulholland hits the bar, Jaime heads home the rebound — Luke Mulholland very nearly doubled RSL’s lead himself with a powerful effort from nearly 25 yards out, but he found only the crossbar. Fortunately for RSL, Sebastian Jaime followed up and didn’t fluff his follow-up header with a wide open goal.

73′ — Frei skies to keep Olave’s header out — Jaime, who was an absolute terror for 87 minutes Saturday night, nearly got himself an assist in the 73rd minute when he rounded a pair of Sounders defenders on the right wing and whipped in a cross that found the head of Jamison Olave. Stefan Frei was all that stood in the way of a 3-0 scoreline, and the big Swiss made the stop.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Sebastian Jaime

Goalscorers: Morales (12′ – PK), Jaime (19′)

MLS Team of the Week — Stars of Week 12

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Week 12 of the 2015 Major League Soccer season is in the books, and just as in Week 11, we were once again reminded that nobody knows anything about MLS. The only thing we know about MLS is that we know nothing about MLS.

That upside-down nature of results is reflected in Andy Edwards’ Week 12 MLS Team of the Week.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Week 10 MLS coverage | Standings | Stats | Schedule ]

Three Toronto FC players? Two from the Montreal Impact? One from each of the Philadelphia Union and Colorado Rapids? What is this world?

TFC and the Impact both snatched big home victories over the weekend, thanks to strong performances from the midfield (TFC) and rearguard (Montreal). The Rapids and Union also won in Week 12. In summation, four of the league’s bottom-five teams won over the weekend.

Thoughts? Questions? Agreements? Disagreements? (Of course not.) Leave them in the comments section, as always. I’m not afraid to defend my picks.

[ MORE: 2015 MLS Team of the Week archive ]

MLS Team of the Week — Week 12

Goalkeeper: Evan Bush (Montreal Impact)

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Defenders: Jamison Olave (Real Salt Lake), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabinho (Philadelphia Union), Lauren Ciman (Montreal Impact)

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Midfielders: Benoit Cheyrou (Toronto FC), Lucas Pittinari (Colorado Rapids), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Luke Mulholland (Real Salt Lake)

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Forwards: Kei Kamara (Columbus Crew SC), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC)

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