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.
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.
Man of the match: Sebastian Jaime
Goalscorers: Morales (12′ – PK), Jaime (19′)