Juan Manuel Martinez

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MLS Snapshot: Real Salt Lake 1-1 DC United (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): Real Salt Lake were little more than 60 seconds from moving to within two points of the lead in the Supporters’ Shield race before 92 minutes of hard work were undone in a single moment, forcing Jeff Cassar’s side to settle for a 1-1 draw with D.C. United Friday night at Rio Tinto Stadium. Juan Manuel Martinez scored the game’s opening goal, going it alone in the build-up, bringing the Argentine’s 2016 haul up to six goals and two assists (though you could easily credit him a third assist on the season for the creation of his own goal), but Jared Jeffrey equalized in the 92nd minute, claiming an unlikely point for the visitors to strengthen their hold on a playoff place — currently fifth in the Eastern Conference. Bill Hamid was the hero of the night, making seven saves to keep it a one-goal game until late on. With the two points dropped, RSL remain third in the Western Conference, four points back of the league-leading Colorado Rapids.

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Three moments that mattered

16′ — Hamid comes up big not once, but twice — When we lament that Hamid was injured prior to Copa America 2016, that the U.S. national team would have to pick between Brad Guzan and Tim Howard to start in goal, it’s not to slight the incumbent cue-balled ‘keepers; it’s because Hamid is a spectacular goalkeeper, and only 25 years old.

57′ — Martinez dinks over Hamid for 1-0 — When most other MLS attackers would fret over the finish, El Burrito is at his most calm. Oh, and the mazy dribble inside the box to create the chance for himself … not bad, either.

90′ — Jeffrey’s powerful header steals a point late — Fabian Espindola served it up, Jeffrey hammered it home.

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Man of the match: Bill Hamid

Goalscorers: Martinez (57′), Jeffrey (90′)

MLS Snapshot: Sporting KC 1-3 Real Salt Lake (video)

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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KANSAS CITY, KAN. — The game in 100 words (or less): Sporting Kansas City might not be good. Actually, they might be bad. After breaking their seven-game winless skid last week, Peter Vermes’ side seemed to have turned the corner not only in victory but sheer dominance of Orlando City SC. Fast forward six days to Saturday night, and they looked the same lost side that zombie-walked through the month of April and the first half of May. Real Salt Lake came into Children’s Mercy Park, withstood a few chances inside the first 30 minutes, then rocked Sporting KC across the jaw three times in 21 minutes to secure a 3-1 away victory for their second triumph in this building this season. Most notably for Sporting, Matt Besler looks a shell of his former (read: 2014 World Cup and before) self, winding up responsible for two of RSL’s goals on the night thanks to all-too-characteristic gaffes. With the defeat, Sporting (17 points) remains seventh in the Western Conference, as RSL (20) catapult all the way up to third in the West.

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Three moments that mattered

32′ — Burrito finishes at the far post for 1-0 — The giveaway by Besler was totally unnecessary. From there, RSL made it look easy working the space out wide and feeding it to the back post.

45+2′ — Movsisyan finishes off Davis’s back — It’s just been this kind of month (or two) for Sporting KC.

50′ — Dwyer pulls one back early in the 2nd half — Jimmy Medranda, who’s playing left back, is now the no. 10.

53′ — Movsisyan dusts Coelho and restores the two-goal lead — Benny Feilhaber giveaway -> Besler whiffs on the through ball -> Nuno Andre Coelho can’t run with Movsisyan -> cool, composed finish.

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Man of the match: Yura Movsisyan

Goalscorers: Martinez (32′), Davis (45+2′ – OG), Dwyer (50′), Movsysian (53′)

MLS Snapshot: LA Galaxy 5-2 Real Salt Lake (video)

AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu
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The game in 100 words (or less): When folks were skeptical this week, Real Salt Lake fans, it wasn’t because they held some biased grudge against your team; it was because we’d watched them for weeks and saw they were actually playing above their ceiling and regression was inevitable. We didn’t, however, see it coming in the form of a 5-2 thrashing for their first loss of the season, at the hands of the LA Galaxy, who are now rolling right along at the pace everyone expected of them prior to the season. The absence of Robbie Keane has been a blessing in disguise for Bruce Arena’s side (more on that in the return of my MLS Rewind column tomorrow night), and Saturday night’s trouncing saw goals from Gyasi Zardes, Mike Magee, Emmanuel Boateng and Giovani dos Santos during a 26-minute blitzkrieg in the first half, with the 2013 MLS MVP missing his fourth straight game after knee surgery. Steven Gerrard capped the night’s scoring in second-half stoppage time.

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Three Four Five Six moments that mattered

6′ — Rimando saves Gerrard’s PK attempt — Making his 400th MLS appearance Saturday night, Nick Rimando did what Nick Rimando does best (actually, it’s one of roughly 10 things Rimando does better than anyone other ‘keeper in MLS history): he saved the poor penalty kick effort of Steven Gerrard.

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16′ — El Burrito heads home at the back post for 1-0 — Somehow, El Burrito out-jumped A.J. DeLaGarza at the back post and headed the ball past Brian Rowe with the back of his head(?). Hey, it counts.

19′ — Zardes curls one home from outside the box — If Zardes is to be a center forward (and he probably needs to be at this point), he has to be enough of a threat outside the penalty area to make opposing defenders respect him when he fires from this spot.

26′ — Magee bundles home from Cole’s cross for 2-1 — In the end, it doesn’t matter how pretty it looks when you put the ball over the goal line, so long as the whole of the ball crosses the whole of the line. Good thing for Magee, that is.

41′ — Boateng slots home for 3-1 — Gyasi Zardes has the best worst first touch in the entire world.

45′ — Dos Santos chips Rimando to the back post — Look away, USMNT fans. You’ve seen Gio score this one in SoCal before, and it didn’t end well.

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Man of the match: Giovani dos Santos

Goalscorers: Martinez (16′), Zardes (19′), Magee (26′), Boateng (41′), Dos Santos (45′), Morales (70′ – PK), Gerrard (90+1′)