By John Coon Associated Press
SANDY, Utah — Kyle Beckerman scored a goal right before halftime and Robbie Findley added another immediately after it to lift Real Salt Lake to a 2-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night.
The victory vaulted RSL (9-5-3) into first place into the Western Conference. Seattle (6-5-3) lost for just the second time in its past nine MLS matches.
Salt Lake has scored two or more goals in five consecutive matches. RSL has 27 goals in its last 10 games across all competitions this season, registering eight wins during that stretch.
Beckerman put Salt Lake on the board in the 41st minute after cleaning up a deflected free kick by Javier Morales. The ball bounced off a defender and took a hop out to Beckerman on the right side of the box. He cleaned it up perfectly, sliding a half-volley under to the crossbar.
Seattle had no shots on goal and did not create a single shot period during the first half.
Salt Lake created a much bigger hole for the Sounders right after halftime. Findley gave RSL a two-goal lead in the 46th minute on a second-chance goal after his initial shot was saved.
Findley tracked down a deep pass from Morales and fired a right-footer just outside the 6-yard box. Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning cleared the ball out to Khari Stephenson, who flicked ahead to Findley again. He launched another shot just outside the right upper corner of the box. This time, he threaded the ball inside the left post.
The Sounders struggled to mount a comeback because they could do hardly anything against a stiff RSL defense. They did not create their first shot of the game until Mario Martinez curled the ball from the right side of the box at RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando in the 73rd minute.
Seattle finished the match with a total of two shots. RSL tallied 17 shots, putting six on frame.