Real Salt Lake did the most with their chances on Saturday night, and that was enough for a convincing 3-1 road victory over Sporting Kansas City at Children's Mercy Park, their second of the season in the home of their rivals.
RSL managed the opener on their first shot of the game just past the half-hour mark. Joao Plata recovered a loose ball in Salt Lake's own attacking third then Plata, Javier Morales, and Juan Manuel "Burrito" Martinez put on a passing clinic that ended with a perfect ball across the face of goal that Martinez smashed into the net.
SKC pulled one back early in the second half. Left back Jimmy Medranda dribbled until he found a passing lane and sent a long diagonal ball to Dom Dwyer who finessed the ball home through defensive traffic. The effort by Dwyer gave Sporting fans hope, but it was short-lived. Three minutes later, Kyle Beckerman started an RSL counter with a midfield tackle on Benny Feilhaber. Movsisyan was able to receive the pass then dribble into position to beat SKC goalkeeper Tim Melia and seal the result.
- 32' - RSL - Juan Manuel Martinez (Joao Plata, Javier Morales)
- 45'+2' - RSL - Brad Davis (OG)
- 50' - SKC - Don Dwyer (Jimmy Medranda)
- 53' - RSL - Yura Movsisyan (Kyle Beckerman)
- Full box score
- Watch highlights
- KEEPING IT REAL: RSL has had Sporting's number as of late, beating them in four straight (including playoffs) after a stretch where SKC were unbeaten in five. Over their last 10 MLS regular season matches against Salt Lake, Sporting KC has scored just one first-half goal.
- AREN'T YOU GLAD WE CHANGED: It would seem like RSL have found their ideal center back pairing:
So @RealSaltLake are now 5-0-0 with a +6 goal differential when Glad/Maund start in central defense. 1-3-2 -4 GD with any other combo.— Matthew Doyle (@MLSAnalyst) May 22, 2016
- MEDRANDA STEPPING UP: Sporting have been developing Medranda for four seasons now and the youngster appears to finally be turning a corner as a left back. Some may have been surprised to see him log another start on Saturday night, but Medranda once again proved influential in the position: He was unafraid to get forward, showing off his dribbling skills and vision which allowed SKC getting on the board.
SKC: Friday 5/27 vs. D.C. United (7 pm ET, UniMás)
RSL: Saturday 5/28 at Columbus Crew (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE)