Match Recap

RECAP: Sounders endure 3-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake in first match of Leagues Cup

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Real Salt Lake defeated the Seattle Sounders 3-0 on Saturday night at America First Field in Sandy, Utah, in the opening group stage match of the 2023 Leagues Cup. Jefferson Savarino, Chicho Arango and Rubio Rubin scored in the 48th, 51st, and 88th minutes, respectively, to secure all three points.

The hosts had the lion’s share of possession in the opening 45 minutes, owning almost 64% of the ball. Savarino had the first real look of the match 10 minutes in when his shot from the left side of the 18-yard box was parried away by Stefan Frei. Savarino had another strike six minutes later that Frei kept out.

Frei made his best save of the half in the 41st minute when Emeka Eneli got in behind on the right side of the box and cut inside on his left foot. Frei did well to get low and deflect the effort wide.

Yeimar and Arango got into a spat on the brink of halftime and each was shown a yellow card.

RSL found the breakthrough in the 48th minute when Savarino slotted home a deflected ball from a few yards out after Nouhou initially kept out an Arango chance.

Arango doubled the lead three minutes later when he got in behind on a counterattack and blasted home a shot into the roof of the net. 

The Sounders caught a break on the hour mark when Marcelo Silva was sent off for a challenge on Raúl Ruidíaz.

Josh Atencio, who came on at halftime for Obed Vargas, nearly halved the deficit in the 74th minute when his long-range hit sailed just over the crossbar.

RSL sealed the victory two minutes from full time when Rubin capitalized on a deflection in the box and fired a left-footed shot to the far corner.

THREE TAKEAWAYS

Frei stands tall

The Sounders’ veteran goalkeeper tied Osvaldo Alonso on Saturday for most club appearances in all competitions in the MLS era (339). Frei had four saves on the evening, with all of them coming in the opening half.

Can’t stop RSL’s streak

RSL entered Leagues Cup as one of the most in-form teams in the region, having gone unbeaten in nine consecutive MLS matches and 10 in all competitions. The Claret and Cobalt ran that streak to 11 on Saturday.

On to Monterrey

The Sounders will play their second and final Leagues Cup group stage match against Liga MX’s Monterrey when they welcome Rayados to Lumen Field in Seattle next Saturday (6 p.m. PT; FS1, UniMás, Watch free on the Apple TV app | TICKETS). RSL will host Monterrey on Wednesday.

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