Real Salt Lake Begins Leagues Cup With Victory Over Rival Seattle Sounders

Jul 22, 2023, 9:37 PM | Updated: 9:47 pm

SANDYReal Salt Lake opened its play in the 2023 Leagues Cup tournament with a strong performance and victory over their Major League Soccer rivals in Seattle Sounders FC.

Real Salt Lake opens Leagues Cup with win

RSL hosted Seattle at America First Field on Saturday, July 22.

Real Salt Lake soundly defeated Seattle, 3-0.

Real Salt Lake dominated the opening 45 minutes of action against Seattle. The home side controlled possession for 64 percent of the half compared to only 37 percent by the Sounders. RSL played much of the half in the attacking third and had multiple opportunities to put a goal on the scoreboard. Real Salt Lake had 13 shots, including four shots on frame. Seattle had only two shots in the first half.

Real Salt Lake’s Chicho Arango and Jefferson Savarino had a few excellent chances but were unable to find the back of the net. Seattle’s Stefan Frei made four saves in the half. RSL failed to convert on its four corner kicks. The Sounders had only one chance for the corner in the first 45 minutes.

In the final minutes before halftime, things got a little chippy between the two rivals. Three yellow cards were handed out in the half, including two in the stoppage time. At the break, RSL had six fouls to Seattle’s one.

Despite dominating the first half of play, Real Salt Lake entered the second half still scoreless against the Sounders. However, Arango and Savarino quickly changed that. During the 48th minute of play, Arango was unable to find the back of the net with a powerful strike. The shot bounced by to a trailing Savarino, who finished Arango’s work and buried a shot to give RSL a 1-0 lead.

Savarino entered the match with six goals and five assists on 58 shots in 18 appearances this season.

A few minutes later, Arango finally got on the scoreboard. The attacker pulled off a ridiculously filthy move on Seattle’s defense before sinking a shot between the posts.

Arango’s shot gave Real Salt Lake a 2-0 lead in the 51st minute.

It was Arango’s second goal as a member of Real Salt Lake. The forward came into the game with one goal and two assists on seven shots in three matches in 2023.

In the 88th minute, Rubio Rubin put a shot on frame and put the game away for good. Rubin’s strike lifted Real Salt Lake’s lead to a final score of 3-0.

Rubin came into the night with two goals and one assist on 22 shots in 13 games this season.

In the last six matches between Real Salt Lake and Seattle, there have been three victories by RSL, two draws, and one win by the Sounders. In 2023, the Sounders beat RSL 2-0 in March, a 0-0 draw in April, and Saturday’s 3-0 win for Real Salt Lake.

Up Next for Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake is currently on an 11-match unbeaten streak. The club hasn’t dropped a result since falling 3-2 to the LA Galaxy on May 31. Real Salt Lake avenged the loss with a 3-2 win over the Galaxy on June 7.

During the nearly two-month streak, RSL has recorded eight victories and three draws. Real Salt Lake has outscored its opponents by a total of 25-10 in June and July.

RSL owns a 10-7-7 record in MLS play and sits in third place in the Western Conference standings with 37 points this season. 37 points is tied for the sixth-most in all of MLS in 2023.

RELATED: Real Salt Lake Eyes Continued Hot Streak As Leagues Cup Kicks Off

Real Salt Lake’s match is at home against Liga MX’s Monterrey on Wednesday, July 26. The game will be broadcast via MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+ and KSL Sports Zone. Monterrey is 2-2-1 in its last five matches.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

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Real Salt Lake Begins Leagues Cup With Victory Over Rival Seattle Sounders