Soccer: Real Salt Lake’s attack changing games
Soccer • Salt Lake dictated the action in win over Seattle.
Published: June 24, 2013 08:45AM
Updated: June 23, 2013 11:48PM
image
Kim Raff | The Salt Lake Tribune (back) Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman (5) collides with (right) Seattle Sounders FC defender Djimi Traore (19) during the first half of a game at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on June 22, 2013. Beckerman went on to score the first goal of the game late in the first half.

Sandy • In limiting the Seattle Sounders to just two shots Saturday night, Real Salt Lake’s offense was as important as its defense.

“When we’re attacking, your best defense is your offense,” RSL captain Kyle Beckerman said after the 2-0 victory. “And when we’re keeping the ball and we’re attacking, we’re making them worry about us, defending us, then there’s not much to worry about defensively.”

Beckerman’s 41st minute goal gave RSL a 1-0 lead going into halftime. But perhaps just as importantly, it changed how Seattle had to play.

“We’re punishing teams when we’re getting our chances,” Beckerman said. “When you score and you change the game, now a team can’t come in here and sit back. Now we can play a team that’s spread themselves out, and then it’s about finishing another one and putting them away.”

Salt Lake forward Robbie Findley did just that only seconds into the second half. He beat Seattle’s Michael Gspurning for his fourth goal of the season, moving into a tie with Alvaro Saborio and Olmes Garcia for the team lead. Real has now scored two or more goals in five straight games across all competitions — a total of 16 goals in three MLS games and two U.S. Open Cup contests.

“It changed the game completely,” said Seattle midfielder Brad Evans. “It is the worst time for a team to get scored on is right after halftime. It is what it is: two goals down and chasing against a team like that, when you start pressing guys forward they cheat a bit and they’re good enough to where they connect four or five passes and the game opens up from there.”

RSL would finish the game with 17 shots on goal to Seattle’s two.

After mustering only seven goals in its first nine matches of the year, RSL has netted 27 in its last 10 games between league play and Open Cup.

“The games where we weren’t scoring, we were just a bit unlucky — where their keeper is playing unbelievable or we’re hitting the post and it’s not going in,” Beckerman said. “Guys work hard in practice to fix it. Guys are pushing each other. We’ve got forwards who all want to play. But we’ve got two spots for five or six guys. So I think they’re pushing each other to see who scores, who’s going to play, and it’s great for us.”

afalk@sltrib.comTwitter: @aaronfalk

Carolina at RSL

P U.S. Open CupWednesday 7:30 p.m.