Sandy • When Real Salt Lake midfielder Albert Rusnák settled a pass from Jefferson Savarino just outside the box his first thought was to shoot, but then he heard Savarino calling his name.

“I kind of played half-blindly,” Rusnák said. “I was aiming to play it though the defender’s legs but I was hoping he’d just get there before the defender. And he did.”

With the help of another Rusnák-Savarino combination, Real Salt Lake moved up in the Western Conference Standings with a 2-0 win over the Seattle on a cold, wet Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.The win bumped RSL (12-14-5, 41 points) up to fifth in the West, just behind the Sounders (11-8-11, 44 points).

In the process, Real Salt Lake ended Seattle’s 13-game unbeaten streak and increased its own chances of reaching the playoffs.

Neither team found the back of the net until the 52nd minute. Savarino laid the ball off to Rusnák on the right side of the box. Rusnák took a touch and then tapped it to his left. There Savarino overlapped Rusnák and drove a shot into the upper far corner of the net and gave RSL a 1-0 lead.

Rusnák’s 13th assist of the season — and sixth in as many matches — gave him sole possession of the second-highest single-season mark in club history, two behind Javier Morales’ record set in 2008.

Luke Mulholland doubled RSL’s lead 35 minutes later with his third goal of the season and first since April.

It started with Joao Plata picking his head up and seeing Savarino taking off up the right side. Plata switched fields, giving Savarino plenty of space to play a cross in front of the goal. Mulholland converted the cross with a simple one-touch.

“I don’t like to call us a counter-attacking team because I don’t think we are,” RSL coach Mike Petke said. “I just think we’re a quick, a very fast transition team. ... In practice a lot of the patterns that we do is getting forward, getting behind back lines, isolating Plata and Savarino, and that was two good goals today.”

Just four minutes into the match, RSL was already threatening to score. Mulholland took the ball up the right side and played it to Savarino.

Savarino broke to the center of the field and split two Seattle players to find Rusnák. He turned, and with Sounders closing in on all sides lined a shot from just outside of the box off the crossbar.

Seattle responded almost immediately. Nicolás Lodeiro sent a through ball between RSL center backs Justen Glad and Marcelo Silva to get Sounders striker Will Bruin behind the back line. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando came off his line to defend the breakaway, but as he dove at Bruin’s feet, he took a touch around Rimando.

That’s when Glad closed in on bruin’s right side and with a clean tackle passed the ball wide of the net to save a certain goal.

RSL locked down on defense for the next 15 minutes, allowing the Sounders to get off just one shot. By halftime the Sounders edged out RSL in shots (6-5), while RSL took the slight lead in possession (51 percent), and neither had netted a goal.

“I didn‘t think that was particularly our best 45 minutes in the first half,” Petke said. “I thought we did some good things, but I thought our possession wasn’t good. I thought we were just a step off, our off ball movement wasn’t what it usually is, but we still created some opportunities, so did they. But overall we battled.”