Sandy • For the second straight game, Real Salt Lake finished with 10 players on the field. And for the second straight game, it happened when RSL was already trailing.
Unlike the beating it took from the Colorado Rapids last week, RSL fought much harder. But the result proved the same.
RSL lost 2-1 to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday in front of 3,409 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium. It’s the second consecutive loss for Salt Lake and the second consecutive win for Vancouver.
RSL fell behind 1-0 in the 53rd minute. Several times this season, Salt Lake has conceded the first goal and been forced to chase the game afterward. Twice those games ended in draws, but recently they’ve ended in losses.
“I feel like it’s the same story a little bit,” forward Justin Meram said. “We’re going up the first goal and then we crawl back and find our way and then we find ourselves trying to crawl back one more time into the game.”
RSL did everything it could to win a game in which it conceded first. The team got off 25 shots, 16 of which were taken inside the 18-yard box. Salt Lake created a whopping 21 chances.
“I don’t know a game this year that we’re not creating chances,” Meram said. “So that’s positive. Now it’s putting more than one goal in the back of the net.”
Kyle Beckerman picked up his second yellow card of the game in the 63rd, leading to his ejection. Video review caught him making contact with the Vancouver goalkeeper’s head with his foot.
Against Colorado, Douglas Martinez was sent off the field for making contact with a Rapids player’s head, which is an automatic red card according to MLS rules. He served a suspension Saturday.
Coach Freddy Juarez said that while he doesn’t believe that the team finishing with 10 players is a disciplinary problem, he will talk with the players about it.
“I’m going to have to address it,” Juarez said. “That’s not us.”
RSL picked up the intensity after Beckerman walked off the field. It leveled the game when Meram finished a header off a pass by Maikel Chang, who started Saturday.
But in the 84th, Vancouver’s Lucas Cavallini slid into a pass to take the lead back and seal the game.
Salt Lake has a game Wednesday against the L.A.. Galaxy at home to finish its four-game homestand.