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Sounders Drop A Tough One To Real Salt Lake, Budding Rivalry Stays One-Sided

Real Salt Lake continued to be a major thorn the Seattle Sounders side, with a tremendous individual effort from the oh-so-lovable Fabian Espindola proving to be the difference. In the simplest of terms, the visitors finished one of their few real chances while Seattle struggled to create many of their own; Real Salt Lake were more than content to soak up the pressure on defense and hope to snag a goal on the counter, which has proven to be an effective strategy against the Sounders on numerous occasions. There were signs near the end of the game that a brutal stretch of five games in fifteen days had begun to catch up with Seattle, and with RSL playing all nine men behind the ball for the majority of the second half that missing final gear was difficult to overcome.

Though the loss was certainly frustrating, it's difficult to see any real weaknesses of which no one was previously aware having been exposed; Real Sal Lake simply played a near-mistake-free game in which their primary objective was to shut down Seattle's attack. The easiest way to defeat the Sounders isn't much of a secret, and when the opposition manages to execute that strategy there's not much that can be done aside from offering a proverbial tip of the cap and moving along to the next game. Seattle will now have a full week to recuperate before heading to Vancouver to face the Whitecaps next Saturday, and the break will be much appreciated. Osvaldo Alonso played 90 minutes despite being listed as questionable due to a groin injury, while Brad Evans was a late scratch due to a calf strain. While some of the air has clearly come out of the room in the wake of Seattle's winning and unbeaten-streaks coming to an end, a win against a Cascadia Rival would put smiles back on a lot of faces.