Real Salt Lake 2, Sporting Kansas City 1 | 2017 MLS Match Recap
Real Salt Lake won the day -- but not a spot in the postseason.
Real downed slumping Sporting Kansas City 2-0 on Decision Day Presented by AT&T, only to see their hopes of surging into the Western Conference half of the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs dashed when results elsewhere didn't go their way.
The result guaranteed that Sporting, who had already clinched a seventh-straight playoff berth, will go on the road for the Knockout Round for a fourth straight year -- and that's where they've been knocked out in each of the last three seasons. Sporting dropped from fourth to fifth and will travel to Houston later this week.
The hosts dominated the first half, Luis Silva slipping into a gap in the back line to score in the third minute and Brooks Lennon knocking home a rebound in the 41st. Sporting showed more life in the second, finally pulling one back in the 89th minute on a header from Ike Opara, but couldn't avoid their second straight shutout loss, extending their winless skid to a season-long five matches (0-3-2) going into the postseason.
- FAMILIAR FOE: Sporting haven't faced Houston in the postseason since 2013, when the Dynamo last made the playoffs and Sporting ousted them in the West finals on the way to an MLS Cup title. The two sides have plenty of recent history, though -- and not in Sporting's favor. They took only one of six possible points against the Dynamo in the week's penultimate season, losing 2-1 away and settling for a scoreless draw at home despite an overwhelming advantage in shots.
- YURA'S LAST CALL? RSL striker Yura Movsisyan, long rumored to be on his way out of Rio Tinto Stadium after this year, made what might be his final appearance with the Claret-and-Cobalt when he came on as an 87th-minute sub for goalscorer Luis Silva. If he is done in Sandy, he will leave with 31 league goals in two stints (2007-09 and 2016-17) with the club.
- DYKSTRA STILL WINLESS: Sporting 'keeper Andrew Dykstra has yet to record a victory in relief of Tim Melia, who has missed Sporting's last three matches and part of a fouth with a hamstring injury. Dykstra has conceded five goals since coming on in a 1-1 draw against Minnesota United on October 7 (when he conceded a late equalizer).
- RSL: End of season
- SKC: Thursday, October 26 at Houston Dynamo - Western Conference Knockout Round (9:30pm ET | UniMás; TSN, TVAS)