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Real Salt Lake explodes for 4 goals in win over Sporting Kansas City, 4-2

Real Salt Lake explodes for 4 goals in win over Sporting Kansas City, 4-2

(Steve Griffin, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

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SANDY — The annual Fourth of July fireworks show was slated to begin after Real Salt Lake’s match against rival Sporting Kansas City. Unfortunately for Sporting Kansas City, Real Salt Lake wanted to get the festivities started early. With three first half goals, the explosions and booms didn’t come from the sky, but instead from down on the field of play and from the Real marching band.

Sporting Kansas City was seated at the top of the Western Conference until a win by FC Dallas over Atlanta United FC knocked them to second. With the 4-2 RSL victory Wednesday, Real (8-8-2, 26 points) slides into a tie with the Portland Timbers for fourth place.

Forward Corey Baird told reporters after the game that he was proud of how they didn’t get down on themselves after an early goal gave Sporting Kansas City a brief 1-0 lead.

“We’ve had a lot of games where we played really well for large stretches of the game but weren’t able to convert our chances and then we end up losing late in the game or they have their period where they do well,” explained Baird. “Kansas City had their periods where they were on top, but I think we really capitalized on the moments of the game where we were on top and finished our chances.”

RSL picked a great time to have their first four-goal game of the season. All four goals were scored by different players, starting with Jefferson Savarino in the 29th minute, followed by Baird’s goal in the 37th minute, Sebastian Saucedo in stoppage time in the first half, and Luis Silva with the final goal of the game on a penalty kick in stoppage time in the 90th minute.

Saucedeo’s goal was particularly special for the young player as it was his first professional goal at Rio Tinto Stadium, and his second of the season overall. Saucedo told reporters how excited he was to be able to score in front of the home fans, including his family and girlfriend.

“It’s a dream come true. As a kid I’ve always dreamed of being a professional soccer player, and obviously this is my home town, and not many players have the opportunity to play at home,” said Saucedo, “A lot of players have to sacrifice away from home, and I’m lucky enough to have my girlfriend and my family and everyone who supports me.”

The match was physical from the opening kick, as both teams combined for 33 total fouls; a plethora of red and yellow cards were handed out. Red cards were given to Daniel Salloi for violent conduct and Roger Espinosa for a bad foul; both were drawn in stoppage time during the second half.

RSL head coach Mike Petke noted that since RSL’s match against San Jose a few games back, Savarino has been targeted by opposing teams. He felt that not enough cards were given out for dirty play against Savarino.

“Two red cards against us and I don’t know how many yellows against us. We were getting the crap kicked out of us at some points,” said Petke, “It’s human nature. If I’m getting kicked nonstop, I’m going to kick somebody. If I’m getting punched, I’m going to punch somebody … (fouling more) isn’t something we talked about. It’s about putting your big boy pants on out there, and going out there and protecting yourself.”

Real Salt Lake’s next match is Saturday, July 7th, at home against the new top team in the Western Conference, FC Dallas (10-2-5, 35 points).

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