• FT

    Kansas City

    2

    Colorado

    0

  • FT

    Seattle

    2

    Salt Lake

    0

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

CenturyLink Field, Seattle

Referee: Jair Marrufo

* Local time based on your geographic location.

Seattle Sounders FC

  • Osvaldo Alonso 56' PEN
  • Lamar Neagle 61'

2 - 0

FT

2nd leg: 2 - 3 (Agg)

Salt Lake advances despite Seattle's 2-0 win

By TIM BOOTH

AP Sports Writer

SEATTLE (AP) -- Kasey Keller took one final lap of appreciation

around Seattle's home field, clapping and giving thumbs up the

entire way to those that stuck around.

The career of arguably American's most influential goalkeeper

ended on Wednesday night with a victory, that turned out to be a

loss.

"It's a weird, weird feeling thinking this is the last time,"

Keller said after the Sounders' 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake.

Osvaldo Alonso and Lamar Neagle scored five minutes apart early

in the second half, but Salt Lake advanced to the Western

Conference final with a 3-2 aggregate victory over Seattle.

Seattle failed to dig out of a 3-0 hole created with a

lackluster performance last Saturday in Utah, although they

nearly gave Keller a chance to extend his career.

Instead, it's Salt Lake moving on to the conference final to

play either New York or Los Angeles with a trip to the MLS Cup

final at stake.

"Four days ago, we were just completely dominant. Tonight, back

on our heels and being dominated," Real Salt Lake coach Jason

Kreis said. "In a span of four days, (it's) difficult to figure

out. Our guys battled through, believed in each other kept at

it."

It's the second trip to Major League Soccer's final four in the

last three seasons for Salt Lake. They won the 2009 MLS Cup

final on Seattle's home field, then ended the most successful of

the Sounders' three seasons on Wednesday night.

They did it by withstanding a frantic final 30 minutes as

Seattle tried to get an equalizing goal and force extra time.

And all that came after a breakneck first hour where Seattle

dominant every aspect and had Salt Lake trying to hold on.

It was a complete change from the game played last Saturday in

Utah when Salt Lake controlled every aspect and built what

seemed to be an insurmountable advantage behind two goals from

Alvaro Saborio and one from Ned Grabavoy. That third goal from

Grabavoy, in the 88th minute of a rout, proved to be the winner

in the two-leg aggregate goal semifinal.

"That third one was a monster and it ended up being just that,"

Keller said.

But Salt Lake was vulnerable, playing without central defenders

Jamison Olave and Nat Borchers and that vulnerability was

exploited all night by Seattle.

Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando was peppered with 26 total

shots from Seattle, including nine on goal, but the biggest save

for his team came in the first half and from a defender. Rimando

left his net exposed off a free kick and Tony Beltran headed

Jeff Parke's blast from the top of the penalty area over the

crossbar.

"It happened so fast," Beltran said. "I was able to react in

time and clear it over the goal."

Alonso finally got Seattle on the board with the first home

playoff goal in franchise history - three years in - when he

converted a penalty kick in the 56th minute. Beltran pulled down

Mike Fucito in the penalty area and was given a yellow card for

the foul. Alonso converted the penalty with a shot directly at

Rimando that couldn't be stopped.

Five minutes later Seattle really made things nervous for Salt

Lake when Alonso settled a loose ball outside the penalty area

to Fredy Montero. Seattle's star striker dropped a pass into

space where Neagle ran on and put a left-footed shot across

Rimando's body and just inside the far post.

But for all the furor Neagle's goal caused, Seattle failed to

get a dangerous attempt on net in the final 30 minutes. Their

best shot was an attempt from distance that Neagle couldn't curl

past Rimando. Salt Lake packed in its defense and drained

seconds off the clock at every opportunity.

"It certainly wasn't pretty and it wasn't ideal, but at the same

time, I don't think anyone cares at this point," Salt lake

defender Chris Wingert said.

Already playing without midfield star Mauro Rosales, Seattle was

forced to sub out Alvaro Fernandez and Brad Evans in the first

21 minutes of the match due to injuries. Fernandez left with a

hamstring injury, while Evans had to be helped back to the bench

with a right ankle injury. It left Seattle coach Sigi Schmid

with just one substitute to use in the closing minutes when a

fresh body would have helped.

"It's over. It's been a helluva three years," Keller said. "It's

been an honor to come home and play for something as cool as the

Sounders have become and were from the first minute."

---

Follow Tim Booth on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ByTimBooth

Scoring Summary

  • Seattle Sounders FC
  • Real Salt Lake
Osvaldo Alonso (pen 56')
Lamar Neagle (61')
 

Match Stats

  • Seattle Sounders FC
  • Real Salt Lake
26(18) Shots (on goal) 4(1)
15 Fouls 13
10 Corner kicks 2
0 Offsides 3
0% Time of Possession 0%
2 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 0
1 Saves 16

Teams

  • Seattle Sounders FC
  • Real Salt Lake
Substitutes
Substitutions
Yellow Cards