The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Seattle stops Salt Lake's unbeaten streak at 12 with 4-0 victory
SEATTLE - Marco Pappa, Chad Barrett and Obafemi Martins each scored second-half goals and the Seattle Sounders ended Real Salt Lake's season-opening unbeaten streak at 12 with a 4-0 victory Saturday in a game between the two top teams in Major League Soccer.
Gonzalo Pineda also scored on a first-half penalty kick for the Sounders (9-3-2). Pappa's goal was his first of the season. Barrett scored for the second straight game, giving him three goals for the year. Martins tallied his sixth.
While Seattle won its MLS-high fifth straight home match, Salt Lake (6-1-6) fell for the first time, missing a chance to set an MLS record for longest unbeaten streak to start the year.
Los Angeles (12-0 in 1996 and 10-0-2 in 2010) and Kansas City (10-0-2 in 2000) previously had 12-game season-opening undefeated streaks.
Salt Lake also had an overall 16-game regular-season unbeaten streak (8-0-8) end. RSL hadn't lost since last Sept. 21 at home against San Jose, 2-1.
"We talked about it before the game that we wanted to break the streak and keep the record for a couple of people," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. "But mainly, we talked about us being No. 1 going against No. 2, and we have to show what we're made of.
"As a group, we're maturing, and to be able to step into a game between first place and second place and win and have a convincing result speaks volumes for our character."
Pineda's penalty kick was set up when a loose ball in the RSL box was sent toward the left post. Lamar Neagle of the Sounders chased after it, and was pushed to the ground by Aaron Maund, Pineda then beat goalkeeper Jeff Attinella to the back left side midway through the 42nd minute.
Pappa's goal late in the 55th minute came off of a direct free kick, launched over a six-man wall from 23 yards away on the right side.
Barrett made it 3-0 early in the 62nd minute with a 12-yard shot that went high into the net.
Martins notched the final goal late in the 90th minute on a give-and-go with Kenny Cooper.
With the upcoming World Cup shaking up MLS rosters, both teams were without key players.
Among the Sounders missing was leading goal scorer Clint Dempsey (eight goals). That created an opportunity for Barrett, who started and scored for the second week in a row.
"I talked to Sigi, and he said since Dempsey was going to be gone for World Cup, there were going to be opportunities to step in," Barrett said. "In the practice weeks leading up to it, I was going to make sure that my fitness was where it needed to be. Coming in here, once you get one, the goal just seems to get a little bit bigger every time."
Real Salt Lake is the second-highest scoring team in MLS behind Seattle. But of those 23 goals, 14 were missing due to World Cup (two for Kyle Beckerman) or injury (six each for Alvaro Saborio and Joao Plata).
"It's a tough place to play, and we don't have a full arsenal," coach Jeff Cassar said. "But I thought the guys out there did a very good job. I just told the guys to discount the third and fourth goals, because we were pushing and we knew we were going to be exposed at the back.
"It was a fantastic run that we went on, but I'm trying to make sure the team will react the same way I do: We have work to do, and it's on to the next game."
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