25 November, 2013

MLS Final: RSL at Sporting KC

Fans at Sporting Park show their support.
Matt Rzepkowski (mdr1395) via Instagram

The 2013 MLS final will be held Saturday, December 7, at Kansas City's Sporting Park (pictured here), at 4:00 PM Eastern/1:00 PM Pacific, broadcast on ESPN.

Real Salt Lake rode the momentum of a 4-2 victory over Portland at Rio Tinto Stadium on November 10 into the finals, by a 5-2 aggregate score. In the first leg, team captain Will Johnson gave the Timbers a short-lived 1-0 lead, until Javier Morales caught fire. Morales found Chris Schuler on a corner kick for the tying goal in the 35th, and Robbie Findley scored six minutes later to give RSL the lead. Morales assisted the next goal by Devon Sandoval, and then scored himself on a corner kick from Joao Plata to make the score 4-1 after 82 minutes. Frederic Piquionne added a stoppage time consolation goal with a header to put Portland's deficit at 2 goals heading into last night's second leg at JELD-WEN Field. Futty Danso put the ball in the net first with a header off a corner kick in the 15th, but was called for a foul. In the 29th minute, Donovan Ricketts saved a shot by Luis Gil, but could not catch the ball and dropped it right in front of the goal. Robbie Findley tapped it in easily to give RSL a 1-0 lead. Danso scored again on a free kick in the 33rd, but was ruled offsides, and the score remained 1-0.

In the East, Sporting KC were in control after a 0-0 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium on November 9. Needing only a win at home Saturday, Sporting found themselves in a hole after only 3 minutes, when a shot by Boniek Garcia, assisted by Brad Davis, bounced off KC center back Matt Besler and into the net to give Houston a 1-0 lead. But 11 minutes later, CJ Sapong collected a bad touch by Houston center back Bobby Boswell, and shot it into the net to tie the game and match 1-1. In the second half, Benny Feilhaber lifted a ball in the air to Dom Dwyer, who converted the winning goal in the 63rd minute of a very hard-fought battle, with lots of shots and saves by both Jimmy Nielsen and Tally Hall.

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