Seattle has been shut out in each of its seven defeats and has managed a league-worst seven goals in its first 11 games.
SANDY, Utah — This wasn’t exactly the offensive turnaround the Seattle Sounders were seeking.
Instead, the inability to create opportunities continued for another 90-plus minutes of a season that now stands at 2-7-2 for Seattle.
Corey Baird headed home the game-winning goal and Real Salt Lake continued its seasonlong mastery of Seattle with a 2-0 victory Saturday in Major League Soccer action in Rio Tinto Stadium.
Seattle had just five shots, compared to 18 for Salt Lake. And shots on target? Seattle had none while RSL had six.
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Salt Lake scored the winner when Danilo Acosta’s shot from just outside the goal box caromed high off Seattle keeper Stefan Frei and a wide-open Baird jumped and headed the rebound inside the far post in the 57th minute for a 1-0 lead.
The Sounders, desperate to jump-start an anemic offense, pushed everyone forward on a set piece in the 90th minute in hopes of finding an equalizer, but Luis Silva instead found the open Seattle net to set the final score.
Real Salt Lake now has four victories in its past five matches against Seattle and posted back-to-back shutouts over the Sounders following a 1-0 victory a week ago in Seattle.
The Sounders have been shut out in each of their seven defeats and has managed a league-worst seven goals in their first 11 games.
“There are times when we get into the attacking third of the field and the quality is missing,” said a frustrated Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer afterward.
The only good news the Sounders got Saturday is that Nicolas Lodeiro might be back with the team sooner than expected. The midfielder has been sidelined while dealing with a toe injury and hoping for a spot on the Uruguay national team that will play in the World Cup. Uruguay’s final roster was announced Saturday and Lodeiro was not included, so he could be back on the pitch for Seattle as soon as his toe allows.
And on the pitch for the first time this season for the Sounders was Victor Rodriguez, who has been out with a knee injury. Saturday, he came on as a replacement for a hurting Will Bruin in the 73rd minute. The 28-year-old Spanish wing is one of the best attacking Seattle players.