There were hints in the last match at FC Dallas that the team was starting to feel the effects of its run of 2 games a week for weeks on end. The first half of that match was as bad as we've seen the team in some time, but the memory of that was wiped away by Fredy Montero's impact as a halftime sub. But Real Salt Lake isn't that depleted FC Dallas side and this match was one more in that run.
In this case the first half was actually much better. Seattle had all of the chances, including an Eddie Johnson scamper into the box between three defenders that ended with a clean shot, but one that went 30 yards over the goal as Johnson opted to hit it as hard as humanly possible rather than steer it to goal or pass it off to one of the 2 or 3 Sounders crashing the box next to him.
It was the second half where the team just lost the plot. Occasional good runs into the wings weren't rewarded by other players making runs into the box. The crossing was erratic to bad. One of too many midfield turnovers resulted in RSL's lone goal when Espindola ran onto a through ball and poked it around a Seattle defender to wrong-foot Meredith.
The Lakers were clearly satisfied with a 1 goal lead as they dropped back into a defensive bunker soon after scoring. That didn't help Seattle's offensive rhythm, and even a second half substitution of the newly returned Alvaro Fernandez wasn't enough to create any good chances.
The officiating was horrid and random, but Seattle lost this one tonight on their own merits with wasteful possession and too little imaginative spark. We can hope that it was the fatigue more than anything and a long-awaited weeklong rest until next weekend's Cascadia Cup opener in Vancouver will heal the damage.