Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Nick Rimando; Chris Wingert (Lovel Palmer, 72’), Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran; Kyle Beckerman (C), Luis Gil (Sebastian Velasquez, 87’), Javier Morales, Ned Grabavoy; Robbie Findley (Joao Plata, 112’), Alvaro Saborio
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella, Brandon McDonalad, Cole Grossman, Olmes Garcia
Sporting Kansas City (4-3-3): Jimmy Nielsen; Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Chance Myers; Oriol Rosell (Lawrence Olum, 8’), Paulo Nagamura, Benny Feilhaber, C.J. Sapong, Graham Zusi; Dom Dwyer (Claudio Bieler, 72’)
Substitutes not used: Eric Kronberg, Federico Bessone, Ike Opara, Jacob Peterson, Teal Bunbury
KANSAS CITY, Kansas – Real Salt Lake lost MLS Cup 2013 in heartbreaking fashion on Saturday, falling 1-1 (7-6) to Sporting Kansas City after a penalty kick shootout at Sporting Park.
RSL FW Alvaro Saborio – making his return to the lineup after missing RSL’s Western Conference Championship series against Portland Timbers due to a hip flexor strain – put the Claret-and-Cobalt on top in the 52nd minute, firing a 20-yard half volley home past SKC GK Jimmy Nielsen. Sporting equalized in the 76th minute, when DF Aurelien Collin buried a FW Graham Zusi corner kick from 10 yards out.
Neither side scored in extra time, sending the match into a penalty kick shootout. RSL fell into a 2-0 hole in the shootout, but climbed all the way back, tying Sporting 3-3 after the first five shooters. The sides traded goals and misses until the 10th shooters, with Collin burying his penalty for SKC before RSL DF Lovel Palmer sent his spot kick off the crossbar to give SKC the shootout by a 7-6 margin.
Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jason Kreis
On the entire 2013 season:
“I’d be really, really pleased with all that the group did this year. Their work ethic, what they achieved. I think they proved me wrong and it’s just been an incredible, incredible year.”
On the mood of the locker room:
“It’s bad. It’s real bad. Not just to lose the game in the fashion we did, but that it’s the last game of the season and that there’s inevitable changes and that the team as it is won’t be the same next year. There will always be guys that leave and guys that come in.”
On if he thinks this is a core group that will be in MLS Cup contention again next year:
“I believe so. I don’t think this team is going to be changed in any large way. Again you have gotten too successful to really do anything else. There’s a ton of really young, talented players with this group.”