Corey Baird continued building his case for MLS Rookie of the Year with his fourth goal of the season to help Real Salt Lake to a 2-0 home victory over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night.
Luis Silva added a late hockey-style empty net goal for Salt Lake (7-6-1) after Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei was caught up field trying to score on a set piece.
Baird has scored three times since the beginning of May for RSL, which completed a perfect three-game, eight-day stretch that began with a 1-0 victory against the Sounders in Seattle a week ago.
RSL has its first three-game winning streak since April 2016.
Seattle (2-7-2) failed to force RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando into a single save in being shut out for the eighth time in 11 matches.
Seattle’s seven goals this season are the fewest scored in MLS by a seven-goal margin.
Baird used some fortunate positioning to put RSL in front in the 57th minute, only a minute after his previous effort was saved by Frei.
Danilo Acosta ran onto Damir Kreilach’s through-ball and drove a ferocious shot at Frei from a tight angle. The Seattle keeper did well to block it, but Baird found himself directly in the path of the rebound, and directed a looping header into an open goal.
Baird nearly had a sensational second goal of the match six minutes later when he raced onto Jefferson Savarino’s long looping cross. He reached the ball on the fly with an extended right leg, but directed his shot wide of the right post.
Not long after that, Will Bruin had perhaps Seattle’s best chance of the match, only for it to be thwarted by Justen Glad’s desperation tackle.
The Sounders served a couple dangerous crosses into Rimando’s area late, but couldn’t connect with a goal-bound effort.
The last of those turned into an RSL counter, which Silva finished off in the first minute of second-half stoppage time by guiding the ball into an open net as Frei retreated too late.
—Field Level Media