Real Salt Lake 1st in West; beats Seattle 2-1

The Associated PressAugust 17, 2014
Real Salt Lake 1st in West; beats Seattle 2-1
Real Salt Lake forwards Olmes Garcia (13) and Joao Plata (8) jump into the arms of defender Chris Schuler (28) after one of Schuler's two goals during the first half of an MLS soccer game against DC United, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, in Sandy, Utah. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Leah Hogsten)

SANDY, Utah (AP) -- Joao Plata scored his 11th goal of the season and Real Salt Lake beat the Seattle Sounders 2-1 on Saturday to take the top spot in the Western Conference.

Salt Lake (11-4-9) moved one point ahead of Seattle (13-7-2) with its third straight victory.

After a scoreless first half, Salt Lake scored twice in a four-minute span at the start of the second. Plata, the shortest player in MLS, headed in a goal for a second consecutive game in the 53rd minute. Luke Mulholland made it 2-0 with a goal that was originally called an own goal.

Chad Barrett scored for Seattle in the 72nd minute after a wild sequence. Clint Dempsey's close-range attempt was blocked and Andy Rose's rebound header went off the post. Barrett finally put it past goalkeeper Nick Rimando, spoiling his bid for a third straight shutout.