Nat Borchers and Jamison Olave have developed a reputation in MLS for being one of the best centerback pairings in the league and it is not just for their defending. They're a threat on set pieces and on Saturday it was Borchers getting in on the offensive action, nodding home the only goal of the match while pairing with Olave to shut down Sporting Kansas City in a big 1-0 win for Real Salt Lake.
The lone goal of the match came on a free kick played in by Kyle Beckerman. The midfielder hit the dead ball from about 40 yards away and with Kansas City stepping forward to try and draw Salt Lake offside, Borcher slipped in behind and was unmarked from eight yards. Someone has good with his head as Borchers isn't going to miss from there and he did, heading home what would prove to be the winner.
It was the strongest of defensive performances for Salt Lake though. Yes, they kept the cleansheet, but that was due more to spectacular keeping by Nick RImando than good defending by Real. Sporting had more than double the shots of Salt Lake and they forced Rimando to make five saves, several of which were tremendous. He was up to everything Kansas City threw at him though and as easily the Man of the Match for a surging Salt Lake team.
The loss cost Sporting a chance to move to the top of the Eastern Conference and instead they remain a point behind the Crew for first place. Salt Lake remains third in the Western Conference, but are only three points behind Seattle now with two matches still in hand as they battle for that vital second leg at home in the first round of the playoffs.