This goal by Albert Rusnak is the best of the MLS playoffs so far, and it’ll probably stand as the best too. His exchanged with Damir Kreilach is sensational, and the finish is as good as it gets.
But Real Salt Lake could only manage a 1-1 draw in the home leg of their series against Sporting Kansas City. They gave away their lead when legendary goalkeeper Nick Rimando got sloppy, drilled a pass into the body of Felipe Gutiérrez, and Diego Rubio pounced on the deflection.
RSL will also be without Rusnak, arguably their best player, for the second leg in Kansas City. He picked up a yellow card in the knockout round against Los Angeles FC, then got booked again on Sunday night. Back-to-back playoff yellows earns you a one-game suspension.
A home draw and a big suspension don’t make RSL hopeless, but those things certainly make them big underdogs against a Sporting KC team that finished with the Western Conference’s best record. Sporting has also lost just twice in 17 home games this season. It’s going to take a big performance from some of RSL’s supporting cast members to get through.