SANDY, Utah - 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. Then Real Salt Lake got an own goal when Seattle's Osvaldo Alonso was battling with Luke Mulholland inside the box.
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