Sporting KC nabs West's top seed with shutout of Real Salt Lake

By The Associated Press
Sporting Kansas City forward Erik Hurtado, right, celebrates with teammates Johnny Russell, Khirey Shelton and Luis Martins, right to left, after scoring a second half goal in a 2-0 victory over host Real Salt Lake in the snow Sunday.

SANDY, Utah – Khiry Shelton and Erik Hurtado sandwiched a pair of goals around intermission and Sporting KC beat Real Salt Lake 2-0 in the snow on Sunday night.

Sporting KC (12-6-3) clinched the top seed in the MLS Western Conference with the win. The club enters the postseason having won six of eight.

Sporting was matched with 39 points by Seattle and Portland but accumulated those points in fewer games – 21 for Kansas City, 22 for Seattle and 23 for Portland.

Shelton scored in a scrum at the 45th minute off a corner kick when the ball ricocheted off a pair of Real Salt Lake (5-10-7) defenders before entering the net.

After halftime, Hurtado beat sliding keeper David Ochoa, who extended beyond the net at the 48th minute.

Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia made three saves to preserve the clean sheet, his seventh of the season.

Sporting KC will meet the eighth-seeded San Jose Earthquakes on Nov. 21, 22 or 24.