Preview: RSL v. Seattle Sounders FC
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake (8-5-3, 27 points, West #2) will continue its lengthy home stand on Saturday, when it will take on fellow Western Conference power Seattle Sounders FC (6-4-3, 21 points, West #6) at 7:30 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Saturday’s match will be broadcast live on ABC4, ESPN700 AM and 102.3 La Gran D FM/1600 AM. ABC4 will air its 30-minute Ford Postgame Show immediately following the match; ESPN 700 will begin its pregame coverage at 6:30 p.m. MT and will air an hour-long postgame show immediately following the final whistle. Saturday’s match is the third of three consecutive league games that will be broadcast over-the-air on ABC4.
RSL and Seattle enter Saturday’s game as the hottest teams in the league. Both sides are 5-1-1 in their last seven MLS matches, tied for the best mark in the league over that span. RSL is 7-1-1 since the start of May when including Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup results and unbeaten in its last six games in all competitions.
Saturday’s match will be RSL’s sixth-straight home game. The Claret-and-Cobalt began its home stand on May 25, tying the Chicago Fire 1-1 in MLS action. The team had a quick turnaround following the draw, beating the second-division Atlanta Silverbacks 3-2 after extra time in the third-round of the Open Cup. RSL then smashed Western Conference foe the San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 on June 1, beat the LA Galaxy 3-1 on June 8 and topped USL Pro side Charleston Battery 5-2 after extra time in the Open Cup fourth-round on June 12.
Head Coach Jason Kreis and his men will close out their seven-game home stand next Wednesday, June 26, when they’ll host the NASL Atlanta Silverbacks in an Open Cup Quarterfinal at 7:30 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Real Salt Lake has played Seattle once this year, getting first half goals from FW Robbie Findley and MF Luis Gil to beat the Sounders 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 30. The Claret-and-Cobalt met Seattle in the 2011 and 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs, advancing past the Sounders 3-2 on aggregate in the 2011 Western Conference Semifinal before falling 1-0 over two legs to the Cascadia side in last year’s West Semi.
Both teams will have a bit of a different look on Saturday due to international duty. RSL will be missing Gil and Seattle will be without DF DeAndre Yedlin while both are with the U.S. Under-20’s for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, which the U.S. will begin today with a Group A match against Spain in Turkey (11:45 a.m. MT; ESPN2, WatchESPN, Univision Deportes). Both teams have also seen senior internationals only just return to the squad, with RSL MF Kyle Beckerman (U.S.), GK Nick Rimando (U.S.), FW Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica) and DF Abdoulie Mansally (The Gambia) and Seattle FW Eddie Johnson (U.S.), MF Brad Evans (U.S.) and MF Mario Martinez coming back to their respective clubs late this week after being with their national sides for World Cup qualifiers.
Real Salt Lake will be without several players due to injury, with DF Kwame Watson-Siriboe (R ACL tear/rupture, R meniscus tear) joining DF Chris Schuler (L foot stress response signal), DF Rich Balchan (L shoulder surgery) and MF John Stertzer (R shoulder surgery) on the injured list.
RSL will have a quick turnaround following Saturday’s match, resuming Open Cup action with a Quarterfinal match against the NASL Carolina RailHawks on Wednesday, June 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium. The winner of Wednesday’s Open Cup Quarter will host the winner of the Portland Timbers-FC Dallas matchup in the USOC semis on Aug. 7. RSL will hit the road following next week’s Open Cup tilt, traveling north of the border to take on Toronto FC at BMO Field next Saturday, June 29.
A limited number of tickets to Saturday’s RSL-Seattle contest and Wednesday’s Open Cup match are still available and can be purchased online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets, at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office or over the phone at 801-727-2700.
How to Follow Real Salt Lake v. Seattle Sounders FC
- Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah
- TV: ABC4 (Ford Postgame Show to immediately follow final whistle)
- English Radio: ESPN700 AM (Pregame begins at 6:30 p.m. MT)
- Spanish Radio: La Gran D 102.3 FM & Juan 1600 AM
- Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed will provide live match updates
RSL History v. Seattle Sounders FC
Real Salt Lake is 4-2-4 all-time in MLS regular season play against Seattle Sounders FC. The Claret-and-Cobalt is 2-1-2 against Seattle in Utah, winning its last match against the Cascadia club 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 30 of this year.
RSL is unbeaten in its last five regular season matches against Seattle, with its last loss to Sounders FC coming on May 28, 2011, when the Pacific Northwest club beat the Claret-and-Cobalt 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium.