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Match Thread: Real Salt Lake v. Seattle Sounders

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George Frey

Pre-match reading

RSL Soapbox: RSL, Seattle continue young rivalry

RSL Soapbox: Imminent Morales return gives RSL focal point

RealSaltLake.com: Tactical Preview by yours truly

Sounder at Heart: Obafemi Martins practices, should play against RSL

Predicted lineup

Rimando; Beltran, Borchers, Schuler, Mansally; Beckerman, Grabavoy, Velasquez, Gil; Plata, Findley

Stats and notes

Only two goals were scored between RSL and Seattle last year across what was likely 100,000 matches. Or something like that.

Kyle Beckerman and Osvaldo Alonso are ostensibly the best two defensive midfielders in the league. As a point of comparison, here are some numbers from 2012 that show the similarity:

Statistic Beckerman Alonso
Minutes played 2592 2688
Total passing (87%) 1727/1988 (86%) 1522/1779
Forward passing rate (37%) 740/1988 (33%) 579/1779
Backward passing rate (10%) 196/1988 (8%) 136/1779
Tackling rate (74%) 61/83 (81%) 134/166
Mins. per interception (87) 29.8 mins per (109) 24.7 mins per
Key passes 32 (81 mins per) 23 (117 mins per)
Fouls 57 (45 mins per) 37 (73 mins per)
Duels (55%) 126/231 (69%) 270/393

Quotes

Kyle Beckerman on being with the USMNT and not playing: "You always want to play. You always feel like you're ready, and you try and just stay ready. All you can do is just control what you can control. If that's in practice, you've got to go in and kick butt every day, give it your all, be in good form, try and show the coaches that. That's all I can do. I continue to try to do that, and hopefully my number will get called one of these days."

Jason Kreis on playing with so many newcomers recently: "I think it's great ... I really haven't felt like we've put anybody out there and kind of had a fail. In years past, that's not the case. In years past, we have put out a player and felt like, "Whoa, that's a bit scary." Not for us this year - especially the young midfielders we've played. There are going to be some young forwards getting opportunities here shortly, and I really just feel strongly about everybody's potential - not necessarily where everybody is right now. We know that we've got a long way to go, but I have a lot of belief in every player on this team."