Real Salt Lake travel to the Pacific Northwest to take on the resurgent Seattle Sounders. Each team has secured a victory against each other this year, Real’s coming in league play while Seattle eliminated Salt Lake on penalty kicks in the U.S. Open Cup.
This is a very different Sounders team since the last time these sides met with a new manager and Designated Player. The Sounders are looking to make a late run up the table in the Western Conference.
Stefan Frei starts in goal for Seattle who sits second among active goalkeepers for wins. After record-setting Nick Rimando, Frei is next in line for MLS victories since his introduction to MLS in 2009. Although he sits well behind Rimando still, his longevity in the league has been admirable and he tends to be on the winning side more than not. Real will need to find last Saturday’s potency in front of goal in order to get on the board against Stefan Frei.
Anchoring the Seattle back-line will be Chad Marshall and Brad Evans. Marshall is a constant threat on set pieces and could always score any opportunity with his head when getting forward. He has notched three goals so far this season. There is plenty of speed at the fullback positions for Seattle. Tyrone Mears will be played at the right back position while Joevin Jones patrols the left. They will look to get forward and provide width for the attack throughout the match.
Seattle has a new feature face to look out for in the midfield. Uruguayan international Nicolás Lodeiro signed for Seattle less than a month ago from Boca Juniors in Argentina. The new no. 10 has made an immediate impact, notching 2 assists and several more killer through balls in his first 2 MLS appearances.
Clint Dempsey has been a huge benefactor of Lodeiro’s arrival, after scoring a trio of tap ins last week against Orlando City for his second career MLS hat-trick. Andreas Ivanschitz joins the midfield attacking trio while Osvaldo Alonso and Cristian Roldan are favorites to fill in the gaps in the attacking midfield and defensive line.
After a steady start to his MLS career, Jordan Morris has found his form. With 7 goals he stands as the team’s leading goal scorer, Dempsey just behind him has 6. Dempsey will look to support Morris as much as possible while Morris will look to beat any offside traps and get in behind the back four.
With the RSL defense missing Aaron Maund, the American duo of Morris and Dempsey will be chomping at the bit to replicate their fine attacking performance last week against Orlando in front of their home fans this afternoon.