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Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders: What we’re watching

A quick turnaround for RSL sees them in Seattle to take on the reigning MLS champions.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Seattle Sounders FC Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake travel to Seattle to play the Sounders. Seattle has now lost their last three matches, and RSL just won their first match since mid April. Both teams have a lot of good pieces but haven’t quite figured out their rhythm this season.

A veteran presence in defense

In Wednesday’s match, from the fifth minute until the final whistle, RSL’s backline looked mostly solid. Having an experienced center back pairing in Schuler and Maund did wonders. The return of Beckerman and Rimando to the lineup can’t be underestimated. The back looked more organized and defensively sound. One big question ahead of Seattle is if Schuler will play given his past injuries and the Sounders play on a turf field. Beltran will be playing with the Monarchs on Saturday, and he won’t be at his usual right back position. Phillips is still listed as questionable. This could mean we see Schmidt and Wingert on duty again, which isn’t the worst thing. If RSL can stay organized from the start, this will help the whole team.

It’s pronounced Yefferson.

Jefferson Savarino looked good both last weekend and this Wednesday. His passes were mostly good, he had an assist, had good movement, and he stayed on his feet. I don’t’ want to speak ill of past players, but staying on one’s feet when you’re new to the league has, at times, been a struggle. When Savarino went to ground, he immediately jumped up and got back into the attack. The man helps our whole team push up and attack. He’s making an impact and he’s been in Utah less than two weeks. It’s another game where I want to keep a close eye on his movements, both on and off the ball.

Plata and Yura

This season hasn’t been great for either Joao Plata or Yura Movsisyan. Yura, with four goals, has produced, but he’s felt ineffective and uninvolved lately. His last goal was a PK against Colorado on April 15th. Plata has a single assist and no goals this year. I am not writing either player off, but we need to see more from them. I miss the days when Plata looked hungry, fast, and dangerous. He did see some of that on Wednesday, and I hope we see more in Seattle. Yura is listed as questionable on the latest injury report due to ball he took to the face against NYCFC. If these players are going to be the point of attack for the team, we need to see a higher production rate.