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What we’re watching in RSL vs. Seattle Sounders

Real Salt Lake and the Seattle Sounders meet at Rio Tinto Stadium to battle for important points in the playoff race

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

With the current western conference standings, Real Salt Lake is 6 points behind the Seattle Sounders. This is a big game because Seattle is only two spots ahead of RSL and them dropping points means a lot for Real’s playoff chance. Seattle’s last four games have all been draws, but they haven’t lost a match since June. With Jordan Morris out for the remainder of the season, will Seattle be able to continue that streak at the Riot?

Strikers and the battle for lead goalscorer

Luis Silva is listed as questionable on this week’s injury report with a groin issue. We’re likely to see Yura start as the center forward in this game. Silva’s injury comes at a strange time as he is sitting on six goals this season, with Rusnak, Yura, and Plata all on seven. It’s been interesting to see these numbers shift around, especially with the emergence of Rusnak and Silva as goal scorers. Savarino isn’t far behind with five goals. Will this game provide a major swing in the top scorer race?

Proving themselves

There are four matches, including this one, left in the regular season. Guys like Bofo Saucedo and BRooks Lennon have had time on the field and contributed with goals or assists, but haven’t always capitalized on their opportunities. This is to be expected with young players, but I’m curious to see how some of the young subs spend their time on the field. At this point in the season, it feels like one eye on the current game and one eye the next year.

Mike Petke reactions

Like most RSL fans, I’ve become a fan of head coach Mike Petke. The result of this game, either way, has major implications for our chances of making the playoffs. There’s a lot of weight on the team and Petke for this game to get it right. If you don’t normally watch the post-game press conference, it’s broadcast on ESPN 700 or streamed on Twitter and Facebook. It’s unlikely we’ll have another “frick’n printer broke” situation, but his words will be very telling at this point in the season.