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Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake match preview

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Real Salt Lake Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The end of the season is rapidly approaching, and every point counts. 5th place RSL will be traveling to 8th place Seattle hoping to extend their two-point lead above the playoff line. History and current form don’t favor Salt Lake in this trip, and Seattle will be looking to get back above the playoff line. How can RSL get a result and end this three-game winless skid?

Limit Defensive Mistakes

RSL has conceded too many goals because of their own mistakes. They’ll have to eliminate those lapses of concentration in Seattle if they hope to get any points out of this game. It was a gritty and well-organized defense that led to the playoff upset last year.

Clinical in Front of Goal and Score First

It’s been a struggle to convert chances all season. RSL won’t have much possession, and opportunities will be few. Those chances need to find the back of the net to put Seattle on the backfoot. RSL has never lost when they score first (6W-0L-3D). They are 3W-8L-1D when they concede first.

Disrupt Seattle’s Run of Play

Rusnak is well known by RSL fans to be excellent in ball control and distribution. He will be the crucial piece to Seattle’s possession throughout the game. Jordan Morris, Raul Ruidiaz, Christan Roldan, and Nico Lodeiro run the offense and have 20 goals between them. RSL must force Rusnak to play lateral and backward passes and prevent any combination play through Lodeiro.

Player Availability

Out: Damir Kreilach (back), Bobby Wood (abductor), Tate Schmitt (knee), Danny Musovski (hamstring)

Pending visa: Braian Ojeda, Bryan Oviedo

With Monarchs: Jeff Dewsnup, Chris Garcia, Gavin Beavers, Julio Benitez, Jude Wellings, Axel Kei, Jaziel Orozco

Quote of the Match

“I wouldn’t consider it grit-and-grind,” Mastroeni said. “I think ... the last five or six games it’s been some really good football: attacking football, creating a lot of chances on goal, not giving up too many opportunities. I think if we finish the opportunities that we create there’d be a different perception of it.”


Predicted Lineup



Herrera, Glad, Silva, Brody

Savarino, Ruiz, Løffelsend, Meram

Cordova, Julio

Bench: Tomas Gomez (GK), Bode Davis, Maikel Chang, Diego Luna, Rubio Rubin, Scott Caldwell, Nick Besler, Erik Holt

Some Big Questions

  • Will Pablo use his subs in reaction to the game? Or will he use them to change the game?
  • After his goal last Saturday against LAFC, have the floodgates opened for Cordova?