The western conference is getting awfully tight as Real Salt Lake take on the Sounders in Seattle tonight. RSL have 6 points from their last 8 games (1-3-4), whereas Seattle have 9 points from their last 8 (3-0-5). The west currently has 8 teams within 5 points of each other, in places 4 though 11, making the playoff race very tight. RSL are currently in 5th on 34 points, but a win for Seattle would put them above the playoff line and above RSL.
Against LAFC last weekend, Sergio Cordova scored RSL’s lone goal of the game. He now has 5 goals this season (level with Savarino). Will that additional goal give him more confidence in the attack? His partnership with Anderson Julio felt off against LAFC, so it’s a question if we’ll see them start together again or if Pablo Mastroeni will try something new against the Sounders.
Backline bounce back
The 4 goals conceded last week were pretty disastrous. Real’s defense is their best asset in 2022. But what’s the mindset of those players headed into a historically tough location after letting 4 in against LAFC? Glad was posterized by Bale, but no one covered themselves in glory in that game. Will they be able to bounce back against the Sounders?
It was a point of interest when RSL’s General Manager, Garth Lagerwey left for the the Sounders job in 2015, a loss many RSL fans still regret. In recent years a slew of RSL folks have joined Seattle; former RSL GM Craig Waibel is now the Senior Vice President of Soccer & Sporting Director, Freddy Juarez is an assistant coach, and Albert Rusnak is on their roster. With so much familiarity, does that give one side the edge over the other?
RSL player availability
Out: Kreilach (back), Wood (abductor), Schmitt (knee), Musovski (hamstring)
Pending visa: Ojeda, Oviedo
With Monarchs: Dewsnup, Garcia, Beavers, Benitez, Wellings, Kei, Orozco