Seattle Sounders v. Real Salt Lake, 8 p.m. MDT, NBC Sports
Pre-Match Reading & Viewing
- RSL Soapbox: Defensive questions mire RSL preparation
- RSL Soapbox: Periphery players could make big impact on Friday
- RSL Soapbox: VIDEO: New "Believe" rendition debuted
- RSL Soapbox: VIDEO: Saborio's 2011 backheel goal
- RSL Soapbox: Playoff experience could factor in MLS Cup chances
- RSL Soapbox: Three questions with Sounder at Heart
- Sounder at Heart: Three questions with RSL Soapbox
- Sounder at Heart: CenturyLink Field to have Seahawks logos
- Real Salt Lake: Tactical preview (by me!)
GK: Nick Rimando; DF: Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert; MF: Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy, Will Johnson, Javier Morales; FW: Alvaro Saborio, Fabian Espindola
PRE-MATCH NEWS: Kwame Watson-Siriboe starts ahead of Jamison Olave. Subs: Reynish, Mansally, Olave, Alvarez, Gil, Steele, Paulo Junior
Injuries and Absences
(From MLSSoccer.com) OUT: GK Lalo Fernandez (R wrist fracture); QUESTIONABLE: DF Chris Schuler (R quad strain); PROBABLE: DF Nat Borchers (L quad strain); MF Ned Grabavoy (R quad strain); DF Jamison Olave (L hamstring strain); FW Paulo Junior (R foot contusion)
Yellow card accumulation slates are wiped clean upon entry of MLS Cup playoffs. As such, there are no current yellow card worries.
- Real Salt Lake has not lost to Seattle in the three matches played this season. In fact, they hold the second best MLS record playing at Seattle all-time, with two wins, two draws, and two losses.
- Alvaro Saborio is RSL's active leading goalscorer in the playoffs with three scored, one behind former RSLer Robbie Findley.
- Javier Morales leads the way with six assists in playoff action — not quite enough to reach the all-time assists charts. One more would put him in a five-way tie for 10th place; three more would tie him with RSL original Andy Williams.
- Nick Rimando has started 24 playoff games in goal (unsurprisingly, none outside of goal, despite his fine footwork) — the third-most in MLS history.
- Only two current Seattle Sounders players have scored in the playoffs: Osvaldo Alonso and Steve Zakuani.