Competition: Major League Soccer – Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium – Saturday, March 12 – 16:00 ET (21:00 GMT)
Match Odds: Real Salt Lake 5/4 – Draw 9/4 – Seattle Sounders 9/4
The Sounders fell 1-0 at home to Sporting Kansas City on home soil, although a first-half red card to Oneil Fisher did little to help their chances.
RSL may not have lost their opener, but conceded two goals in stoppage time to draw 2-2 with Orlando. That will have left fans devastated as they looked certain to leave Florida with three points.
The Claret and Cobalt will now look to win their home opener against a side they have not lost to at Rio Tinto for five years.
Seattle travel to Real Salt Lake looking to put their first points on the board of the campaign. They only won four MLS away games in 2015, though, and need to try and get at least a draw in this one.
Losing to fellow playoff chasers for a second consecutive week would leave Seattle in an early hole that they could do without having to climb out of.
These two met twice in the regular season last year, with the home side winning on both occasions. In fact, the home team has now won each of the last eight regular season games in this fixture.
Seattle won 3-1 at CenturyLink Field in October, but RSL sealed a 2-0 win at Rio Tinto Stadium in August and will be hoping for the same result on Saturday.
Real Salt Lake will be without Demar Phillips, following his red card against Orlando last week. However, Jeff Cassar has no apparent injury concerns heading into the game and will be able to pick his strongest possible side for their home opener.
Seattle have a suspension of their own to worry about as Oneil Fisher will miss this following his red card against SKC on Sunday. Brad Evans has been ruled out after landing awkwardly on his shoulder in last week’s defeat, while fellow defender Roman Torres is also sidelined. Erik Friberg and Tyrone Mears are doubtful but should be passed fit. Jordan Morris is likely to start for the second-straight week.
Real Salt Lake’s form: D
Seattle Sounders’ form: L
Key Stat: The home side has been victorious in each of the last eight MLS meetings between Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders. The Sounders last won at Rio Tinto Stadium in 2011.
Key Player: Joao Plata – The pacey forward netted both of RSL’s goals in their opening game last week and looked a real threat. He has returned from injury in good form and will look to hurt the Seattle defence on Saturday night with his pace.
Real Salt Lake 2-1 Seattle Sounders – Real Salt Lake were just two minutes away from picking up three points in Orlando last week, despite playing 70 minutes with ten men. They will hope to quickly recover from their late collapse with a win in their home opener. Seattle struggled to create enough in the final third last weekend. The first-half red card didn’t help but they don’t look as dangerous as they have done over the past two seasons. The home side should continue to come out on top in this fixture.