MLS Preview and Prediction: Real Salt Lake vs Seattle Sounders

Major League Soccer: Real Salt Lake vs Seattle Sounders

Rio Tinto Stadium – Saturday, September 23 – 21:30 ET (02:30 BST)

Match Odds: RSL 23/20 – Draw 12/5 – Seattle 21/10

Real Salt Lake vs Seattle Sounders: Preview

Real Salt Lake host Seattle Sounders in what will be an important Western Conference clash on Saturday night. Both sides are in good form and looking to seal playoff spots over the final few weeks of the regular season.

RSL come into the game in good spirits after beating Portland 2-1 last weekend. That was their third-straight home win and they know that making Rio Tinto a fortress for the remainder of the campaign is crucial.

The home side will only have three games left to play after this weekend and know they must avoid defeat to keep their playoff hopes alive. They come into the weekend in sixth place in the West. But FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo are on the same points, with two games in hand over RSL.

Anything but an RSL win would spell trouble. But Seattle will arrive looking to dampen hopes and keep their unbeaten run alive. The Sounders haven’t lost in 13 consecutive MLS outings and are well on track to make the playoffs.

The visitors come into the weekend in fourth but they are only a point off top-placed Vancouver, who have played one game less. A win at Rio Tinto would basically guarantee that Seattle will finish above RSL, which would provide them with another boost ahead of the postseason.

The reigning MLS Cup holders have looked difficult to beat but without proving a clinical edge in recent weeks. They’ve drawn four consecutive games, scoring just three goals in the process.

Saturday’s game is expected to be tight as neither side will want to over commit at the risk of being caught on the counter. RSL know the pressure is on them but Seattle will look to frustrate them and stay unbeaten.

Real Salt Lake vs Seattle Sounders: Team News

Real Salt Lake remain without Chad Barrett, Jordan Allen, Omar Holness and Ricardo Velazco through injury. Demar Phillips is listed as ‘questionable’ with a hamstring problem. Mike Petke is unlikely to make any changes to the side that beat Portland last week.

Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer will be hoping Chad Marshall is able to return after missing last week’s game with a hamstring strain. He is listed as ‘questionable’ ahead of Saturday’s match. Brad Evans, Jordan Morris and Calum Mallace are all ruled out.

Real Salt Lake vs Seattle Sounders: Key Points

Real Salt Lake’s last five: L/W/W/L/W

Seattle Sounders’ last five: W/D/D/D/D

Key Stat: Seattle Sounders haven’t won away at Real Salt Lake since a 1-0 playoff win in 2012. RSL have won all five regular season meetings since.

Key Player: Albert Rusnak – The RSL Designated Player was man of the match in last week’s 2-1 win over Portland. He picked up his seventh MLS goal and 12th assist of the season in that victory. He’ll need to put in a similar display to lead RSL to another home win on Saturday.

Real Salt Lake vs Seattle Sounders: Prediction

Real Salt Lake 1-1 Seattle Sounders – Real Salt Lake know they really need to win this game if they’re going to stand a chance of making the playoffs. There is still time for things to change in the West but failure to pick up three points would leave them in trouble. Seattle are a team that are really difficult to break down though. They arrive off the back of a 13-game unbeaten streak in league play and will want to keep that going for the remainder of the regular season. This should be cagey and ultimately we see it ending all square.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Real Salt Lake vs Seattle Sounders

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

Match Preview

Real Salt Lake host Seattle Sounders in an intriguing Western Conference clash on Saturday, with both sides looking to improve from disappointing results last weekend.

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.

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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.

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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.

Team News

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.

Key Points

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.

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Score Prediction

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.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Real Salt Lake vs Seattle Sounders

Competition: Major League Soccer – Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders

Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium – Saturday, August 22 – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)

Match Odds: Real Salt Lake 6/5 – Draw 23/10 – Seattle Sounders 9/4

Match Preview

Real Salt Lake welcome Seattle Sounders to Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night with both teams fighting for the same place in the Western Conference playoffs.

And seeing as Real Salt Lake have won their last three matches against Seattle in all competitions, there is an added incentive for both sides to go for all three points in what could be a pivotal fixture. Seattle will want to end that run, while Real Salt Lake will look to extend it to four games.

However, at the moment, Real Salt Lake remain six points off the Sounders in the final playoff slot with only nine games remaining and their chances of making the postseason look slim after a tough season.

Real Salt Lake’s record in MLS: P25 – W7 – D8 – L10

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Seattle haven’t had the best of years either and they’ve been dreadful recently. But they did pick up a valuable three points last weekend when they dispatched Orlando City 4-0 at home, with new signings Roman Torres and Nelson Valdez impressing.

They have however, lost eight of their last ten in Major League Soccer and their playoff place is in jeopardy because of this form.

The main reason they have been struggling is down to the absence of star strikers Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins. But with Obafemi Martins returning with a brace last weekend, their form may be about to pick up going into the final stretch of the season.

Seattle Sounders’ record in MLS: P25 – W11 – D2 – L12

Seattle Sounders vs Orlando City

This will be the first meeting between the two this season, with a return fixture at CenturyLink Field coming on the final day of the 2015 regular season.

Real Salt Lake have won each of the last three games at home, but did lose the most recent meeting 3-2 in Seattle last September.

Team News

Real Salt Lake have three players doubtful for the clash with Jordan Allen, Chris Schuler and Joao Plata all carrying injuries.

Seattle Sounders are still without Marco Pappa through the MLS SABH Program. Andres Correa, Andy Craven and Damion Lowe are all out injured. Osvaldo Alonso, Chad Barrett, Leonardo Gonzalez and Clint Dempsey are all doubts. Obafemi Martins should continue in attack with new partner Nelson Valdez.

Key Points

Real Salt Lake’s last five in MLS: W/W/L/L/L

Seattle Sounders’ last five in MLS: L/L/L/L/W

Key Stat: Seattle have lost their last six away matches in MLS. Homesick.

Key Player: Obafemi Martins – The Nigerian striker returned in Seattle’s 4-0 win over Orlando City and provides some much needed firepower to the Seattle attack. Expect him to be dangerous throughout.

Obafemi Martins Seattle Sounders

Score Prediction

Real Salt Lake 1-2 Seattle Sounders – Following the return of Obafemi Martins and Real Salt Lake’s recent poor form, we see Seattle just shaving the win in what will be a tight game due to its importance for both sides.