Seattle Sounders’ woes go from bad to worse with back-to-back losses to RSL

It was a rare regular season home-and-home series for Seattle Sounders FC as they first hosted Real Salt Lake before traveling to Utah a week later for the second and final match this season against RSL. Unlike Seattle’s most recent home-and-home playoff series, the Sounders failed to score a goal and dropped both matches, 1-0 at home and 2-0 on the road.

While the first match saw Seattle take more shots than Real Salt Lake, they struggled to create dangerous scoring opportunities and were slow on the counter-attack making them easy to defend against. Cristian Roldan said after the match that the team isn’t creative enough right now and is lacking mental toughness which has lead to late goals conceded and poor decisions in passing.

Coach Brian Schmetzer said after the match, “We need to be creating more and better chances… We had numerous chances inside the box and we can’t score. So something has to break for us; as soon as it does break I think we have more goals in this team.”

 

Schmetzer also brought up how its hard to fault players for taking chances and missing them and that individual mistakes have been the biggest issue for the club currently.

Roldan conceded that the road match would be more difficult to dictate the game and find possession and Salt Lake would prove him right, out shooting Sounders 18 to 5. Seattle failed to put a shot on target and even with Dempsey back in a attacking midfield role along with Will Bruin (albeit not 100% healthy), they looked woefully inept in attack. Seattle struggled to connect passes in the final third in both matches completing just 60% in the final third at home and 58% on the road. By comparison RSL completed 64% on the road and 76% of their passes in the final third at home.

For the Sounders to right the ship this will need to be a focal point for Schmetzer and his coaching staff in the coming weeks. Having Nico Lodeiro back in the lineup will be a big help although it remains to be seen how healthy his foot is and how he will react mentally to missing the Uruguayan World Cup roster and injury concerns still loom over Bruin, Handwalla Bwana, Osvaldo Alonso, and Victor Rodriguez who made his return in the 74th minute in Utah but is likely not yet 90 minutes fit.

There are a lot of bad statistics to look at for the 2018 Sounders’ campaign – eight shutouts in 11 matches, only seven goals scored, 13 players missing at least one game to injury or suspension – but the one bright note has been their defence. Through 11 games they’ve only conceded 14 goals and while most of the league has played more games than Seattle, that currently leaves them tied for second in least goals conceded. The four teams who have conceded less or as many goals as Seattle are all in playoff positions.

While it certainly feels like the sky is falling in Seattle with how poorly the season has gone, if the goalscoring dam can break there is a chance that the Sounders can begin to climb back up the standings. Sounders fans can only hope that the dam breaks before the hole is too deep to dig out of.

Advertisements

Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake

CenturyLink Field – Saturday, May 26th 2018 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST)

UK TV Coverage – Live on Sky Sports Football

Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake: Preview

Seattle Sounders take on Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening in a clash between two Western Conference rivals desperate to turn their form around. The two sides have lost 11 games combined already this season and need to improve. They will meet again next weekend at Rio Tinto Stadium so this is a big two weeks for both sides.

Seattle have only played nine games, fewer than anyone else in the West. But they have only managed to pick up eight points (2-5-2). They had mixed results in last week’s double gameweek, winning 2-1 at Toronto FC before losing 1-0 to a late goal at fierce rivals Portland Timbers.

The Sounders have a whole host of injuries to deal with and so Brian Schmetzer is having a tough job in getting men on the field. They will be glad to be returning home this weekend though, as they are unbeaten at home to Real Salt Lake in over six years.

RSL are not playing to the level many thought they would this season. Yes, it’s still early enough for them to turn it around, but they have lost three of their last four games. To make matters worse, they’ve conceded 11 goals in their past four games so defensively they are a mess at the moment.

Mike Petke has watched his side lose five-straight away games. They took a point on opening weekend at FC Dallas but that remains their only road point from their past seven MLS games away from Rio Tinto.

The two sides met twice last season, with both sides taking a home victory each. The Sounders won 1-0 at CenturyLink last May in similarly bad form to that they are in now. But their win over RSL last May saw them turn things around as they only lost two of their next 18 matches after that win. And it was actually Real Salt Lake who ended the 13-game Sounders unbeaten run in September.

Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake: Team News

Seattle Sounders

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Nicolas Lodeiro (toe fracture).

🚑 Out: Jordan Morris (torn ACL), Victor Rodriguez (right knee arthroscopy), Roman Torres (right hamstring strain), Osvaldo Alonso (left quad strain), Will Bruin (left heel pain).

Real Salt Lake

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Joao Plata (quad injury).

🚑 Out: Tony Beltran (right knee surgery), Jordan Allen (knee injury), Alex Horwath (Achilles surgery), Shawn Barry (knee), Demar Phillips (ankle injury).

Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake: Key Stats

Seattle Sounders’ MLS form: W/L/D/W/L

Real Salt Lake’s MLS form: W/L/L/W/L

Key stat: The home side has been victorious in this fixture in the past 13 MLS meetings. The last time the away side took a point from this fixture was 2012.

Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake: Prediction

Seattle Sounders 2-1 Real Salt Lake: Both sides have problems to deal with and poor defensive records to try and fix. That should lead to both sides finding the net but the trend of the home side winning this fixture could well continue. Real Salt Lake’s shocking away form is a major concern so it’s hard to look past the Sounders just edging this one.

In pictures: Whitecaps snap losing streak to pick up much-needed home win over Real Salt Lake

Vancouver Whitecaps picked up a much-needed win on Friday night, beating Real Salt Lake 2-0 at BC Place Stadium to end a three-game losing streak. The Whitecaps had now won at home since opening day so the fans inside BC Place will have been delighted to see their team march to three points.

Real Salt Lake will be frustrated not to have scored for the second consecutive road game. They have now lost three-straight away games and have one point from a possible 12 on the road in 2018.

The game had to wait until the 75th minute for the opening goal and it didn’t come without drama. Cristian Techera scored from the penalty spot to give Vancouver the lead after Nick Besler brought down Nicolas Mezquida. But Techera celebrated by taking his jersey off, earning himself a second yellow card as a result, and was sent off before the game restarted. Techera had been booked just minutes before the penalty incident, so his moment of madness in the celebrations cost him.

Fortunately it didn’t cost the Whitecaps. They added a second goal a couple of minutes after Techera saw red, with Alphonso Davies making a trademark run down the left before putting it on a plate for Anthony Blondell. Davies only played 28 minutes but made a difference to the hosts attacking intensity and got a deserved assist.

Check out exclusive photos from Friday’s game below, courtesy of MLSGB photographer Simon Fearn.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The five best Mexicans in MLS to watch in 2018

With the 2018 MLS season underway there is plenty of exciting action each week to keep you entertained. The league is continuing to grow at an alarming rate. More top-rated players are joining each season, highlighting an increasing desire to be involved in Major League Soccer. We’ve picked out the five best Mexicans in MLS to watch this season and what they bring to their side.

Carlos Vela – LAFC

The new boys for 2018, LAFC, picked up an impressive win in their first ever MLS outing away at Seattle. At the heart of that performance was Carlos Vela. Many Premier League fans will know of Vela from his time at Arsenal and brief spell at West Brom.

Although his time in England didn’t quite meet high expectations, the 29-year-old forward is a full international and has come to MLS off the back of the most consistent spell of his career. He is going to be one to watch this season.

Giovani Dos Santos – LA Galaxy

Arguably one of the most naturally gifted players in MLS. Giovani Dos Santos is in his fourth season with LA Galaxy, having scored 23 goals in 64 games. He has played for the likes of FC Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur and Villarreal – so has plenty of experience to his name.

At 28 he has a lot to offer LA Galaxy, including the ability to change a game at any moment. Dos Santos plays in a number of attacking roles and will be hoping to spearhead his side to better fortunes this season after a disappointing 2017.

Jonathan Dos Santos – LA Galaxy

Younger brother of Gio, Jonathan Dos Santos is also at LA Galaxy. He has made 29 appearances for the national team so far but fans haven’t yet seen his full potential in MLS as this will be his first full season.

The 27-year-old midfielder plays in a deeper role than his brother, but similarly can fit into a number of different roles.

Victor Ulloa – FC Dallas

The most experienced of the Mexicans in MLS in terms of appearances. Victor Ulloa has played 117 games since joining FC Dallas in 2011. A Homegrown player who has made a name for himself anchoring the Dallas midfield.

Although Ulloa isn’t always a guaranteed name on the team sheet, he is reliable and ready when called upon. At 26 he is yet to be called up for the Mexican side, but that is no reflection on his qualities.

Efrain Juarez – Vancouver Whitecaps

Signed from Monterrey using Targeted Allocation Money in January 2018, Efrain Juarez is a versatile option. He has played as a right back over the last few seasons, but is likely to be used as a central midfielder at Vancouver Whitecaps.

Juarez made his debut in the middle of the park in week one. Fans will hope his experience can help the Whitecaps go one step further this season to top the Western Conference.

Are these the five best Mexicans in MLS – who else should have made the cut?

2018 Key Transfers: Real Salt Lake

With the 2018 MLS season drawing ever closer, we have been running through the standout transfers for all 23 teams over the course of the winter transfer window. There have been a number of key signings and significant trades which should ensure the new season is as exciting as ever before. Today we take a look at Real Salt Lake and their key signings ahead of the 2018 MLS season…

For Real Salt Lake, the aim will be starting the 2018 season how they finished the last. Yes, they missed out on the playoffs and yes, defensively they were poor. But Mike Petke got the team playing well over the final months of the season, winning eight of their last 15 games. They finished eighth in the West and missed out on the playoffs on the final day, despite winning. Petke has had the winter to reform the squad ahead of his first full season in charge, so expect them to be a strong outfit in 2018…

Key Signings

Pablo Ruiz: RSL will hope 19-year-old central midfielder Pablo Ruiz can settle quickly and become a key member of the team this season. He joins as a Discovery Signing from Chilean club San Luis, where he made 10 league appearances last season. He represented the Argentina U17’s at the 2015 U17 World Cup but is now poised to represent Chile, if he receives a senior call-up. One to keep an eye on.

Adam Henley: Real Salt Lake’s new regular right-back is set to be Welsh-American defender Henley. He joined the club as a free agent this winter, after leaving Blackburn Rovers at the end of last season. He’s still only 23 but will be hoping to reignite his career in MLS. He was born in Tennessee but moved to England aged two, before rising through the Blackburn academy and into the first team. He has two senior Wales caps to his name and is a player who should make a real impact, if he can recapture his form quickly.

Damir Kreilach: RSL made the move to sign Kreilach from second-tier German side Union Berlin for an undisclosed transfer fee. The 28-year-old midfielder has always wanted to play in the United States and will now be hoping to impress in Major League Soccer. He spent the past five seasons with Union Berlin, scoring 33 goals in 157 appearances for the club.

Brooks Lennon: Lennon isn’t exactly a new signing, given he spent last season with RSL. But his loan move from Liverpool was turned into a permanent transfer this winter, which is a huge boost for the Claret and Cobalt. The 20-year-old attacker played 25 games last season, scoring three goals and picking up four assists. He is one of many youngsters ready to try and lead RSL to success this season and beyond.

Notable Departures

Chris Wingert: After having his option declined at the end of last season, Wingert has decided to call time on a 14-year MLS career. The American full-back played 23 games for RSL last season but has decided now is the right time to retire. He represented Columbus, Colorado and NYCFC but will be mainly remembered for his time with RSL. He played a total of 10 seasons with the Claret and Cobalt, winning the 2009 MLS Cup.

Chris Schuler: Another long-time RSL defender to have his option declined was Schuler. The 30-year-old centre-back has been plagued with injuries, halting him for finding any real consistency. He is a talented defender who has unfortunately had opportunities taken away from him. Schuler had been with RSL since 2010 but played just 21 games over the past three seasons.

Omar Holness: 2016 first-round draft pick Holness departs RSL after two seasons in which he failed to nail down a regular starting berth. The midfielder was seen by many as the long-term replacement for Kyle Beckerman in the RSL midfield but started just six games in two seasons. Last season was supposed to be his year but he was rocked when he suffered a torn ACL in July, that would leave him out for 8-12 months. He is still recovering from surgery but has been signed by USL side Bethlehem Steel FC,  the affiliate of the Philadelphia Union.

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.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Real Salt Lake vs Portland Timbers

Major League Soccer: Real Salt Lake vs Portland Timbers

Rio Tinto Stadium – Saturday, September 16 – 21:30 ET (02:30 BST)

Match Odds: Real Salt Lake 19/20 – Draw 13/5 – Portland 5/2

Real Salt Lake vs Portland Timbers: Preview

Real Salt Lake host Portland Timbers on Saturday night in what is a big game at a crucial stage of the season for both clubs. RSL come into the weekend looking to keep their hopes of a top-six finish alive. While Portland will be hoping to stay joint-top of the West with Vancouver beyond the weekend.

The hosts come into the game off the back of last weekend’s 3-2 loss at Vancouver. The result moved the Whitecaps ahead of Portland at the top of the West and ended RSL’s two-game win streak.

Embed from Getty Images

The good news for Real Salt Lake and Mike Petke is that they are returning home this weekend. They have one two-straight game in front of their own fans, beating San Jose 4-0 and Colorado 4-1. If they can get a third-straight home win on Saturday, there’s a good chance they’ll move into the top six.

However, Portland arrive in good form after beating New York City FC 1-0 at Yankee Stadium last weekend. That result stretcher their unbeaten run to four, with the Timbers picking up 10 points from 12 in that time.

Caleb Porter’s side endured a tough summer but they’ve bounced back over the past couple of months and are now looking poised for a strong playoff run. They will be hoping to secure a top-two finish to earn a first-round bye.

Saturday’s game will be the 19th MLS clash between Portland and Real Salt Lake. The Timbers have only lost one of their last nine games against RSL. However, that defeat took place earlier this season when Real Salt Lake picked up a 4-1 win after Portland received two red cards in the second half.

Real Salt Lake vs Portland Timbers: Team News

Real Salt Lake have four players ruled out through injury. Chad Barrett, Jordan Allen, Omar Holness and Ricardo Velazco are all sidelined. Demar Phillips and Marcelo Silva are doubts with hamstring problems. Chris Schuler and Sunny are one booking away from suspension and will need to be careful.

Portland Timbers will be without combative midfielder Diego Chara as he has picked up a suspension as a result of yellow card accumulation. Sebastian Blanco is one booking away from suspension.

Real Salt Lake vs Portland Timbers: Key Points

Real Salt Lake’s last five: W/L/W/W/L

Portland Timbers’ last five: L/W/W/D/W

Key Stat: Real Salt Lake are unbeaten in five consecutive home games in MLS and have scored four goals in their last two at Rio Tinto.

Key Player: Diego Valeri – The Portland Timbers playmaker is enjoying a phenomenal campaign. He has scored in seven consecutive games and is a genuine MVP candidate. He will set an MLS record if he nets for an eighth-straight game on Saturday. But he will need to end an 11-game drought against RSL to do so.

Real Salt Lake vs Portland Timbers: Prediction

Real Salt Lake 2-2 Portland Timbers – Goals are to be expected on Saturday in what should be an open game. Real Salt Lake know they must avoid defeat to keep their playoff hopes alive at this pivotal stage of the season. For Portland, it’s about maintaining their strong form as the playoffs edge closer. They are still in the race for the lead at the top of the Western Conference too and so both will be out for all three points. However, that could lead to the two sides cancelling each other out. Last season’s clash at Rio Tinto ended 2-2 and we expect the same scoreline here.

Real Salt Lake vs Man Utd: Preseason Scout Report

Real Salt Lake vs Man Utd: Match outlook

Real Salt Lake welcome Manchester United to Rio Tinto Stadium on Monday night for the Red Devils’ second game of their US tour. The game kicks off at 8pm local time, which will be 3am in the UK.

It will be the Premier League giants’ first ever game in Utah. And comes off the back of Saturday’s convincing 5-2 win over LA Galaxy at StubHub Center.

Big-money signings Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof made their unofficial debuts for Man Utd at the weekend. Lukaku didn’t get on the scoresheet but the £75m signing will no doubt be planning to find the net against RSL.

Mourinho has said he will once again field two different sides in each half of Monday night’s game. United still have five games to play after their clash with RSL, including friendlies against Man City and Real Madrid before the end of the week.

Real Salt Lake have had a tough MLS campaign so far this season. They are currently at the halfway stage but their hopes of making the playoffs look slim.

But Monday’s friendly gives the team the chance to put aside their league form and enjoy playing against some of the world’s top players.

MLS veteran goalkeeper Nick Rimando can’t wait to be tested by the likes of Lukaku and Marcus Rashford.

“I think the city deserves a team like Manchester United come here. The fans deserve it,” he said.

“For me to be able to play against such great players is exciting for sure. They have huge players and to step onto the field with them is going to be great.”

Real Salt Lake vs Man Utd: RSL scout report

Real Salt Lake’s league form has been poor in 2017. They’ve taken 20 points from 20 games and sit ninth in the Western Conference. They are only two points off the bottom and four points adrift of the playoff places at the midway point.

They have the joint-worst goal difference in MLS this season and have lost as many home games as they have won this term. That will give Manchester United hope of bettering their result from the LA Galaxy game on Saturday.

Interestingly though, RSL did run out 6-2 winners at LA Galaxy in their latest outing before the MLS Gold Cup break set in two weeks ago. So they have proven they can be a really dangerous attacking outfit. The problem is they can’t seem to keep goals out.

Head coach Mike Petke will undoubtedly be looking ahead to Wednesday night’s MLS battle with the Portland Timbers. He will likely give plenty of fringe players a chance to impress against United on Monday night, and is unlikely to play anyone for more than 45 minutes.

Real Salt Lake vs Man Utd: Man Utd scout report

Manchester United got their US tour off to the perfect start with that 5-2 win at the Galaxy on Saturday. Mourinho rotated his squad and experimented with three at the back.

He has admitted the team will return to a tradition four-man defence at Rio Tinto Stadium, but 22 players are likely to feature as he continues to test things ahead of the 2017/18 Premier League season, which is now just 25 days away.

Lukaku will be looking to score his first United goal following his £75m move to the Red Devils last week. He could be handed a start here, and will look to do better than he did in LA on Saturday.

Man Utd are expected to cruise to victory, given the quality they have throughout the squad. But RSL will offer an attacking threat, which United will look to contain after conceding two late goals against the Galaxy.

MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake

Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake

Venue: StubHub Center – Tuesday, July 4 – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 4/5 – Draw 11/4 – RSL 3/1

Preview

LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake. It’s been a fixture between two of the league’s top sides battling for Western Conference superiority over the years. But not anymore.

Both sides come into Week 19 in poor form. They both need to really improve over the second half of the season to have any chance of securing a top six finish, let alone a playoff run.

The Galaxy suffered a crushing late defeat to San Jose on Saturday night. Two late goals stunned LA at Stanford Stadium, with Jelle Van Damme’s red card in the dying seconds doing little to help their chances in this one.

Curt Onalfo has a big job on his hands to get LA back to where they belong. Yes, they’ve had a lot of injuries to deal with. Yes, this was always going to be a transitional season. But LA Galaxy have high expectations and they’re not being met.

They are clinging onto a playoff spot at the midway point. But they are four points closer to the bottom of the West than the top.

One win in five MLS outings sums up the Galaxy’s problems. They were unbeaten in eight league games before a 2-1 home defeat to SKC two weeks ago. This will be their first game at StubHub since, and they have to take three points.

Real Salt Lake’s season has been even more worrying than the Galaxy’s. A change of manager hasn’t helped. Mike Petke has come in and struggled to improve results.

Their 1-0 home loss to Orlando on Friday was their fifth defeat in six in all competitions. They are bottom of the West and look to be in real trouble.

RSL are five points behind LA Galaxy in sixth coming into Tuesday night, but have played two games more than their opponents. So they don’t even have the luxury of games in hand.

Seattle proved last year that making the right roster moves in the summer can prove to be a masterstroke. But Real Salt Lake are unlikely to pull of a similar miracle. A first away win at LA in three years would be a major boost. But it looks a long shot.

Team News

LA Galaxy will be without Jelle Van Damme after the powerful defender picked up a 95th minute red card in Saturday’s California Clasico defeat. Gyasi Zardes is away with the USMNT in preparation for the Gold Cup. The Galaxy will soon be able to welcome Giovani Dos Santos back to the side, following his involvement with the Mexican national team. But he is unlikely to feature here. Robbie Rogers remains out for the season, while Sebastian Lletget and Baggio Husidic are also sidelined. Brian Rowe, Daniel Steres, Jermaine Jones and Bradley Diallo are all listed as ‘questionable’.

Real Salt Lake midfielder Sunny is suspended as a result of picking up five yellow cards. Nick Rimando is away on international duty with the USMNT. Chad Barrett, Jordan Allen and Omar Holness are all injured, while Demar Phillips and Tony Beltran are doubts.

LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake: Key Points

LA Galaxy’s form: D/D/W/L/L

Real Salt Lake’s form: L/L/W/L/L

Key Stat: Real Salt Lake have lost their last seven away games in a row in all competitions, conceding 25 goals in that run.

Key Player: Romain Alessandrini – The Frenchman has been the Galaxy’s best player this season. Eight goals and seven assists in 16 games shows how important he is. LA need him if they are to outgun RSL on Tuesday.

Prediction

LA Galaxy 2-1 Real Salt Lake – Neither side can come into the game with any real confidence but the Galaxy are in a better position than RSL, even with a couple of key absentees for the game. Real Salt Lake are in poor form. They can’t stop losing away. And that’s unlikely to change here. Home win.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake

Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake
Venue: CenturyLink Field – Saturday, May 20th – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST)
Match Odds: Seattle 4/9 – Draw 16/5 – RSL 11/2

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders welcome Real Salt Lake to CenturyLink Field on Saturday as 10th in West hosts 9th in the West, with both sides needing to improve on slow starts to the season.

Seattle come into the game off the back of three-straight defeats following Wednesday’s 3-0 loss at Sporting KC. Brian Schmetzer’s side have only scored once in their last three and must get back to winning ways here to prevent panic setting in.

Embed from Getty Images

The Sounders currently look a shadow of the side that clinched the MLS Cup title back in December but the season is still young, and Seattle fans won’t need reminding of what a late-season surge can do for your chances of success in the latter stages of the campaign.

CenturyLink Field is usually a fortress for Seattle, but they have only won one of their four home games so far this term, losing 1-0 to Toronto in their most recent home tie and must improve on all fronts from here on out.

Real Salt Lake come into the weekend after picking up a desperately needed win at home to NYCFC on Wednesday. That 2-1 victory ended a run of four-straight defeats and should lift the mood around the club.

RSL have really struggled away from home this term though, winning just one of their six road games and conceding 14 goals in that time. Their recent record in Seattle will do little to inspire confidence either, given the fact they’ve lost six in a row at Seattle.

A win for either side would fire them back into contention in the congested Western Conference at this stage, but a defeat would leave alarm bells ringing as both teams are better than their record suggest.

Team News

Seattle are set to remain with Henry Wingo and Roman Torres, while Aaron Kovar and Osvaldo Alonso are still doubts. Joevin Jones will return after missing Wednesday’s game through suspension, while Dempsey is expected to return to the starting lineup.

Real Salt Lake are still without Chad Barrett and David Horst, while they have doubts hanging over Jordan Allen, Tony Beltran and Demar Phillips.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ form: W/D/L/L/L

Real Salt Lake’s form: L/L/L/L/W

Key Stat: Seattle have beaten RSL in six consecutive MLS games at CenturyLink Field, outscoring them 16-5 in that stretch.

Key Player: Clint Dempsey – If anyone is going to pull the Sounders out of this rut, you’d expect it to be Clint Dempsey. He leads the team with four goals this season but has only netted once at home so far this season so he’ll be desperate to lead the home side to three vital points here.

Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 3-2 Real Salt Lake – Both sides are poor defensively at the moment and that could lead to a high-scoring affair on Saturday evening. Real Salt Lake’s terrible record at Seattle has to be taken into account and despite winning on Wednesday, they are likely to come up short against a Sounders team that have to win this game to calm nerves.