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RSL Look To Continue Run Of Form Against Seattle

Kyle Beckerman #5 of Real Salt Lake attempts to control the ball ahead of Alex Caskey #27 of the Seattle Sounders during FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup Championship match at Kino Sports Complex on February 23, 2013 in Tucson, Arizona. The Sounders defeated Real Salt Lake 1-0 to win the Championship. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake are playing a tremendous brand of soccer. The second-best team in the Western Conference, the Seattle Sounders, come to Rio Tinto Stadium this Wednesday evening with the hopes of slowing down the Claret and Cobalt.

It has been a tumultuous few days for RSL as they fired their head coach late Sunday afternoon.

Assistant coach, Freddy Juarez, will take over as interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Jaurez has been in charge of RSL for the past three weeks and has gotten the team to play an exciting brand of soccer.

Their climb up the Western Conference is in full force as RSL currently sits in sixth place and only two points behind the Seattle Sounders who sit in second place.

The History Between RSL, Seattle

Apr 6, 2019: SEA 1 – 0 RSL @ Century Link Field
Jun 2, 2018: RSL 2 – 0 SEA @ Rio Tinto Stadium
May 26, 2018: SEA 0 – 1 RSL @ Century Link Field
Sep 23, 2017: RSL 2 – 0 SEA @ Rio Tinto Stadium
May 20, 2017: SEA 1 – 0 @ Century Link Field

Recent history suggests that RSL are the more dominant team, specifically when they play at Rio Tinto Stadium. The last two encounters at home have resulted in two 2-0 victories for the Claret and Cobalt.

Although, the Sounders did beat RSL earlier this season when they were playing at Century Link Field. Nicolas Lodeiro’s goal in the 18th minute was enough to separate the two sides and give Seattle the three points at home.

What To Know About Seattle

Sounders manager Brian Smetzer has been in charge of the Sounders since 2016. He runs a 4-2-3-1 formation, very similar to RSL.

The Sounders are stacked when it comes to talent on their roster. Smetzer is fortunate to have so many weapons available to him, specifically through the midfield.

Nicolas Lodeiro headlines their midfield. The 30-year-old Uruguayan native has 11 assists on the season, that is six more than anyone else on the Sounders team. His craftiness and ability to see the game is what separates him from the rest of the league.

Lodeiro has an uncanny ability to play passes into areas of the field that most other players would not even attempt. Standing at just 5’7”, Lodeiro will maneuver all around the pitch, but is certainly most dangerous in the attacking third.

Jordan Morris is another midfielder for Seattle that can turn a game on its head. The 24-year-old American has a wicked right foot and has scored on seven occasions this year. Morris is 5’11” and 185 pounds and stands out like a sore thumb on the soccer pitch with his height and weight. Don’t be fooled, the man who has 33 caps for the USMNT can play, and if RSL are not careful, Morris could be the deciding factor between picking up points and losing them.

Raul Rudiaz headlines the attack for Seattle. The 29-year-old from Peru leads the team with eight goals. Rudiaz’s ability to beat opponents with his speed, skill and touch will be concerning to RSL. Although, given that he is just 5’7, he is not a threat in the air.

RSL Club Update

Last week during the 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City, Sam Johnson and Nedum Onuoha both came off the bench and saw the field for the first time in a couple of weeks due to injury. Johnson missed the past 5 weeks with a quad injury while Onuoha had to return to England to sort out visa issues and was away for two weeks.

Both players will be available for selection.

Tony Beltran, who has been sidelined for a year and a half, is still not 100 percent and will not be available to play this week.

Kyle Beckerman will not be available due to yellow card accumulation.

Corey Baird made MLS Team Of The Week honors after scoring a brace against SKC last week. Baird has now scored three goals on the season.

Freddy Juarez will take over as interim manager. Juarez has two wins and a draw under his belt over the last three weeks.

Broadcast Information

Real Salt Lake take on the Seattle Sounders this Saturday at 8 p.m. The match can be streamed live on KSLSports.com or the KSL TV app.

The Seattle Sounders are coming off a 3-3 draw against the New England Revolution at Century Link Field.

They currently sit in second place in the Western Conference.

Reminder

KSLSports.com in collaboration with Real Salt Lake has launched a new podcast, The RSL Lion’s Den. It is the official Real Salt Lake podcast for all your club news and updates. Tom Hackett, Spencer Warne and RSL’s Director of PR, Matt Gaschk break down the games and discuss important club matters.

To listen to The Lion’s Den, click here. It is available on iTunes, Google Play or wherever podcasts are found. Don’t forget to rate and subscribe!

RSL Schedule
09/29/2019
Houston
1
Real Salt Lake
2
10/06/2019
Real Salt Lake
1
Vancouver
0
10/19/2019
Portland
1
Real Salt Lake
2
10/23/2019
Real Salt Lake
0
Seattle
2
Western Conf. Standings
W-L-T Pts.
Los Angeles FC
21-4-9 72
Seattle
16-10-8 56
Real Salt Lake
16-13-5 53
Minnesota
15-11-8 53
Los Angeles
16-15-3 51
Portland
14-13-7 49
FC Dallas
13-12-9 48
San Jose
13-16-5 44
Colorado
12-16-6 42
Houston
12-18-4 40
Sporting Kansas City
10-16-8 38
Vancouver
8-16-10 34