RSL Have Short Turnaround Before Semifinal Clash With Seattle
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake are through to the Western Conference Semifinals. However, they only have four days to prepare for the number two seeded team in the West.
RSL will go on the road and take on the Seattle Sounders this Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.
Given that RSL and Seattle are both teams that play in the Western Conference, they have played each other twice already this season. Seattle got the better of RSL in their first encounter at Century Link Field after Nicolas Lodeiro scored the only goal of the game in the 18th minute. RSL beat the Sounders 3-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium during their second encounter.
Game Of Two Halves
RSL were dominant in the first half against the Timbers, they scored the only goal of the half and dominated the chances. However, the second half was a different story. RSL found themselves hanging on for dear life after Portland capitalized on their second-half dominance and equalized in the 47th minute.
RSL and Portland looked set to go to extra time if RSL could keep Portland out of the back of the net. The Timbers were on top and looking more and more like they were going to score the game-winner.
That all changed when interim Head Coach Freddy Juarez brought Joao Plata and Sam Johnson off the bench in the 77th minute. Plata came on for Baird and Johnson came on for Kreilach. The game changed. All of a sudden RSL had speed at the striker position and fresh legs on the left-wing.
With how dominant Portland had been peppering Nick Rimando’s goal, they all of a sudden had to be wary of a quick counter-attack, something they did not have to worry about before the double substitution.
Freddy Juarez won this game for RSL.
Prepping For Seattle
The Sounders are very good at home this season. Their record is 11 wins, 4 ties, and just 2 losses. Their only losses at home have come against Portland and Sporting Kansas City.
Century Link Field has and continues to be a dangerous destination for opposing teams to pick up points. If RSL is going to beat the Sounders, they will need to be at their best, which is a big task due to the short turn around.
Seattle has a number of players that can hurt you. Headlined by Nicolas Lodeiro and Raul Ruidiaz who have combined to score 18 goals and 15 assists between them. They also have Jordan Morris who has shown to be an upcoming, young and exciting American.
Their goalkeeper, Stefan Frei, is one of the best in the league and has a standout season to date. He has 116 saves on the season and has faced 165 shots. Frei is talented and has kept the Sounders in games due to his ability to stop shots from going into the back of the net.
The game will kick off at 8 p.m. on Wednesday evening at Century Link Field.
It will be televised on FS1.
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