Real Salt Lake Brace For Road Test Against Sounders

Mar 3, 2023, 4:21 PM
Justen Glad - Real Salt Lake...
Justen Glad #15 of Real Salt Lake controls the ball during the second half against the Seattle Sounders at Lumen Field on June 23, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake’s start to the 2023 MLS Season does not get any easier in week two as another road test awaits the Claret and Cobalt.

Following last week’s come-from-behind victory on the road against Vancouver, Real Salt Lake will again travel north, this time to Lumen Field for a date with the Seattle Sounders.

Much like Real Salt Lake, Seattle began their 2023 campaign with a victory against Colorado. It was an emphatic 4-0 demolition of the Rapids in front of their home crowd.

Seattle enters the 2023 MLS season with an advantage over the remainder of the competition following their debut at the FIFA Club World Cup that was held in Morocco early in February. Seattle became the first MLS side to beat a LIGA MX opponent in the CONCACAF Champions League final last year, granting them a bid at the Club World Cup. Unfortunately, Seattle fell to Egyptian side Al Ahly SC 1-0 in the second round after conceding the game’s only goal in the 88th minute.

Nevertheless, Seattle’s 2023 season began earlier than their competitors in Major League Soccer, which showed a week ago against Colorado.

Seattle dominated the game from start to finish, scoring the game’s opening goal in the 25th minute. Furthermore, unlike a year ago, Seattle enters 2023 with a relatively healthy roster. The likes of João Paulo, Nicolás Lodeiro, Jordan Morris, Cristian Roldan, and Fredy Montero are all available for selection. The only Sounders player on the injury report is star striker Raúl Ruidíaz who is listed as questionable with a right hamstring strain.

A Depleted Real Salt Lake Midfield

On the flip side, Real Salt Lake is dealing with a list of availability issues.

Pablo Ruiz has finally been granted his green card and is now cleared to return to the United States from his native Argentina but is unlikely to suit up this weekend. While fellow midfielder Jasper Löffelsend will serve his one-game suspension this week after footage emerged midweek of him spitting at a Vancouver player after committing a foul in the 14th minute. On Friday afternoon the MLS Disciplinary Committee announced that Löffelsend’s suspension was downgraded from two games to one while also receiving an undisclosed fine for the incident.

Axel Kei and Zack Farnsworth remain listed as out due to ankle and thigh injuries respectively.

Andrew Brody was forced to be substituted a week ago after copping a blow to the head. Brody was not listed on the latest injury report suggesting that he has been cleared to play this week.

Rubio Rubin will also return to the squad following his one-game suspension after seeing red in last year’s playoff match against Austin FC. Diego Luna is also available for the first time in 2023 after returning from US under-20 international duty.

The depleted Real Salt Lake squad will be tasked with a lot entering Lumen Field this weekend.

Scott Caldwell will likely be paired alongside Braian Ojeda in the heart of the midfield posing for a new-look midfield duo against one of the best teams in the league.

The fixture against Seattle also provides Real Salt Lake with its second consecutive match on turf, issuing more difficulty for Mastroeni’s men.

Broadcast Info

Real Salt Lake and Seattle will kick off at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 4. Apple TV will broadcast the fixture while The KSL Sports Zone (97.5 FM and 1280 AM), hosted by David James and Jay Nolly, will handle the radio broadcast.

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Real Salt Lake Brace For Road Test Against Sounders