RSL 1, SOUNDERS 0: Sam Johnson got Real Salt Lake on the board first, finishing off a breakaway that started with a turnover. It was Jordy Delem’s wayward pass that got RSL going and after hustling back on defense, could do nothing about Johnson’s shot that deflected off of him and past Stefan Frei.
LINEUPS: Lots of changes for the Sounders who come out in a 3-5-2 for the first time this year. Joevin Jones returns to the starting lineup as a left wingback.
There are few locations where the Seattle Sounders have a worse history than in Sandy, Utah. The Sounders have only won one regular-season match there, and that was back in 2011. Even including playoff games, they’ve only won there twice and they’ve failed to so much as secure a point there in an MLS match since 2012 (they did, however, win a penalty shootout in Utah during the 2016 U.S. Open Cup). Suffice it to say, this is not the ideal place for them to be playing a match during this frustrating run of form.
International Duty: N/A
Suspended next yellow: Nick Besler, Corey Baird, Kyle Beckerman, Sebastian Saucedo.
Questionable: Brad Smith (right adductor pain), Gustav Svensson (left hamstring strain), Victor Rodriguez (left hamstring strain), Kelvin Leerdam (right ankle sprain)
Suspensions: Roman Torres (substance-abuse violation), Kim Kee-hee (yellow card accumulation)
International Duty: N/A
Suspended next yellow: Kelvin Leerdam, Nicolas Lodeiro, Nouhou
REFEREE: Armando Villarreal; AR1: Nick Uranga; AR2: Jeffrey Greeson; 4th: Alex Chilowicz; VAR: Malik Badawi; AVAR: TJ Zablocki.
Keep it close. As frustrating as it is to watch the Sounders start slowly, this is probably not a game where a fast start is automatically in their favor. More important than an early goal is keeping a clean sheet at least until the second half, especially considering this is likely to be a heavily rotated lineup.
Attack the wings. To the degree that the Sounders are likely to attack at all, it seems that Real Salt Lake’s outside backs present the softest spot in their armor. Exploit that, especially if Victor Rodriguez is back in the lineup.
Battle of the minds. Brian Schmetzer may not get a lot of credit for his tactical nous, but this is a match where he should have the advantage in that regard. Freddy Juarez has just two games worth of MLS coaching experience and Schmetzer must find a way to give his charges some sort of advantage. Maybe a formation …read more
Source:: Daily Times