Real Salt Lake-Sounders Preview
Real Salt Lake prevented the Seattle Sounders from advancing to
the Western Conference finals for the first time in their last
When these teams face each other again Saturday night,
conference-leading RSL can stop the Sounders from earning a
franchise-record sixth consecutive victory and first place in the
Despite heading into the 2011 postseason on an 0-4-2 skid, RSL
recorded a 3-2 aggregate victory over the Sounders in the
conference semifinals. Seattle, a 2-0 winner at home in the second
leg Nov. 2, has lost in that round in each of the last three
The Sounders, though, have rebounded in 2012 with their
best-ever start at 7-1-1.
Getting two goals from second-half substitute Fredy Montero,
Seattle matched a team mark with its fifth consecutive win
Wednesday, 2-0 over host Dallas.
Montero, the club’s all-time leader with 37 goals, has three
along with an assist in the last three matches after going
scoreless in the first six of 2012.
“I tried to score before, but you never can understand soccer,”
Montero told MLS’ official website. “Now, I’m scoring goals. I want
to keep doing this.”
Montero found the back of the net once and added two assists as
Seattle and RSL split four matches last season.
While the Sounders would certainly like Montero to keep
producing, they might be able to continue their success even if he
doesn’t maintain that level of production. Seattle has recorded
three consecutive clean sheets and given up a league-low three
Rookie goalkeeper Brian Meredith will likely make a third
consecutive start Saturday with Michael Gspurning out with a right
“It’s a great run we’re on right now and it’s good to keep going
and keep winning,” defender Jeff Parke told the Sounders’ official
website Wednesday after starting for the injured Patrick Ianni. “No
matter what team we play and what lineup we have out there, we’re
doing well right now.”
So is Real Salt Lake (7-3-2), which moved one point ahead of
Seattle and San Jose for first place with a scoreless draw at
Chicago on Wednesday.
While RSL is undefeated in its last four matches, it’s 0-2-2 in
its last four on the road, managing two goals in that span. The
club will be facing a Seattle team that has recorded three
consecutive home shutouts.
RSL should have forward Fabian Espindola available Saturday
after he missed Wednesday’s match following the birth of his son.
Midfielder Will Johnson is eligible to return following a red-card
suspension, but it’s uncertain if midfielder Javier Morales will be
ready after leaving the Fire match with a right quadriceps
If Nick Rimando misses a second consecutive match with a right
shoulder injury, Kyle Reynish will be in net.
“Last I heard, Nick’s supposed to be back in time for Seattle,
but if his shoulder is still hurting. … I’ve actually have
another start up in Seattle (a scoreless draw Sept. 9, 2010) so at
least I am somewhat comfortable with being in front of 38,000
fans,” Reynish told RSL’s official website.
The Sounders won’t have Zach Scott available, as the defender
has been suspended for one game and fined after a hard tackle on
Dallas midfielder Fabian Castillo.