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Wednesday night’s match between the Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake is just another contest between the two cities’ rivalry that started in the mid-90s with basketball went through the MLS expansion process of 2004 and peaked for soccer with last year’s MLS Cup Playoff loss. 2012 promises even more RSL/SSFC contests. The two sides are nearly certain to meet in the Playoffs again after having already played three times during the regular season.
Both teams are weakened for tonight's nationally televised game (NBCSN). Both due to injuries and international callups. Both lack significant goal scorers up top. Seattle's defense is piecemeal. Salt Lake takes a hit in their wide midfield. If matches must be played shortly after international dates at least the impact to both rosters should be similar and in this case it is.
Salt Lake is a less than average team in deadball situations. This is surprising considering their height defensively. The Sounders can take advantage of that, as their losses won't change how Sigi approaches free kicks and corners. It is imperative in this series for a team to take the lead early as pointed out, but the Rave Green do not need to rush. Where the Sounders are a strong team late using sub, fitness and tactical shifts to advantage the team from Utah is not. They get weaker as the game drags on in time.
The match is on KONG, Root Sports, NBC Sports Network and 97.3 FM at 7 PM. Fletcher and Keller have the call on every version of the broadcast.
Referee: Ricardo Salazar MLS Career: 159 games; FC/gm: 26.9; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 45; pens: 57
AR1 (bench): Corey Rockwell; AR2 (opposite): Jeff Hosking; 4th: Tyler Ploeger
Team Statistics Matchups
|Team||Shots +/-||Run of Play||Dead Ball||Net Strike Rate||Net On Frame||Final 30|
- Seize Initiative
- Control Midfield With Patience
- Track Drifting Espindola
- Set-Play Offense
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