Two leg aggregate series in the MLS Playoffs favor the team with fewer games played. This has become known around MLS media circles as the "Curse of the CCL." But Real Salt Lake shouldn't take any solace in the fact that they've played fewer games. Their First XI has played in 313 more minutes than the likely lineup put forward by the Seattle Sounders. Sigi Schmid rotates his lineups and more frequently uses his substitutes than most CCL participants. The Saturday night match will not be decided by fatigue, instead by the performance of the players on the pitch.
Seattle's offensive force is quite diverse. Either five or six starters have scored six or more goals in all competitions. There are also bench scoring threats in Roger Levesque and the other second forward (Ochoa/Fucito). Salt Lake played 6 fewer games on the season, but the offense lacks diversity even accounting for that - only three players netted more than four goals. Diversity isn't the only way to look at the way the two teams differ. One is a classic diamond 4-4-2 while the other a much more fluid attack where Fredy Montero plays in both midfield and forward bands. Sigi's side is more difficult to defend, but Kreis holds an edge on the evening.
Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah holds a strong reputation for a home field advantage, but its strength faded this season. Seattle has a win there, as well as wins on the road internationally in tougher conditions than will be faced this evening. With no away goals rule any draw or win is a positive for the Sounders, while a loss would diminish their hopes of advancement. There's a strong chance that this is a game that is decided in either the first 15 or final 15 minutes. The Sounders are better than the Claret & Cobalt when going up a goal and downright amazing fighting back from a trailing position.
The game is on FoxSoccer (national) and 97.3FM with Arlo White on the call at 7:00 PM
Pre Match Build-up: Projected Lineup | Three Questions | Scouting Report
Opposing Look at RSLSoapBox
- Mix Direct and Technical Play
- Feed Montero
- Deny Morales the Ball
- Allow Sabario to Dive
- Fredy Montero v Nick Rimando
- Alvaro Fernandez v Chris Wingert
- Osvaldo Alonso v Javier Morales
Beverage: EXCUSES, a scotch ale
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Kit: #ChurchOfFucito v1.0
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