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Scouting Report: Real Salt Lake limps into Seattle

The Sounders look to continue their unbeaten streak when they host Real Salt Lake Saturday night at CenturyLink Field.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

What You’ll Watch

The Seattle Sounders return home after a two-game road trip and seek to remain perfect at home in this young 2019 MLS season. They will host Real Salt Lake for their one and only trip to Seattle this season.

Seattle currently sits in second place in the Western Conference standings with a record of 3-0-1 (10 points in four games played; 2.5 ppg) while Real Salt Lake sit in eighth place in the West with a record of 1-3-1 (four points in five games played; 0.8 ppg). The Sounders battled to a 0-0 draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps last time out, while Salt Lake lost 4-2 at home against FC Dallas. Real Salt Lake will try to finish a game with 11 men on the field when the final whistle is blown, something they haven’t done in three straight games.

This will be the 25th all-time regular season meeting between the two clubs. The Sounders are just 9-11-4 with 27 goals goals scored and 27 goals conceded. At home, the Sounders are 8-3-2 with 20 goals scored and nine conceded.

A Tale of the Tape

Seattle

Leading Goal Scorer: Jordan Morris and Raúl Ruidíaz, three goals each

Assist Leader: Nicolás Lodeiro, three assists

Real Salt Lake

Leading Goal Scorer: Albert Rusnak, two goals

Assist Leader: Sebastian Saucedo, Corey Baird and Rusnak, one each

Injury Report, Suspensions and International Duty

Seattle

Out: N/A

Questionable: N/A

Suspensions: N/A

International Duty: N/A

Real Salt Lake

Out: Jordan Allen (knee injury), Justen Glad (toe injury) and Joao Plata (ankle injury)

Doubtful: Tony Beltran (knee injury) and Erik Holt (undisclosed injury)

Suspensions: Damir Kreilach (violent conduct)

International Duty: N/A

Match Officials

REFEREE: Nima Saghafi

AR1: Michael Kampmeinert

AR2: Matthew Nelson

4th: Alex Chilowicz

VAR:Kevin Terry, Jr.

AVAR: Joshua Patlak

What to Watch

  • RSL has gotten off to a rough start, somewhat unexpectedly. They were a playoff team last year, after all, and their young core suggested they were on an upward trajectory. Instead, they’ve started with just one win in their first five — and that came courtesy of a highly questionable penalty at home against the still winless Whitecaps. There’s talent there, but so far they’ve not shown it.
  • That said, their record is a little misleading. Their last three games have all ended with them down at least one man, and they played the last 23 minutes down two men in that 5-0 loss to D.C. United. They also played 73 minutes down a man last week against FC Dallas, in what turned out to be a 4-2 loss. After opening 1-0-1, they’ve been outscored 11-3 while losing three straight. The lack of discipline is surely a contributing factor, but that could also be indicative of other problems. In other words, it’s hard to know what exactly to make of them right now.
  • What we do know is that their top defender from a year ago, Justen Glad, has yet to play and is already listed as “out” for this week. Joao Plata, another one of their leaders, has been limited to 12 minutes and is also listed as “out.” Add in the suspension absence of Damir Kreilach and this will be a depleted team. So far, they’ve shown a propensity to take a lot of speculative shots from outside the box — 57 percent of their shots, in fact — and have been unable to hold the ball (they’ve had it just 44 percent of the time). That could play right into the Sounders’ hands ... or we could just be in for another bunkered opponent.

How to Watch

Date/Time: Saturday, April 6 @ 7:00 PM PT

Location: CenturyLink Field — Seattle, WA

TV: JOEtv

Streaming: YouTube TV (Washington), ESPN+ (elsewhere in the US)

Radio: 950 KJR AM (English), El Rey 1360AM (Spanish)

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