Coming out of a three-week break, the Seattle Sounders are playing a three-game week. Match No. 2 is against Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, as the Sounders have their sites set on a second nine-point week of the season.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. In order to make that a possibility, the Sounders will need to take care of an RSL team that is playing well but who has also struggled mightily when playing in Seattle. The Sounders have won 10 of their last 11 home matches against RSL, dating back to 2013. RSL have managed to score just two goals in their last five trips to Lumen Field.
The Sounders, meanwhile, are off to a 6-0-3 start to the season that’s fueled in large part by a defense that has yet to concede a goal from the run of play, an MLS record at 810 minutes (note: MLS only has those kinds of records back to 2010). They’ve been especially hard to score on at home, where the only goal they’ve allowed in five games was on a penalty. Dating back to last year, they are in the midst of a run of home form that has them build a 14-game unbeaten run in which they’ve gone 11-0-3. Two of those ties, however, came in their last two home matches against teams in worse form than RSL (3-1-3).
Head coach Brian Schmetzer suggested that to the degree he will rotate the lineup at all this week, most of that will probably come on Saturday.
- The Sounders are just the second MLS team since 2015 to start a season with at least nine straight unbeaten and have . The last team to go longer than that without a loss to start a season is the 2014 RSL team that started 6-0-6 before losing to the Sounders 4-0 in Seattle.
- Despite their solid run of form, RSL has struggled away from home. They are 1-5-3 on the road in their last nine.
- RSL have the fifth-best xGA in MLS, three spots ahead of the Sounders. The Sounders jump all the way to third-best once penalties are factored in (7.7).
- On the flipside, RSL have accumulated just 8.0 xG, which is the second wort in MLS. The Sounders rank seventh at 13.5 xG.
Absences: Injury, international duty and suspension
OUT: Jordan Morris (ACL injury); Jordy Delem (right ACL tear); Stefan Frei (left knee sprain); Nicolas Lodeiro (right knee surgery); Xavier Arreaga (international duty)
QUESTIONABLE: Josh Atencio (right quad strain)
Referee: Ted Unkel; Ast. Referee 1: Cameron Blanchard; Ast. Referee 2: Mike Rottersman; Fourth official: Michael Radchuk; VAR: Jorge Gonzalez; Ast. VAR: Joshua Patlak
How to Watch
Match date/kickoff time: Wednesday, 7:08 PM
Venue: Lumen Field, Seattle
Local English TV: JOEtv (Costigan, Keller, Zakuani)
Local Radio: 950 KJR-AM Seattle (Costigan, Keller, Zakuani)
Local Spanish Radio: El Rey 1360 AM (Rodriguez, Maqueda, Tapia)
Local Spanish TV: KUNS-TV Univision-Seattle
Highlights will be posted as the match progresses.
This is Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake; watch with us
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