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Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders | MLS Match Preview

June 22, 2013 (WEEK 17, MLS Game #149)
7:30 p.m. MT (KTVA-ABC; KONG/KOMO2)

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Blacked out in Seattle (watch on KONG or KOMO2)

A burgeoning rivalry in the Western Conference will be renewed for a second time this season as Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders FC meet Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium. Two of the hottest teams currently in the league, Real defeated Sounders FC 2-1 in Sandy in March. RSL has won six of its last nine games after a 3-1 home win against the LA Galaxy two weeks ago, while Sounders FC won for the sixth time in eight league games in their last match, a 3-2 home win against Vancouver a couple of weeks ago.


REFEREE: Armando Villarreal. AR1 (bench): Greg Barkey; AR2 (opposite): Claudio Badea; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 17 games; FC/gm: 23.7; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 7; pens: 6

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: RSL: Luis Gil (U.S. U-20) … SEA: DeAndre Yedlin (U.S. U-20)

ALL-TIME (10 meetings): Real 4 wins, 9 goals … Sounders FC 2 wins, 8 goals … Ties 4
AT SALT LAKE (5 meetings): Real 2 wins, 6 goals … Sounders FC 1 win, 5 goals … Ties 2
FUTURE MATCHES: 9/13: Seattle Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake, 7 p.m. PT (NBCSN)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. First-half goals from Luis Gil and Robbie Findley sent Real on their way to a 2-1 victory, March 30 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
  • The first meeting ended a run of seven meetings in league and playoff competition which all ended in a shutout – both legs of playoff series in 2011 and 2012, and all three league meetings a season ago.
  • The teams met in the Western Conference Quarterfinals a season ago, Sounders FC advancing 1-0 on aggregate with the only scored by Mario Martínez in the second leg at CenturyLink Field.
  • Coaches record: Jason Kreis vs. SEA: P10 W4 L2 D4 … Sigi Schmid vs. RSL: P16 W5 L6 D5

3/30: RSL 2, SEA 1 (Findley 8, Gil 35 – Evans 57)

  • Real took the lead after just eight minutes. After he was stoned by Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, RSL's Robbie Findley pounced on a failed Sounders FC clearance then eventually bundled the ball home from almost on the goal line.
  • RSL doubled the lead in the 35th minute thanks to a set piece straight from training. Ned Grabavoy, positioned along the endline, flicked a Sebastian Velasquez corner kick back across the area for Luis Gil to finish with a acrobatic diving header.
  • Sounders FC closed the gap in the 57th minute. DeAndre Yedlin’s deep cross was flicked into the path of Brad Evans by Mauro Rosales, and Evans’ left-footed shot nicked off RSL fullback Tony Beltran before nestling inside the right post behind goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
  • REAL SALT LAKE (4-1-3-2): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran, Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Abdoulie Mansally (Lovel Palmer 81) - Kyle Beckerman - Sebastian Velasquez, Luis Gil (Javier Morales 62), Ned Grabavoy - Robbie Findley (Joao Plata 14), Devon Sandoval.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-1-3-2): Michael Gspurning - DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch - Osvaldo Alonso - Mauro Rosales, Brad Evans (Andy Rose 81), Steve Zakuani - Obafemi Martins (David Estrada 62), Eddie Johnson (Sammy Ochoa 78).

Real Salt Lake extended their undefeated streak with a quality victory in their last match, rolling to a 3-1 win against the LA Galaxy on June 8 at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL sits in second place in the Western Conference with 27 points from 16 games.


  • RSL took the lead in the 44th minute when Khari Stephenson found the back of the net with a right-footed blast from outside the box that slipped past a screened Brian Rowe in the Galaxy goal.
  • Landon Donovan leveled terms just three minutes later. After he challenged RSL central defender Nat Borchers on a header at the top of the box, the ball ricocheted between the two before landing perfectly for Donovan, who used textbook technique to bang a dipping volley that beat RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando to the far post.
  • Real's Olmes Garcia came on as a substitute in the 58th minute, and immediately made an impact with his speed and long runs. First, in the 84th minute, he headed home the game-winner, timing his run perfectly to beat his defender to a cross from playmaker Javier Morales.
  • Garcia then sealed the match in second-half stoppage time, finishing off a breakaway after being loosed behind the Galaxy defense on another feed from Morales.
  • RSL head coach Jason Kreis made no changes to the team that eased to a 3-0 win against the San Jose Earthquakes at Rio Tinto Stadium.
  • REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert - Ned Grabavoy, Kyle Beckerman, Khari Stephenson (Sebastian Velasquez 70) - Javier Morales - Robbie Findley (Olmes Garcia 61), Joao Plata (Devon Sandoval 79).


  • Real Salt Lake stretched their undefeated streak to four games with the victory, and have now won six times in the last nine league games (and eight of the last 11 in all competitions). RSL has scored 11 goals in their last four league games.
  • Olmes Garcia came off the bench to record his first two-goal game in MLS play. He has made substitute appearances in each of the last two games after not appearing in back-to-back league games.
  • “You can tell that this is a kid that really, really wants to do well; really, really wants to take the next step in his career. We've given him a terrific opportunity to do that,” said Kreis. “I think if he continues to show that kind of hunger, that kind of desire, he has all the tools. He's an excellent dribbler, excellent striker of the ball, excellent finisher, excellent with his head, excellent pace, excellent size. He's got it all — he's got it all. For me, the only question mark is the desire, and he's showing that by the boatloads.”
  • Robbie Findley also contributed a second assist in the last two games. He has a goal and the two assists in those games, in three consecutive starts in his return to the lineup after a four-match layoff.
  • “It is so critical to the way that we play and the way that our forwards put in that type of effort to gain us ground. Even if they don’t win the ball, if they’re up there pressing defenders to knock the ball over their own end line, or over the sideline, now we’ve gained a ton of space. And as good as we can be in possession, that means a lot. If we can be in their half the field possessing it and creating chances, that means a lot,” said Kreis. “Hats off to all the forwards. I think they’re all working extremely hard and they’ve all had moments the past several weeks where they’ve been excellent. I think we’re in a good place at that position.”
  • Javier Morales has recorded four assists and scored a goal himself over Real’s four-game undefeated run. Since returning to the starting lineup on April 13, Morales has three goals and five assists; RSL is 6-2-2 in that stretch.
  • Khari Stephenson made his second consecutive start, his first two since starting the opening three matches of the season, and scored his first goal of the year in league play (he has netted in both Open Cup matches).
  • “I see when we have Ned Grabavoy, Sebastian Velasquez and Javier Morales involved in not some of the attacks but all of the attacks and Khari Stephenson on the outside of the diamond and an outside back getting forward in all the attacks, that’s when we create the most chances each game for me,” said Kreis. “It’s a numbers game for me and numbers mean commitments because there is a lot of ground to cover.”
  • Following the league win, RSL advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup with another attacking explosion, a 5-2 extra-time win against the USL PRO Charleston Battery at Rio Tinto Stadium. Devon Sandoval and Joao Plata scored to bring Real back to level terms after 90 minutes, then Sandoval, Khari Stephenson and Javier Morales scored within an 11-minute span in overtime to seal the tie.
  • Here’s the RSL team: Josh Saunders, Tony Beltran, Aaron Maund (Joao Plata 63), Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, Javier Morales, Sebastian Velasquez (Khari Stephenson 63), Ned Grabavoy, Kyle Beckerman, Devon Sandoval, Olmes Garcia (Robbie Findley 75).

READ: Three for Thursday - Why Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders is the best MLS rivalry nobody's talking about

Seattle Sounders FC return to action after winning for the second match on the trot in their last league outing, a 3-2 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on June 8 at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC are in fourth place in the Western Conference with 21 points from 13 matches.


  • Sounders FC jumped out to a lead after just nine minutes, striking on the counter. Lamar Neagle sent a weighted ball to Andy Rose as he streaked behind the Whitecaps defense and he finished inside the back post.
  • Whitecaps FC hit back just one minute later. Russell Teibert and Lee Young-Pyo created space down the right, then Teibert found Camilo Sanvezzo with a well-placed cross at the back post for a wide-open header.
  • The visitors took the lead in the 26th minute. This time from a free kick, Teibert swung in a ball from about 30 yards out that again found the head of Camilo, who was able to slip between two defenders and score with a dramatic diving header.
  • But Seattle brought the score back to level in the 70th minute after Neagle drew a penalty after being taken down by Greg Klazura in the area. Servando Carrasco calmly stepped up and rifled his shot into the top of the net for his first MLS goal.
  • The comeback was completed 11 minutes later. After a sustained run of Seattle pressure, Obafemi Martins took a clever pass from Rose at the top of the box, then laced a low cross into the six. Neagle was on the spot, beating his defender to the near post to lash home the game-winner.
  • Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made four changes to the team that defeated Chivas USA 2-0 at The Home Depot Center. Andy Rose and Alex Caskey came into the midfield in place of Osvaldo Alonso and Mario Martinez.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Michael Gspurning - DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez - Mauro Rosales (David Estrada 90), Andy Rose, Servando Carrasco, Alex Caskey (Marc Burch 61) - Obafemi Martins, Lamar Neagle.

READ: Brad Evans, Eddie Johnson, Mario Martinez unsure of roles upon return to Seattle Sounders


  • Sounders FC have recorded six wins in their last eight matches, winning their third consecutive game at CenturyLink Field with the win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
  • “We love big crowds. We seem to do well. We don't want to send them away disappointed, so we want to keep the game exciting, keep the game close. We're able to showcase ourselves in front of people who don't normally get to come to our games,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. “It was a great contingent of fans from Vancouver as well that followed their team. It had a tremendous atmosphere.”
  • Lamar Neagle made a second consecutive start and contributed a goal and an assist. In his four starts, over the last five games, Neagle has scored four goals and added three assists, playing a part in seven of Seattle’s 13 goals in those games.
  • “His running off the ball, his hold up play (vs. Vancouver) I thought was pretty good – it was much, much better than it it's been,” said Schmid. “His connection of passes as a result of that-I'd like to see his pass completion because it's up over what it normally is. He's just done really, really well.”
  • Obafemi Martins started a third consecutive game in attack and recorded his first MLS assist. He’s now made five consecutive league starts while overcoming a knee injury, with three goals and an assist in that time.
  • “He’s played in so many different leagues in Europe that I think for him the easier part has been adapting to the type of play in our league,” Schmid said. “It’s different than if you have played all your life in one country and now all of a sudden you’re being exposed to a different style, a different method of training. He’s been exposed to all those things. He’s seen all that before. There are very few things that he can see in games or in training that he hasn’t experienced before. That made his adjustment a little bit easier.”
  • Servando Carrasco scored his first professional goal, converting a penalty kick. Carrasco has been everpresent in the Sounders FC lineup since May 4.
  • “He’s done what he’s been asked to do and he’s been very steady about it,” Schmid said. “A lot of people think that experience is that all of a sudden players do more. I don’t think players do more when they are experienced players, they do what they do consistently and you can start to bank on it. ... I think his performances have been very consistent and that’s a reflection of the experience he’s gained in three years.”
  • After lasting just 21 minutes in the Chivas USA game with a second injury suffered in the past few weeks, Osvaldo Alonso was again held out of the lineup for the Vancouver match. Alonso missed the LA Galaxy game on May 26 after being forced to come off after 31 minutes the week before vs. FC Dallas.
  • “We’re trying to make sure that we make the right decision going into this game and we don’t rush him back for the Salt Lake game and then lose him again,” Schmid said. “If he’s ready to play, we’ll play him because he’s an important member of our team. What it does is if he’s not ready, it says in our mind ‘let’s not push it, not be silly.’ ”
  • Making his first start since March 23, the third match of the season, Andy Rose scored his first goal of the season and his second career MLS goal.
  • “It was nice to see Andy get back off the schneid a little bit. It hasn't been the best of seasons for him so far, so it was good for him to get that goal,” said Schmid. “I thought his game overall was better. I thought he fatigued a little bit towards the end because he hasn't had a lot of 90-minutes. He had to sort of gut it out a little bit, but I thought this game was a definite improvement.”
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Real Salt Lake

Season Stats

Real Salt LakeSeattle Sounders FC
16Games Played13
16Goals Conceded15
93Shots on Target49
180Fouls committed164
171Fouls suffered157

Goals Scored


Goals Conceded

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