The Seattle Sounders FC (13-6-2, 41 points) focus and concentration will be tested Saturday(12:30PM MDT) when they take on Real Salt Lake(10-9-4, 36 points) in front of another national television audience. The match between the two top teams in MLS Western Conference is guaranteed to be a grand spectacle between two teams with high hopes come season's end.
Sounders FC concentration will be tested after thrashing the Chicago Fire 6-0 in Wednesdays US Open Cup Seminal Final match. The half dozen was the most goals Seattle has scored all season and it was the second straight shut out for Sounders FC. With a convincing win that earned them a US Open Cup Final berth and the De Andre Yedlin will he stay or will he go saga finally settled ( He's going to Tottenham Spurs at end of the season) the question at hand is, will the Sounders FC be mentally and emotionally ready to battle for top spot in the Western Conference and take on one of the best goal keepers in MLS history.
Real Salt Lake is unbeaten ( 3-0-2) in it's last five games and will look to revenge the 4-0 drubbing they suffered May 31st at the Xbox Pitch in Seattle. RSL' success can be attributed to the play of Goal keeper Nick Rimando who broke the MLS mark for shutout in Real's 3-0 win over D.C. United last Saturday. Rimando has 113 career shutouts.
“I might have my name on the shutout but it’s a committed effort from the team. This is not only my record. My name is on it but there are a lot of guys that should be getting credit for this too. Nat Borchers, Eddie Pope, Ryan Nelson, Chris Schuler, Tony Beltran, there are a lot of players,” Rimando said. “Man, I’ve been around a long time. But there are a lot of people that need to get credit for the record that I achieved.”
RSL has recorded back-to-back shutouts and have not allowed a goal in the last 213 minutes, after going nine games without keeping a clean sheet. In addition to Rimando RSL have a solid back-line that is complemented by one of the best midfields in the league.
USNMT player Kyle Beckerman is the lynch pin in a diamond shaped midfield that includes Luke Mulholland on the right, Ned Grabavoy on the left and team assist leader(9) Javier Morales at the point. Forwards Olmes Garcia and Joao Plato will be looking for long penetrating passes from Beckerman and his midfield cohorts. Sounders FC defense will have to ensure they do not give Plato much room to weave his magic in and around Seattle goal. Plato leads RSL with 10 goals.
The Sounders FC offense will be without Obefami Martins due to two yellow card infractions in the teams 2-0 win over Houston. If Seattle is to regain it's position as the top scoring team in MLS, ( they have scored 37 to Dallas 38) they will need to play an uptempo game that will use the width of the field to in hope of spreading the stout RSL defense and find openings for Clint Dempsey regain his scoring touch.
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