Matchday Central: vs. Real Salt Lake
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
The two top teams in MLS meet for the third and final time in the 2013 regular season as Sounders FC hosts Real Salt Lake at CenturyLink Field.
Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake
September 13, 2013, 7 pm PT; CenturyLink Field
TV/Radio: NBC Sports Network; 97.3 FM; La Gran D 99.3 FM (Spanish)
Real Salt Lake’s Record: RSL leads the chase for the Supporters’ Shield at 14-8-6 (48 points), two points ahead of second-place Seattle (14-8-4, 46 points).
All-Time Series: Seattle hasn’t played any team more than the 16 matches it has played against Salt Lake in all competitions. In MLS play, RSL holds a 5-2-4 edge, while Seattle is up 2-1-1 in the MLS Cup Playoffs and 1-0-0 in the U.S. Open Cup. In total, Salt Lake is ahead at 6-5-5.
Injury Report: Sounders FC – OUT: M Shalrie Joseph (R knee sprain); GK Josh Ford (R patella fracture); M Steve Zakuani (athletic pubalgia). QUESTIONABLE: F Will Bates (R knee); M Brad Evans (L calf strain); D Dylan Remick (L hamstring strain). RSL – OUT: D Rich Balchan (L shoulder surgery); M John Stertzer (R shoulder surgery); D Kwame Watson-Siriboe (R knee); GK Josh Saunders (L knee); F Alvaro Saborio (L calf strain). PROBABLE: D Chris Schuler (L foot pain).
Key Player: Midfielder Javier Morales has a goal or assist in each of RSL’s last four matches, netting two goals with three assists in that span. This season, he is second on the team with seven goals and first with 10 assists, giving him 27 goals and 53 assists in 151 career matches. Seattle has done well in stifling the playmaker, though, as he has yet to register a point against Sounders FC in 606 regular-season minutes.
Notes: Seattle is on a league-best four-match winning streak and has won seven of its last eight matches. … Sounders FC is also on a 12-match home unbeaten streak at 9-0-3, trailing only the current 13-match streak for San Jose. … With over 52,000 tickets sold as of Wednesday, Sounders FC will have its seventh match with attendance exceeding 50,000 fans. Seattle is a perfect 6-0-0 in those matches, outscoring its opponents 15-3. … Mauro Rosales has 33 career MLS assists, one shy of the club record held by Fredy Montero.