Matchday Central: vs Real Salt Lake

Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake

MLS Regular Season
Saturday, May 31; 1 pm PT; CenturyLink Field
TV/Radio: Q-13 FOX (locally); ROOT Sports (regionally); KIRO Radio 97.3 FM; ESPN Deportes Radio, 1490 AM (Spanish)

Salt Lake's Record: RSL is second in MLS at 6-0-6 (24 points), including a 3-0-3 road record.
Head-To-Head: This is the first of three matches between Seattle and Salt Lake. They will meet at Rio Tinto Stadium on August 16, then conclude the series at CenturyLink Field on September 12.

All-Time Series: In 12 all-time MLS regular season meetings, Salt Lake leads 5-3-4. However, once postseason and Open Cup matches are included, the series evens out at 6-6-5.

Injury Report: Sounders FC – OUT: D Damion Lowe (Hip Surgery); F Kevin Parsemain (ACL Tear); D Djimi Traore (R Adductor Strain). QUESTIONABLE: None. Real Salt Lake – OUT: F Jordan Allen (Knee); F Alvaro Saborio (R Foot). QUESTIONABLE: F Joao Plata (L Hamstring).

Key Player: Cole Grossman has mighty shoes to fill as Kyle Beckerman, RSL’s captain since coming to the team in 2007, is away with the U.S. National Team preparing for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Grossman has made four starts in midfield for RSL since making the move from the Columbus Crew prior to the 2013 season and while Salt Lake has experienced veterans surrounding him, it is impossible to replace the contribution of Beckerman.

Notes: This is Sounders FC's last home match before the three-week break for the World Cup. The next match at CenturyLink Field will be July 17 against the Portland Timbers. … Seattle has two players away on international duty with the U.S. National Team – forward Clint Dempsey and defender DeAndre Yedlin. RSL has three players away – midfielder Kyle Beckerman and goalkeeper Nick Rimando with the U.S. and forward Alvaro Saborio with Costa Rica, though Saborio suffered a fractured foot at training camp and will be out for an extended period with the injury. … Sounders FC has a four-game home winning streak. … RSL is seeking to become the first team in MLS history to start a season unbeaten through the first 13 matches. Three teams previously have gone 12 games without a loss to start a season – the LA Galaxy in 1996 and 2010 and the Kansas City Wizards in 2000.