Preview: Injured Seattle Sounders Look Forward to Real Salt Lake

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Injured Seattle Sounders

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (May 25, 2018) — After having a break in between the Portland Timbers match to the upcoming Real Salt Lake match, Seattle Sounders FC are still licking their wounds.

Literally.

The Sounders have a depleted roster, with five players listed as out for Saturday’s tilt against RSL.

Preview: Injured Seattle Sounders Look Forward to Real Salt Lake

However, the Sounders are not in last place anymore, and are looking to bump up the Western Conference standings. Brian Schmetzer and company haven’t had the best start to the season.

Compiling a record of 2-5-2, Seattle sits in 11th place in the Western Conference. It’s been a back-and-forth season, trading last place spots with the Colorado Rapids a time or two.

Real Salt Lake isn’t in much higher territory. Instead, the Utah-based club sits in ninth place, with a record of 4-6-1.

Seattle Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake
2018 MLS Regular Season
CenturyLink Field
May 26, 2018 – 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET
Stream: ESPN+

What to Watch for

Seattle’s Centerbacks

Right now, Kim Kee-Hee and Chad Marshall are getting used to each other.

Román Torres is out with a right hamstring strain — and could potentially miss more time during the FIFA World Cup. Meanwhile, Kim, who was a fixture for South Korea during qualification, was not named to their 28-man preliminary roster.

Kim and Marshall are going to have a long summer, filled with bonding.

According to Schmetzer, the language barrier is still getting figured out.

“The language barrier is getting better,” Schmetzer said on Friday. “I think Chad’s trying to learn some Korean. Kim is taking English lessons, so the more they train together, it’ll come together for them.”

Seattle has had a rough time this season keeping clean sheets. However, if the communication between the two can be figured out, then clean sheets should start appearing.

Also, Kim has already proven his grit to Schmetzer and his teammates. Against Portland, Kim left the match with a head injury after a collision.

Through a translator, Kim said that he’s used to being injured.

“I’m a defender, I get injured all the time,” Kim said. “I’ve had a broken nose, cut eyes, all those things. But I’m tough. I was just bummed our team lost that game.”

The Injury Report

Seattle Sounders FC

As mentioned, there are five players currently out for Seattle.

Aside from Jordan Morris’ ACL injury, the Sounders will be without Torres, Víctor Rodríguez, Osvaldo Alonso and Will Bruin.

Alonso is a big loss. Since his return from injury, Alonso had featured in four matches, starting three. The Sounders captain recorded one assist.

Bruin is also a big loss in their attack. However, the Sounders did recently sign Sounders 2 forward Felix Chenkam.

Chenkam’s coach for Sounders 2, John Hutchinson, said that it’s “exciting” to have USL players promoted to the first team.

“He’s good at hold-up play, he will connect players in the build-up and he wants to score goals,” Hutchinson said. “He will add enthusiasm up top. He is young and hungry.”

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake has two injuries that take up most of the respective players’ season.

Defender Tony Beltran suffered a right knee injury, which required surgery. The surgery was completed on Nov. 30, 2017. His timetable was nine months out.

Meanwhile, backup goalkeeper Alex Horwath had surgery performed on his Achilles heel on May 1. He is out for six months.

Also listed as out is midfielder Jordan Allen, recovering from a knee injury. A pair of defenders have also been listed as out, as Shawn Berry is dealing with a knee injury and Demar Phillips is rehabbing an ankle injury.

Only one player is listed as questionable. Forward Joao Plata is recovering from a quad injury and is a game-time decision.

Previous Meeting

The last time these two sides met, Real Salt Lake took home a victory at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Goals from Jefferson Savarino and Luke Mulholland served as the finishing touches of victory. However, the last time Real Salt Lake and Seattle met at CenturyLink Field, Seattle claimed a 1-0 victory.

Harry Shipp was the lone goal scorer in the match.

Prediction: Seattle 1, RSL 3

It’s going to be tough for a battered a bruised Seattle team to pull a win out against Real Salt Lake.

I want to be wrong, so badly, but with Kyle Beckerman, Justen Glad and Luis Silva healthy, it’s hard to match up against that offense.

However, there is a chance that the communication can improve between Kim and Marshall. Stefan Frei has been put through the ringer this season and has faced tougher opponents.

You’re not going to want to miss this match.

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