Real Salt Lake-Seattle Sounders: So We Meet Again

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Real Salt Lake-Seattle Sounders

Editorial (June 1, 2018) — Last month the Seattle Sounders hosted Real Salt Lake at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington.

This month, the two teams will face off again. However, this time, the match will be held on Real Salt Lake’s “home court” of Rio Tinto Stadium.

“Last month” sounds like a decent chunk of time for two teams to have last faced each other. While the sentiment of “last month” is true for Seattle and Real Salt Lake, there’s also another meaning.

Real Salt Lake-Seattle Sounders: So We Meet Again

The two sides just faced off last weekend.

Seven days later, the two teams will return to action against each other. Seattle came close to finding an equalizer but ultimately lost with RSL gaining three points.

This time, Seattle will come back with a more knowledgeable game plan against their most recent opponent.

Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders FC
2018 MLS Regular Season
Rio Tinto Stadium
June 2, 2018 – 6:30 p.m. PT/9:30 p.m. ET
Stream: ESPN+

What to Watch for

Cristian Roldan

With injuries surrounding Seattle’s midfield and attackers, Cristian Roldan’s role with Seattle has become crucial.

Now wearing the captain’s armband due to Román Torres being away with Panama for the upcoming FIFA World Cup and Osvaldo Alonso’s lingering injuries, Roldan is a key figure in the midfield. Not only is he an attacking midfielder, but lately he has embraced a role of defensive midfielder.

He has also embraced a new leadership role, despite only being 22-years-old.

Roldan told the Sounders’ official website that he could see himself being a captain for an extended period of time. However, he understands that the decision is not his to make.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily about getting the armband for a couple games,” Roldan said. “I came into this year wanting to take on a new role. This is my fourth year on the team. There aren’t too many guys left from when I started. It’s time for me to step up.”

“If it goes back to Ozzie, I’m going to be OK with that,” Roldan continued. “I want to lead the best way I can. I want to help the team in the best way I can possibly do so.”

The Injury Report

Seattle Sounders FC

Christmas has come early for Brian Schmetzer.

Despite losing Torres to the FIFA World Cup, Schmetzer is welcoming back two key attacking players: Will Bruin and Víctor Rodríguez.

Schmetzer said he “expects” both players to dress and take to the pitch on Saturday. Rodríguez missed time with a knee injury. He will look to make his first appearance of the 2018 season.

Meanwhile, Bruin has missed time due to a torn plantar fascia.

Seattle still does have some injuries, though. In addition to Jordan Morris, who is out an extended period of time with an ACL injury, Alonso has been listed as out with a left quad strain.

After suffering a right foot injury against Real Salt Lake last weekend, Handwalla Bwana has not been listed as out or questionable on the MLS injury report. However, Schmetzer said he doesn’t know how long Bwana will be out for.

“He’s going to be in a boot,” Schmetzer said. “It’s another one of those funky injuries that seems to be plaguing us all year.”

Real Salt Lake

While Seattle’s injury list gets shorter, Real Salt Lake’s list gets longer.

Defender Tony Beltran and goalkeeper Alex Horwath are out for an extended period of time with separate injuries.

Defenders Shawn Barry (knee) and Demar Phillips (ankle injury) have been ruled out, along with midfielders Jordan Allen (knee injury) and Luke Mulholland (back injury).

Listed as questionable is forward Joao Plata with a quad injury.

Previous Meeting: May 26, 2018

As mentioned, the two sides met up just last weekend.

Sebastian Saucedo scored the game-winning goal in the 61st minute. Real Salt Lake controlled the ball with a leading possession of 54 percent over Seattle’s 46 percent.

This time, with injuries for Real Salt Lake and healthy players back in the mix for Seattle, it’s a whole new different game.

Prediction: Seattle 2, RSL 0

Chad Marshall and Kim Kee-Hee are working on their communication and it is getting a lot better. Right now, Stefan Frei is overdue on a clean sheet.

Also overdue is Clint Dempsey. The veteran forward will push hard toward fellow U.S. Men’s National Team counterpart Nick Rimando to get Seattle on the board.

Should Rodríguez debut, he’ll be hungry for a goal as well.

Embed from Getty Images

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