Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders | 2017 MLS Match Preview

Albert Rusnak celebration - RSLvPOR - September 16, 2017

Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders
2017 MLS Regular Season
Rio Tinto Stadium – Sandy, Utah
Saturday, September 23 – 9:30 pm ET

Real Salt Lake are fighting, scratching and clawing their way into the playoff race, and as of last weekend were finally able to peek their heads above the playoff line for the first time all season. They've done it with a mostly young and exciting attack – guys who love to get the ball on their foot and attack from different angles – that's been bolstered by a defense that has come into its own since the start of July.

The visiting Seattle Sounders are unbeaten in 13 games, which is the longest streak in the league this season. But their offense has largely disappeared as they've managed just one goal from open play in the past month, and over the past few weeks they've squandered a chance to grab a solid hold on the top spot in the Western Conference.

Real Salt Lake

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M Sunny, D Chris Schuler
  • Int’l Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: F - Chad Barrett (knee surgery, 4-6 months), M - Jordan Allen (knee surgery 6/30, 6-7 months), M - Omar Holness (knee surgery 7/18, out 8-12 months), M - Ricardo Velazco (ankle surgery 7/13, out 4 months); QUESTIONABLE: D - Demar Phillips (hamstring injury), Luis Silva (groin injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, left to right) 

Nick Rimando — Danilo Acosta, Marcelo Silva, Justen Glad, Tony Beltran — Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland – Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnak, Joao Plata — Yura Movsisyan

Notes:Albert Rusnak had a goal and an assist against the Portland Timbers last weekend, the fifth time he has scored and assisted in the same MLS game this season. There is only one other instance of an RSL player scoring and assisting in the same game in MLS 2017 (Brooks Lennon vs. Colorado on Aug. 26th).

Seattle Sounders

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Int’l Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Brad Evans (lower back pain), F - Jordan Morris (right hamstring strain), M - Calum Mallace (left quad strain); QUESTIONABLE: D - Chad Marshall (left hamstring strain)

Projected Starting XI 
(4-2-3-1, left to right)
Stefan Frei — Nouhou Tolo, Roman Torres, Gustav Svensson, Kelvin Leerdam — Cristian Roldan, Osvaldo Alonso – Joevin Jones, Clint Dempsey, Nicolas Lodeiro — Will Bruin

Notes: In 1,517 minutes with Roman Torres on the pitch, Seattle are conceding an average of 0.9 goals per 90 minutes played this year. In 1,241 minutes without Torres, that number increases to 1.5 goals conceded per 90.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: RSL 8 wins (22 goals) … Seattle 9 wins (27 goals) … Ties 4
  • At RSL: RSL 6 wins (14 goals) … Seattle 1 win (7 goals) … Ties 2


Referee: Sorin Stoica
Assistant Referees: Jeff Muschik, Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho
Fourth Official: Drew Fischer
VAR:  Jon Freemon