by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)
Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. The Sounders travel to the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains to face conference rivals Real Salt Lake under the lights in Sandy, Utah.
Although the lads have had a bit of a rough go over the last four matches, I have full confidence that the side will right the ship and return to winning ways.
As supporters, it’s our job to generate the faith and will to help propel our boys in Green right over the top. Gather your Green family where you can and head to viewing parties, like the one the ECS is holding at the Atlantic Crossing pub in Seattle. For those of you at the ground, we know that you will give it your all and we’ll listen for your voices raised in song, as we follow along on the tele. Before kick-off, join me in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!
The Good News
The Sounders continue their 13-match unbeaten run with their 0:0 draw at Dallas last week. The bulk of the squad is healthy and there is plenty of depth in the team to cover for recent injuries.
The raw maths suggest that Seattle is the side more likely to score two goals. We defeated Salt Lake in Seattle earlier in the season by a score of 1:0. That victory broke what was, at the time, a three-match losing streak.
Man for man, the Sounders have one of the most talented and accomplished sides in the league. Although Salt Lake’s form is in currently in a fine vein, they have been known to bleed goals at inopportune times. Both their losses within the last five matches saw them concede three goals, to Montreal and Vancouver. Salt Lake has conceded three or more goals in nine of their 30 matches this season.
Although Morris is out, the combination of Dempsey and Bruin should be enough to dispatch our opponent, with Jones ably covering at left wing for the injured Morris. Should Marshall be unfit to play tonight, Svensson and Alfaro have proven more than capable as cover in the centre-half position.
The markers point to victory, but the Sounders will have to produce a more convincing effort than they did last week in the Dallas if they plan on taking home all three points.
The Bad News
Seattle’s string of draws has seen them slip to 9th in the league table. In the last five matches, Salt Lake have scored 13 goals, conceding eight. In the Sounders’ last five matches they have scored five goals, conceding four.
Seattle was unable to score in their last match in Dallas. In fact, the Sounders only managed two on-target shots in the entire match.
Morris remains out with a hamstring problem. Marshall hasn’t been ruled out but is also nursing a hamstring issue.
Sandy, Utah is where dreams go to die, as the Sounders have only managed one win in eight matches there all-time.
The form book suggests, that Salt Lake is more likely to score multiple goals, with the Sounders struggling to score at all. In their last 11 matches, Salt Lake have only lost twice. The State Street ground sits at an elevation of over 4400’. Hopefully, thin air won’t be a problem.
Know Thine Enemy
Rimando, 38, has played in nearly 450 MLS matches in his 18-year career, playing in 24 matches this season. The veteran goalkeeper has 22 caps for the United States. Needless to say, it’s tough to knock one past old man Rimando.
Beltran, 29, has played his entire 10-year career with Salt Lake, amassing a total of over 240 appearances. The veteran right-back has been capped three times by United States.
Marcelo Silva, 28, lined up at right centre-half last match for Salt Lake. His football career of nine years has seen him play over 160 matches featuring for such clubs as Penarol in Uruguay, and Valladolid and Zaragoza in Spain. The Uruguayan national signed with Salt Lake just this July in the summer transfer window. He has appeared for his new club six times.
Glad, 20, played at left centre-half last match. This is his fourth year of MLS football. Tonight’s appearance will be the 50th of his career, all spent with Salt Lake. Glad was selected to the United States U-20 side that competed in the U-20 World Cup Finals, playing in four matches, and scored a goal against New Zealand in the round of 16.
Acosta, 19, supposedly lined up at left-back last match. He is listed as a midfielder on RSL’s website. Go figure. This is Acosta’s second year with Salt Lake. He has appeared 13 times for the club this season. This is also the sum total of his professional experience. He has eight caps and one goal for United States U-20s.
Mulholland, 29, lined up in a holding midfield role on the right side last time out. The Preston, England native once played 30 matches in a season with Reading United, scoring 8 goals. Mulholland went on to play over 80 matches of lower level US football with Wilmington, Minnesota Stars (later became Minnesota United), and Tampa Bay, before signing with Salt Lake in 2014. In his four years at Salt Lake, he has played over 115 times. Although he lines up in a defending role, Mulholland has proven to be a capable goal scorer. He is known as an uncompromising defender and provides a bit of hardness in the RSL midfield.
Beckerman, 35, lined up as a holding midfielder on the left side last match. Old man Beckerman’s 18-year career has seen him play nearly 430 MLS matches. He wears the Captain’s armband for his club. Although he has scored as many as seven goals in a season, he is more well-known for being a physical defender and his ball-winning abilities. Beckerman and Mulholland form a very imposing presence in defence. Beckerman has earned 58 caps with United States.
Savarino, 20, lined up as a left wing last match and is listed as a forward. The Venezuelan national is on a Designated Player contract. He is currently on loan at Salt Lake from his Venezuelan club, Zulia. At Zulia, Savarino has played 132 times scoring 32 goals. He has played 17 times for Salt Lake this year scoring five goals. He has one cap for Venezuela.
Rusnak, 23, lined up at central attacking midfield last match. The Slovakian international is on a Designated Player contract at Salt Lake and was a winter signing just before the start of the 2017 season. The Manchester City Academy product never played a match in the Premier League. He instead was loaned to Oldham, Birmingham City, and SC Cambuur in the Netherlands. These short loan spells were followed by his transfer to FC Groningen where he would play 61 times scoring nine goals over two seasons. Rusnak has five caps for Slovakia.
Plata, 25, lined up at left-wing last match and is listed as a forward. The Ecuadorian national is the product of LDU Quito’s youth system. He played seven times for Quito before transferring to Toronto FC. He transferred to Salt Lake in 2013 and has played a total of 165 matches of MLS football. He has seven goals this season but has scored as many as 13 in a season. Plata has four caps and two goals for Ecuador.
Luis Silva, 28, lined up as the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation last match, though he is listed as a midfielder. His MLS career spans seven years and has seen him play a total of 135 matches combined with Toronto FC, DC United, and Real Salt Lake. He has six goals for Salt Lake this year. he has played 27 times for Salt Lake this season. After signing with Salt Lake in 2015, he then moved to Tigres UANL of the Mexican league. He played no matches in the first team for Tigres and transferred back to Salt Lake for the 2017 season.
RSL defender, Justin Schmidt was born in Washington state, played for UW, and also played for Washington Crossfire. Chad Barrett played 44 matches for Sounders FC scoring 12 goals.
Salt Lake from: Rimando, Van Oekel, Sparrow, Beltran, Dunk, Horst, Schmidt, Glad, Wingert, Acosta, Schuler, Marcelo Silva, Beckerman, Savarino, Sunny, Rusnak, Mulholland, Hernandez, Besler, Plata, Movsisyan, Saucedo, Lennon.
Sounders FC from: Frei, Miller, Meredith, Nouhou, Alfaro, Leerdam, Torres, Jones, Fisher, Svensson, Alonso, Roldan, Rodriguez, Lodeiro, Kovar, Shipp, Delem, Wingo, Mathers, Dempsey, Adekoya, Bruin, Neagle.
Salt Lake –
OUT: Barrett (knee), Allen (knee), Holness (knee), Velazco (ankle).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Phillips (hamstring), Luis Silva (groin).
Sounders FC –
OUT: Evans (back), Morris (hamstring), Mallace (quadriceps).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Marshall (hamstring).
None suspended from either side. For RSL, Schuler and Sunny are one booking away from a one-match ban.
Sounders Academy U-15s won the Youdan Trophy this August. Other youth teams in the tournament represented Everton, Manchester United, FC Basel and Newcastle United. WELL DONE, LADS!!!