Real Salt Lake-Sounders Preview
Freddy Juarez believes he has an "incredible difficult" task as he looks to get Real Salt Lake ready to visit Seattle Sounders just 72 hours after losing to Los Angeles FC.
RSL went down to LAFC in Sunday's only MLS fixture, meaning the two teams are at a disadvantage for the latest midweek round of matches.
For Juarez's side, that means a trip to the Pacific Northwest to face the MLS Cup holders and Western Conference leaders.
The coach is trying to do whatever he can to keep his team fresh for this matchup.
"It is incredibly difficult to get the guys ready on such short notice," Juarez said.
"Tactically you cannot overload them, but making sure their legs are ready and they are mentally prepared are the two toughest challenges for me."
And RSL's task is not made any easier by Albert Rusnak's departure to join the Slovakia national team.
"I don't want to talk so much about Albert, because we all know how good Albert is but the fact is that he's not here," the team's coach said.
"He does at times make a difference, when we give it to him in a tight area. We're not talking about Albert. We wish him luck with the national team."
They face a Sounders side who have won four of their past five games, scoring at least three goals in each of the victories.Only LAFC have scored more than Seattle this season.
Coach Brian Schmetzer said: "Our goal difference is pretty good. I don't know what it is, but it's pretty good. We score a lot of goals.
"Soccer is always criticised as a low-scoring sport, but our team is not a low-scoring team. We've been pretty good offensively."
Seattle Sounders – Joao Paulo
The Sounders have no shortage of attacking options and are also now getting key contributions from midfield. Joao Paulo has two goals and two assists in his past five matches and played a starring role in last weekend's Cascadia Cup win over Vancouver Whitecaps.
Real Salt Lake – Damir Kreilach
There is little sign of RSL's forwards discovering a scoring touch, so Kreilach must again come to the fore. His side have won just five matches in the past 12 months, yet the midfielder has scored in each of those victories and has six goals in total this season.
- The Sounders have won nine of their past 10 home matches against Real Salt Lake (L1 – 1-0 in 2018) dating back to September 2013. Seattle have kept a clean sheet in three of the past four meetings as they have conceded just nine goals in 17 home games against RSL (regular season and playoffs).
- The Sounders beat Vancouver 3-1 on Saturday to extend their home winning streak to three matches. Seattle have lost only one of their past 15 home matches (W11 D3, including playoffs) and have found the net at least three times in nine of the 15 matches.
- RSL have lost three of their past five matches (W1 D1) after losing only two of their first 10 this season (W3 D5). RSL conceded 10 goals in the three defeats in that time while they have kept clean sheets in the other two matches.
- Jordan Morris picked up his sixth primary assist of the season setting up Raul Ruidiaz for Seattle's third goal against the Whitecaps on Saturday. That equalled Morris' best mark for a single season, set last year. Morris has 12 assists over the past two seasons after recording just five in his first two MLS campaigns.
- Of RSL's 20 goals this season, 17 have been scored in the second half, including 11 of their past 12. Their past six goals have all been scored after the break.
Updated October 6, 2020